Another 5 Lesser-Known Tech Tools for Researchers

Recently we wrote about 5 tech tools for researchers that aren’t as well-known as, say, EndNote or NVivo. It was hard to pick just five, since there are so many new tools constantly being developed and released. So today, here are another 5.

Woman working on a laptop in front of a server room.

Lazy Scholar is a free Firefox & Chrome extension that can come in very handy during your literature searching. Install it in your browser and it will work in the background – searching for free full-text versions of articles you’ve clicked on; generating citations that you can copy/paste in your chosen style, and recommending new papers based on what you’re already reading. It’s a bit like having an automated research assistant for your lit review.

Dedoose is a cloud-based qualitative and mixed methods data analysis app. Bring your images, spreadsheets, audio/video, and/or documents (in any language) to Dedoose, and it can provide features to help with organizing, coding, and analyzing your data. You can create data visualizations too. And if you’re collaborating, you can invite others to work with the data with controlled permissions. While NVivo (which we have available at AUT) does many of the same things, Dedoose is a paid alternative that might be worth exploring if NVivo isn’t quite right for you.

How Can I Share It is a tool that clarifies how and where you can share scholarly papers. Ideally, we’d all like to share papers far and wide; but sometimes that’s against publishers’ access & usage policies. If you’re confused about such policies, this one’s for you. Enter an article’s DOI and the tool will tell you how you can share it in compliance with the publisher’s policies. (NB. This works if the publisher’s sharing options have been added to the site – it’s not 100% yet). The site also links to the policies of major publishers all from the one place.

The Journal of Brief Ideas is a fun one. Scholars are invited to share short, interesting, wild, innovative ideas in under 200 words. The site is full of research ideas that the originating authors aren’t pursuing for one reason or another: the hypotheses might be impractical to test, or the idea might be slightly outside of the author’s core research area. By sharing the ideas, scholars can inspire each other and get their ideas out to others who may be able to build on them. The journal entries are citable, so the originating author can get credit for the idea if others use it. This is a great browsing option for when you need inspiration!

Last but not least, if you’ve enjoyed discovering the online tools listed in this article, you’d probably love LabWorm. LabWorm is an online tool aggregator that allows scientists (yes, just scientists – sorry, humanists & social scientists) to stay up-to-date with all the new online tools that are constantly being developed by their peers. You can search by scientific field to find the tools designed for your specific research area, and even join the LabWorm community to vote on which tools you like best.

Got your own favourite research tools? Tell us in the comments!

About Anaise Irvine

Dr Anaise Irvine is the Editor of Thesislink. She has a research background in science and narrative. Her PhD research analysed how contemporary films and novels represent genetic engineering as a social justice issue. She has previously researched fictional representations of evolution and quantum mechanics. She has taught such diverse texts as Blade Runner and Bridget Jones’s Diary, and her most obscure skill is being able to turn novels into phylogenetic trees!

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