A blog by Rob J Hyndman 

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Posts Tagged ‘organization’:


Managing research ideas

Published on 25 May 2013

I received this email today: Dear Pro­fes­sor Hyn­d­man, I was won­der­ing if you could maybe give me some advice on how to orga­nize your research process. I am able to search the lit­er­a­ture on a cer­tain topic and iden­tify where there is a ques­tion to work with. My main dif­fi­cult is to orga­nize my paper anno­ta­tions in order to help me to guide my research process, i.e, how to man­age the infor­ma­tion gath­ered in those papers to com­pose and struc­ture a doc­u­ment which can rep­re­sent the research devel­oped so far. I have been look­ing at dif­fer­ent tools such scrivener, Qiqqa, papers2, etc but I am not sure if one of these tools would be the right way to go. To be hon­est I am not even sure a tool would do what I am look­ing for, not just orga­nize ref­er­ences and anno­tate pdfs but to get more con­trol of my research process. I appre­ci­ate if I could get your thoughts on this subject.

 
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SimpleR tips, tricks and tools

Published on 21 November 2012

I gave this talk last night to the Mel­bourne Users of R Network.

 
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Makefiles for R/​LaTeX projects

Published on 31 October 2012

Updated: 21 Novem­ber 2012 Make is a mar­vel­lous tool used by pro­gram­mers to build soft­ware, but it can be used for much more than that. I use make when­ever I have a large project involv­ing R files and LaTeX files, which means I use it for almost all of the papers I write, and almost of the con­sult­ing reports I produce.

 
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Blogs about research

Published on 9 August 2012

If you find this blog help­ful (or even if you don’t but you’re inter­ested in blogs on research issues and tools), there are a few other blogs about doing research that you might find use­ful. Here are a few that I read. Pat­ter — Pat Thom­son. The The­sis Whis­perer — Inger Mew­burn. The Research Whis­perer – sev­eral RMIT researchers. the (research) supervisor’s friend — Geof Hill. My Research Rants – Jordi Cabot. The Three Month The­sis – James Hay­ton. prof­se­ri­ous – Anthony Finkel­stein. Aca­d­e­mic Life — Mar­i­aluisa Aliotta. Help for New Pro­fes­sors — Faye Hicks. The Art of Sci­en­tific Writ­ing – Faye Hicks. Explo­rations of style– Rachael Cay­ley. shar­manedit — Anna Shar­man. Grad­Hacker – writ­ers from sev­eral uni­ver­si­ties. PhD Life – War­wick Uni stu­dents. PhD Comics — essen­tial read­ing for every PhD stu­dent, and good ther­apy. I’ve cre­ated a bun­dle so you can sub­scribe to all of these in one go. Of course, there are lots of sta­tis­tics blogs as well, and blogs about other research dis­ci­plines. The ones above are those that con­cen­trate on generic research issues.

 
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Following authors on Google Scholar

Published on 31 January 2012

A great new fea­ture has been added to Google Scholar Cita­tions. For those authors who have set up a cita­tions page, it is now pos­si­ble to get email alerts for any new arti­cles they pub­lish, or for any new cita­tions of their arti­cles. So you can track cita­tions to your own work this way, and stay up-​​​​to-​​​​date with key authors in your field. Set­ting up a Google Cita­tions page is super-​​​​easy and was already worth doing. This new func­tion­al­ity is another rea­son to do it. After all, as researchers we want peo­ple to read our stuff, so we might as well make it as easy as pos­si­ble for peo­ple to find what we write. To set up your Google Cita­tions page, go to scholar​.google​.com/​c​i​t​a​tions. To fol­low an author, find their cita­tions page and look for the “Fol­low this author” box at the top right of the page. Hope­fully, Google will add RSS feeds as an option in the future as I’d much rather get alerts that way then by yet more email in my inbox.

 
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Organizing travel

Published on 20 December 2011

Whether trav­el­ling to a sem­i­nar or con­fer­ence, or just hav­ing a hol­i­day, using a travel orga­nizer can make the process sim­pler and eas­ier. A good travel orga­nizer keeps all your travel details (flights, hotels, car rentals, meet­ings, weather fore­casts, etc.) orga­nized and synced to what­ever devices you use (two com­put­ers, an iPad and an iPhone in my case).

 
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Researcher portals

Published on 26 November 2011

A researcher por­tal is a web­site that attempts to list all the pub­li­ca­tions of a given researcher. Some por­tals also allow shar­ing papers, inter­act­ing with other researchers, cal­cu­lat­ing cita­tion sta­tis­tics, etc. Every researcher wants their work read and cited, so these web­sites can be use­ful tools for get­ting your work noticed. They can also func­tion as a de facto home page if you don’t already have a per­sonal web­site. Con­versely, they can be a good way to find new work by researchers in your field. How­ever, unless a site pro­vides a rel­a­tively com­plete list of your pub­li­ca­tions, and cov­ers a large pro­por­tion of the research com­mu­nity in your dis­ci­pline, it is of lim­ited value.

 
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Use Mendeley to manage your references

Published on 4 August 2011

Every researcher col­lects large num­bers of papers, ref­er­ences, and notes, and it is impor­tant to have a good sys­tem to keep them all orga­nized. For many years I had sev­eral thou­sand papers all num­bered and stored in fil­ing cab­i­nets, with a JabRef data­base pro­vid­ing an index to them. These days, it’s much eas­ier to have every­thing stored elec­tron­i­cally, and so I have accu­mu­lated many pdfs (about 1300 so far) of pub­lished arti­cles. But the prob­lem of being able to find some­thing fast is still impor­tant. Mende­ley is a free soft­ware tool for man­ag­ing your ref­er­ence data­base. It actu­ally solves many prob­lems simul­ta­né­ously and is likely to become an impor­tant part of how I work.

 
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In praise of Dropbox

Published on 23 December 2010

Every cou­ple of years, a new tech­nol­ogy has a big impact on how I work. Gmail was one. My iPhone was another. And I rank Drop­box in the same cat­e­gory. I get three huge ben­e­fits in using Drop­box: All my files are backed up online. The house can burn down and I know I can still get my files. Also, if I’m away from my desk­top or lap­top, I can still access my files on my iPhone. Online backup is the only sen­si­ble backup strat­egy. My two main com­put­ers are kept in sync. When I fin­ish work in my uni office, I can go home know­ing that every­thing I’ve done dur­ing the day will be already on my home PC when I arrive home. And when I go to my uni office, every­thing I’ve done on my home PC will already be on my uni PC when I get to work. I never have to think about what files I will need; they will all be there. Drop­box pro­vides a sim­ple ver­sion con­trol sys­tem. Other peo­ple use ser­vices like github and bazaar, but I find them far more com­pli­cated than I need. When I edit or delete files, Drop­box keeps pre­vi­ous ver­sions in case I wish to restore them (up to 30 days nor­mally, but for­ever if you pay a bit more).

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Take note

Published on 17 September 2010

Your best ideas don’t nec­es­sar­ily come while sit­ting at your com­puter ready to type. They might come while play­ing sport, tak­ing a shower, lying in bed, or enjoy­ing din­ner at a restau­rant.  So you always need some­thing to write on to cap­ture the ideas before they float away. For about twenty years I car­ried a lit­tle spi­ral notepad and pen just for this pur­pose. When iPods became pop­u­lar, I named my notepad my “iPad”. Then Apple stole my brand name! Although they were low-​​​​tech, my iPads were extremely effi­cient and func­tional. In an inter­est­ing par­ody, you can now get a real notepad that looks like an iPad or iPhone! (Click on the image below for more infor­ma­tion.) How­ever, I’ve sold out to Apple and use an iPhone, so it makes sense to keep my notes on the iPhone.  But the native notepad app is not so use­ful because it doesn’t sync with my com­puter. I’d like to jot down some ideas and then have them avail­able on my PC with­out any re-​​​​typing. The native iPhone notepad app does sync with MS Out­look but who wants to use that when there is gmail? I’ve tried about half-​​​​a-​​​​dozen note tak­ing apps with sync­ing capa­bil­i­ties and have deleted most of them

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