Doing Research 2.0

The following post is about organizing your bookmarks, annotations, PDFs and notes with Diigo Outliners as well as easily creating citations with Cite This For Me.

Diigo Outliners

How do you do research? Having ebooks and online journal databases at your disposal is a big help and means less trips to the library, right? But keeping everything organized in one place is very important and can become a helpful guide for your research. Plus, it gives you peace of mind.

Diigo was the first tool featured in this column, back in early 2014. Since then, the Diigo team has introduced a new feature: Outliners.

Outliners help you organize bookmarked websites, uploaded PDFs as well as your own thoughts and comments, all on one page.

Here’s an outliner example for a lesson plan from the Diigo website:

With the Diigo extension for Chrome or Firefox, you can bookmark any page on the web. You can also highlight parts of the text and add notes. Nothing new so far. By adding a page to an outliner, for example your conference paper outliner, you start to collect everything in one place. As you keep doing this for more websites, everything you need for your research gets added to the same page: the conference paper outliner.

If you find a useful journal or paper in PDF, you can upload it to your Diigo account and then make highlights, add notes and save the PDF in the same outliner. Being able to annotate PDFs in this way is very useful when doing research. All those highlights are very important because they are the points you want to remember and use in your paper. And the best part is: Everything is stored in the cloud. No saving. No files. No worries.

Here is a screenshot of a PDF with highlighted text that has been uploaded to Diigo and opened in Chrome.

Automatic Citations with Cite This For Me

Doing research means citing sources and doing so properly. But you don’t need to worry about that anymore. With Cite This For Me you can “outsource” all that work and focus on your research. It supports Harvard, MLA, APA and more citation styles. All you need to do is install the browser extension (available for Chrome and Firefox) and just click the magic button. You can also send the citation to a bibliography page, where you can collect all citations while doing your research.

With the free version of Cite This For Me, you can access and download your bibliography for 7 days, which is not bad for most college cases. With the premium version you can create your own account and have unlimited bibliographies for unlimited time, as well as extra features, including spell check, plagiarism check, and a Microsoft Word plug-in.

Enough for now. Back to your research!

This post is part of the When EdTech Meets ELT series, my regular column for the TESOL Macedonia Thrace Northern Greece e-bulletin, and was originally published in June 2015.


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