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DIGITIZE YOUR WORKFLOW: A Working Group in Digital and New Media Presentation

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My name is Timothy Pasch, I am an assistant professor in the Communication Program/English. Today at the New Media Working Group Lab (O’Kelly Room 207), I will be joining Bill Caraher from the Department of History in presenting a selection of digital tools designed to assist graduate (and undergraduate) researchers in optimizing their digital workflow (check out Bill’s tip on the Teaching Thursday blog).

My focus will be to touch relatively briefly on each tool that I propose presenting, with an eye for how these tools might work together to create an efficient workflow for your research. This presentation is not focused primarily on any particular operating system, and any researcher interested in learning more about digital tools is welcome.

The tools that I propose visiting with the group tomorrow include the following. I will very briefly list what these tools do here (and provide links), and look forward to expanding on these ideas at the actual presentation.

DevonAgent is a very powerful program for searching the web more intelligently. This program offers researchers the possibility of crafting searches that may more accurately find exactly what you are looking for, with less possibility of retrieving non-scholarly or undesirable material. This program is particularly powerful for finding hard-to-source documents.

-Papers+Bookends+Scrivener, my research trifecta.

Bookends is a bibliographic manager for the Macintosh OS that integrates with Google Scholar and any of a variety of scholarly libraries directly. It can also import metadata and full references from any book on Amazon.

Papers is what I use for searching and archiving scholarly PDFs. It integrates with Scopus here at UND (I contacted the developers to add UND to the program’s database) and it allows researchers to pull in any papers from that database. Papers does the same with all of the IEEE journals, PubMed, the Web of Science and Knowledge, MathSciNet and many more. It can export into Bookends for the final bibliographic generation for your papers. I will demonstrate a sample search using this software program and export citations into Bookends.

Scrivener is a writing tool for larger writing projects, offering the possibility of organizing writing into sections (chapters or major headings). It incorporates a cork-board where writers can organize their PDFs, images, ideas, sketches and other concepts related to the writing project (or course design, or grant, etc).

Skitch was recently purchased by Evernote Corporation (Bill will be mentioning Evernote). Skitch enables the screensnapping of any image, and subsequent export in any file format. This program is constantly in use on my machine and I will demonstrate the possibilities inherent in its use.

BlackboardCollaborate. Until very recently named Wimba Pronto, this software functions as an Intranet service here at UND. It enables rapid collaborative communication with other researchers on campus, and the whiteboard in particular offers the possibility of sketching diagrams and making ideas very clear in a short period of time.

VMwareFusion. Fusion is software allowing other operating systems to be run concurrently on your computer. I will very briefly touch on this possibility (including Unity Mode) and am pleased to answer questions regarding this software after the seminar or by email.

TextExpander: TextExpander is another utility that I cannot do without: it expands abbreviations into your most frequently used text-strings. This may sound complicated but it’s not. As an example, let’s say that you set up the letters “sigg” to expand into your full name with address, email, fax numbers, and an image of your signature, to be pasted onto any document. You can also expand citations in this way. I find myself doing research using abbreviations and it saves a lot of time.

-Quick word on Qualtrics: This online survey tool is an efficient way to poll your target group electronically. I will be speaking briefly regarding this software and deliniating some of its possibilities.

I look forward to the presentation and sincerely hope to see you there, please do let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns, sincerely yours with appreciation-

Timothy J. Pasch, Ph.D.


Written by School of Graduate Studies

September 23, 2011 at 9:32 am

Posted in research, teaching

One Response

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  1. […] Caraher wrote a post on his blog, which is cross-posted to Teaching Thursday, and Dr. Tim Pasch shared his insights into digital tools as well, which while they are more to improve workflow, they have great uses in […]

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