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Science writing: Tools

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Science writing: Tools
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Blog of ReasonHelperUser avatarPosts: 240Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:28 pmLocation: League of Reason

Post Science writing: Tools

Discussion thread for the blog entry "Science writing: Tools" by Inferno.

Permalink: http://blog.theleagueofreason.co.uk/science/science-writing-tools/
Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:24 am
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5009Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Science writing: Tools

Although I'm not an academic (no surprises there!), I do have need for some of the same sorts of tools mentioned.

For many image-related doodads, I use GIMP, which is good for changing formats, resizing, and lots of other manipulation-related things. It also has an excellent plugin system for great justice (try the resynthesising tool, I dare you). Otherwise I use Inkscape, although it's not a simple program.

For meddling with or creating PDFs -or any other office-related document format-, I use Libre Office (like Open Office but with slightly more Richard Stallman).

I don't use many browser add-ons, plugins or apps as I find them a hindrance to the browser's performance, particularly with Chrome (well, Chromium). When I write for posting/responding on the internet, I generally use a basic text editor (I suppose it's because I usually have one open anyway), my current favourite being Scratch. Not sure if that's available outside of its home Linux distribution (eOS) yet, though. Its auto save is nice and, thankfully, silent.

All the above are open source and therefore have no cost.

On the phone app side, I don't have much to offer in the way of suggestions beyond the Hacker's keyboard (on Android). I prefer not to have to press several buttons to get to the appropriate symbol.

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if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

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Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:15 am
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Science writing: Tools

Took a while to mention a reference manager, I thought you weren't going to get to it :lol:

Mendeley is my favourite too and I love Evernote.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:24 am
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3210Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post !

Greetings,

Just to add some alternatives to those mentioned.

PDFs - PDF-XChange Editor
Media conversion - Format Factory
Skype recording - Vodburner

Tools:
Software for Academic Writing and Research

Books:
How to Read Journal Articles in the Social Sciences: A Very Practical Guide for Students (SAGE Study Skills Series)
Success in Academic Writing (Palgrave Study Skills)
Cite Them Right: The Essential Referencing Guide (Palgrave Study Skills) (although the second book above includes a section on citing sources)

I have the first two and have found them very good - although. as a academic/educator, I doubt you need the last one listed! ;)

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
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Last edited by Dragan Glas on Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:12 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3499Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Science writing: Tools

Thank you for Mendeley. I am going to look into that one.

Endnote! I wish I knew about this for the first four years I was in college. It would have made my life so much easier. I do not know how I would have written my thesis without it.

As for books, Proposals That Work: A Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grants Proposals in the latest addition for best results.

This makes me want to go back to skul.
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Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:05 am
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3499Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Science writing: Tools

This one is so second nature to me, that I did not even think it was anything extra. Nuance PDF Reader. One is able to highlight and add notes directly to a PDF. I found this my second hear in college and never printed out another PDF.
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Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:37 pm
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Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Science writing: Tools

he_who_is_nobody wrote:This one is so second nature to me, that I did not even think it was anything extra. Nuance PDF Reader. One is able to highlight and add notes directly to a PDF. I found this my second hear in college and never printed out another PDF.
You can also do this within Mendeley, it's an excellent pdf management tool.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:05 am
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3210Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Science writing: Tools

Greetings,

Aught3 wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:This one is so second nature to me, that I did not even think it was anything extra. Nuance PDF Reader. One is able to highlight and add notes directly to a PDF. I found this my second hear in college and never printed out another PDF.
You can also do this within Mendeley, it's an excellent pdf management tool.

You can also do this in both PDF-XChange Viewer and Editor - unlock other PDFs to highlight, etc.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:56 pm
scalyblueUser avatarPosts: 1417Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:02 am

Post Re: Science writing: Tools

LaTeX was designed for applications like this; it has a moderately high learning curve but once you have it you can create documents with integrated references and links.

http://www.latex-project.org/
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Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:39 pm
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Science writing: Tools

For those knowledgeable in R, there's knitr which allows you to generate dynamic statistical documents in Markup or LaTeX.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:37 am
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Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Science writing: Tools

I think Prolescum should do a blog post on freedom or open source software alternatives. List the programmes available and what you can use them for as well as some of the reasoning behind using these types of free applications.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:27 am
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ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5009Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Science writing: Tools

:lol:

Oh you!


I'd have to do some research into all the alternatives for the above suggestions. However, I did have this on hand...
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:53 am
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