Hello and welcome to The Digital Researcher. I hope you’re as excited as I am about the wealth of new technology available to us. I still marvel at the ability to search thousands, if not millions, of documents in a matter of moments, and access the content from the comfort of my own armchair. Only a few years ago I was making weekly trips to the British Library to read obscure (and very bad) Victorian novels, but now I can download them to my Kindle and read them anywhere. My stacks of printed journal articles have been recycled, replaced with PDFs and annotation tools. Odd pieces of information are safely deposited in a database, rather than on post-it notes that end up down the back of the sofa.
Obviously, these great advances have drawbacks: information overload is no fun, and it’s easy to waste an entire day trying to fathom a new piece of software, only to find that it’s useless. Hopefully, my forthcoming posts will make it a bit easier for you to evaluate what might work well for you. Although I’m primarily academic researcher, this blog is for anyone who uses the internet for any type of research.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be running a Getting the Better of Technology series of posts, covering:
- Protecting Your Assets – using backups to avoid disaster
- Inbox Zero – how to dodge email overload
- Expanding Your Memory – capturing anything and everything with Evernote
- The Virtual Library – managing your bibliographic references with Zotero
I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences and what you do with the tools available.
Hope to see you soon.