Manual journal filing

12 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 don’t actually like staring at screen endlessly and it is much easier to carry print copies to read on the road (lighter, etc).

But before I write further, please note that this is my way of archiving my journals. It works for me, but not necessarily for everyone. If you find it useful, great. If you have other ways to improve it, or any other methods at all, I’m interested in knowing!

Just like the way I have folders on the machine for different projects, I have hard folders for them too. Within each folder is a set of dividers; when I manage to buy one of those A-Z tabs set, I would get them. Otherwise, I buy plain dividers and mark the sections as required e.g. A-C, D-F, etc – you get the idea. I use card dividers, not one of those plasticky ones, as I write stuff on them later on.

You probably could guess by now I file by first author’s name, alphabetically.

So as I read, I highlight points of note and interest on the printed copy itself. Once I finish, I also try to write a page of summary which I then attached to the front of the article. Punch holes on and into the folder goes next. I also mark then on the section divider itself the title of the article that has been inserted, and the authors’ names.

It’s really for ease of keeping track of the articles. Those marked first on the section divider is at the bottom of the section, as any subsequent articles are placed on top of the previously read ones, and so forth.

This may possibly sounds like a lot of work too, but once organised, it really isn’t so bad at all. I could also spot particular paper I want with relative ease, and get the summary at a glance.


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