Filing journals electronically

13 November 2007

I have tons of journal reading to do and it’s pretty much inevitable given what I am doing. A thesis by research. Organising the journals require a good bit of work, and I have over the years changed the way I manage them in order to find the best method.

This is my current electronic system for organising and filing them.

For every journal that I came across, or that I searched for, I’d obtain the PDF copy and save them to my computer. As the university has institution subscription to most journals that I use, or the journals are available as open access articles, this is not a problem. Should I fail to obtain them readily, I’d try to contact the authors directly and request for a copy of the article.

These articles would then be sorted in different folders, each in accordance with the project that the information would be related to. Within each, there are several subfolders – read, to read, printed. Newly downloaded PDFs get placed in “to read” folder, moved to “printed” when I print it out for reading, and lastly shifted to “read” once I have done the reading. Usually I would also have accompanying notes for these journals in this folder.

Once read, I also update a spreadsheet that I have, containing summary of these articles. The information contained within the spreadsheet include authors’ names, article title, brief summary, keywords and project it is related to. This way, I can have a at-a-glance information during work in progress, and could check back on something I read relatively quickly.

I also have a folder for general interest reading. These are usually articles that I find interesting but irrelevant to my work.

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3 Responses to “Filing journals electronically”

  1. Maria said

    Hiya!!! I was looking for tips in filing read journals, and saw yours… very2 interesting…

    hey.. don’t worry.. about not having your phd yet.. i’m sure you’ll achieve it soon…

    i’m 28 and just started my PhD… uhuh…

    so, need to know if you have any tips about filing journals manually? I prefer writing and printed reading materials.. can’t really focus if i read them on comp.

    Please, if you could help?

    thanks! Maria.

  2. alexalynn said

    hi maria, i also print them out to read instead of starting at the pc screen… i’ll write a manual filing blog entry in the next couple of days, ok!

  3. […] January 2008 A while back, I was talking about electronic management of the journal articles that I read. Some of you must wonder what I do with the copies that I printed out to read, since I […]

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