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Tools for Regenerative Research

 
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Location: Huntsville, AL
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Since I work a lot with scientists, engineers, and other academics, I almost always need to provide citations for good research to back up what I am saying. This creates the challenge of finding and keeping track of all those references, and also being able to cite them in the proper format.

I have been working on how to enable the regenerative design community to do this more effectively, and will be hosting a free online class on Wednesday, April 3 called Tools for Regenerative Research, where I will be introducing a couple of the free, open-source tools that are available, and discussing some of the collaborative stuff we are just getting off the ground. If you would like to learn more, you can register to join the class at the linked page. I am actively looking for other research professionals to help with the project.

That being said, the real reason for this post is to ask how everyone else handles the problem of keeping track of the massive amounts of research being published today. How do you find research that is relevant to your interests? How do you keep track of all the references and make sure you accurately cite everything? Do you use a software tool like Reference Management Software to help you out? If so, which one?

I would enjoy hearing how others involved in professional research manage these challenges. Or please let me know if you have any questions about the tools I use or the upcoming class.
 
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Location: Driggs, ID
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I used the Zotero plugin for Firefox when I was doing a lot of research.  It even keeps a copy of your digital articles, and if you have the patience, your scanned articles as well.  It also creates a nice works cited page that requires minimal tweaking.  
 
Alan Booker
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Rachel,

That is exactly the same setup I use for reference management, and Zotero is the tool we will be teaching in the Tools for Regenerative Research class and using in the collaboration.

Zotero is free and open source, unlike a number of other paid options that also try to lock your data into their format and make it hard to export.

In addition to Firefox, there are also plugins for Chrome and Safari, so you can basically push a button on your browser toolbar and have both the content and metadata for research articles automatically populated into your local data set.

And there are plugins for several word processors that let you automatically generate full bibliographies in a wide variety of different standard formats.

Where it really starts to get cool is when you begin to use the new cross-device sync and group collaboration features. You can have a bunch of folks working together as a team to gather and curate a collection of references that pertain to specific topics.

My hope is to start putting together a small team of research professionals that can manage various collections of pointers to both peer-reviewed research and practical hands-on information that supports regenerative design practices. Once we get the basics worked out, these collections would be open for anyone to use. And we will also be looking for contributors who we can train to keep an eye out for new information that should be added. They would simply use the Zotero plugin in their own web browser to drop references into an Inbox collection for the curators to evaluate for addition to the relevant published reference collections.

This would give everyone an easy way to look up and point to high-quality science to back up their statements about regenerative design when they are speaking to an audience that demands that sort of thing.
 
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This is awesome stuff. I work in medicine and frequently am re-looking up stuff, using pubmed.gov over and over, sometimes bookmarking. Thanks for the tip!
 
Alan Booker
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Jeremy Allen wrote:This is awesome stuff. I work in medicine and frequently am re-looking up stuff, using pubmed.gov over and over, sometimes bookmarking. Thanks for the tip!



If you are interested, sign up for the free class next Wednesday evening. We will be going over how to install Zotero and get everything up and working. I will also be sharing some more details about the collaboration.

One of my permaculture students who is also a PhD in Biology will also be giving a good overview of the whole peer-review and publication process, along with talking through how to spot good research vs. bad research.
 
Jeremy Allen
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Checked it out, I'm PST and so that's dinner/bedtime for my brood but looks like the webinar will be recorded and available.  Thanks again, will definitely check it out!
 
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