Academic Research and Writing Tools

I used these tools during my thesis. There is a lot of information to be processed and without these tools it would be a daunting task.

amritkarmacharyaList by amritkarmacharya, last updated 2020-04-01
  1. Publish or Perish icon

    Google scholar is great but when you want a deeper insight into your field. the web version feels limited and google scholar doesn't provide api. I used this to list out relevant articles and save them. Then i used vosviewer for finding the cluster of people with high research and high ranking keywords. These helped me get better results afterwards. P.S. the default search for google scholar is set at 500. But i think google started limiting at 200 (v7.12). After that the result was very slow, better change it to 200.

    • FreeProprietary
    • Windows
    • ...
  2. Use this to visualize the research field. Data can be captured from Web of Science, Scopus. In my field Scholar was better.

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • ...
    VOSviewer screenshot 1
  3. paper-digest icon

    Although it is in the testing stage, it does help to reduce reading time of a paper. if a paper is longer than 10 pages, put it through digest first. this will identify important lines. Then search for those lines and understand their meaning and context.

    • FreeProprietary
    • Online
    • ...
    paper-digest screenshot 1
  4. DocFetcher icon

    Excellent to search contents inside files and pdfs.

    • ...
    Filter panel and preview panel enabled
  5. Docear icon

    It is a swiss knife. Mind mapping + Annotation importing + reference management. Annotation Importing was the best feature, Mendeley or qiqqa can also annotate but it has to be done in the app, but not here. Any pdf reader can annotate so I don't have to read all papers. When my supervisor sends me highlighted pdf, they can be imported directly. Reference management is also very easy and docear4word makes citation easier. The best feature is Mind Mapping, Helps to keep ideas and facts separate but interconnected. I can really see how an idea is developing and if anyone else has done similar thing. I would have preferred Sankey more than mind map but haven't found good Sankey software. the file .mm is also an XML so many tweaks can be done with a text editor (e.g. searching in the file, builtin search is a bit difficult. text editors have better searching features). I have tried mendeley, zotero, qiqqa also and i find this the best. Although, because of its discontinued development, qiqqa might also be a good option.

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    Docear screenshot 1
  6. PDF-XChange Viewer icon

    Basically it is a companion for docear as it fulfils all the recommended features for docear. Adobe is also good, but in free versions, this has more features.

    • PDF Reader
    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Windows
    • ...
    PDF-XChange Viewer screenshot 1
  7. ProcrastiTracker icon

    Distraction is an enemy. Many times I have found myself in youtube or in amazon. Giving enough time to research is vital. There are other tools which can enforce discipline, but i outgrow them eventually. This one is like a nice friend who will just track active programs and at the end of day you can see how you spent time. Self imposed discipline is better than external.

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    ProcrastiTracker screenshot 1
  8. ActivityWatch icon

    Usefulness is same as Procastitracker but these two have different interfaces. I like procastitracker as i am more used to it, but AW is also good.

    • Time Tracking Tool
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • Android Tablet
    • Self-Hosted
    • Google Chrome
    • Rust
    • Python
    • Chromium
    • Firefox
    • ...
    ActivityWatch screenshot 1
    ActivityWatch screenshot 2
    ActivityWatch screenshot 3
  9. TeXstudio icon

    Tex studio is easy to use and manage. It shows sections in files and links the include files and subtitles. This was the goto feature that I did not find in other tex editors.

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    Main interface (2024) on KDE desktop
  10. Overleaf icon

    Overleaf is limited in many areas but i found it best for sharing with supervisors. They could provide comment and feedback directly in tex file. Others can also directly collaborate, this is very useful when latex throws errors and you need help from an expert friend.

    • ...
  11. LanguageTool icon

    Although I did not use it integrated with other Softwares. Even standalone it provides very good feedback on language, grammar, and thesaurus. The UI is little laggy but the functionality makes up for it.

    • Grammar Checker
    • FreemiumOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • iPhone
    • iPad
    • Microsoft Edge
    • Google Chrome
    • Microsoft Office Outlook
    • Safari
    • Visual Studio Code
    • Microsoft Word
    • Eclipse
    • TinyMCE
    • TeXstudio
    • Google Docs
    • Thunderbird
    • Vim
    • OmegaT
    • Sublime Text
    • GNU Emacs
    • Opera
    • Gmail
    • Fidus Writer
    • LyX
    • LibreOffice
    • Apache OpenOffice
    • Mozilla Firefox
    • LibreOffice - Writer
    • ...
    LanguageTool screenshot 1

This list was created by amritkarmacharya Nov 2, 2019 and was last updated Apr 1, 2020. The list has 11 apps.

You can create your own lists from our large database of apps either for your own sake or if you want to share some great apps with other people.


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CommentFeb 11, 2020

Google Scholar, via Publish or Perish, has the full limit of Google Scholar of 1000 Items. Those 1000 can be sorted by "Rank", date, type of publication, name of author, number of citations, title etc. The results can be saved in many formats, Bibtex, RTF, etc and CSV (comma-separated-values), the latter useful for databases and spreadsheet. See columns G and H for original source, and who and where cited = many sources.

I still prefer using version 6 of Publish or Perish, rather than the newer version 7. Your usage may differ.

Sci-hub and Library Genesis (see Wikipedia) are your friends.

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