trouble: An amiable young woman & famous for reading Greek while others were hunting (austin lady jane)
[personal profile] trouble posting in [community profile] academia
My thesis adviser gave me a suggestion on how to sort my research that could lead to the best procrastination ever (even better than making maps & graphs!) if I'm not careful, so I thought I'd ask if others had a suggestion before I fell down that great big procrastination well.

Basically, she suggested that I create a database that would allow me to search through all my tidbits of Interesting Facts and bring up Interesting Facts that were related to, say, BOTH X and Y, or EITHER X or Y, or X AND Y AND Z. She suggested a relatively-simple tagging process, and sorting it chronologically and all sorts of nifty things.

Since my very first though twas "I could design a database!", I'm wondering if others use a system like this, and what sorts of programs they use to sort it? Like, does EverNote or SimpleNote do these things? Or is there another way of doing it?

I'm eager to use her method because I think it will make the writing process much simpler (and makes it easy when I'm doing something to come back to it after a few months and just review everything tagged X), but I'm well aware that playing with shinies can distract me from my ultimate goal, which is getting this thesis done with so I can move on with my life.

Help?

Date: 2010-07-15 06:55 am (UTC)
finch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] finch
If all you want is to be able to search by tag or keyword later, Evernote will do ya.

Date: 2010-07-15 07:49 am (UTC)
hagar_972: "If the world is night shine my life like a light" (Shine like a Light)
From: [personal profile] hagar_972
I don't have experience with the specific kind of database you need to build, but I can testify that unless it's the program shell that's eating your time, databases are worth it. So long as you pick a program/environment that gives you everything you need and then some, chances are the database will return the investment in matters of duration of work. (And might give you a few nifty ideas/correlations on the side.)

I don't know what the form of your data is, but: if your data exists as files on your computer (or if you can make it into that, e.g. .txt files, graphical files, etc.) and you're using Firefox, try Zotero. It's a Firefox add-on that's the step-sibling of EndNote, can index any and all files (and web pages, too), and the tagging functionality is great.

Date: 2010-07-15 08:26 am (UTC)
green_knight: (Bruja Informatica)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
I'm a Filemaker developer, so that would be the tool I reach for - see if the existing tools will work for you or whether you constantly find yourself wanting squeeze information into fields it wasn't meant for, wishing you had more options etc; because if you fight your tools all the time, they're not much use.

Date: 2010-07-15 02:51 pm (UTC)
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
From: [personal profile] vlion
As a computer sciencey/programming type, I would use a sqlite database and access/control/display it with Perl.

Oh.

Also, I'd look up Prolog and see if my data could be encoded as truth statements there. That could produce some interesting results.

Edited Date: 2010-07-15 02:52 pm (UTC)

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