[ExI] Fwd: [wta-talk] Scientific literature organizational tools

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Wed Dec 31 04:38:19 UTC 2008

Ah, here we go. Anyway, Zotero isn't too new, here's what I previously
wrote on the subject.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 8:17 AM
Subject: Re: [wta-talk] Scientific literature organizational tools
To: World Transhumanist Association Discussion List
<wta-talk at transhumanism.org>, kanzure at gmail.com

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 3:32 AM, Sergio M.L. Tarrero wrote:
> This may be helpful to some of you who need to keep many scientific
> articles and materials well organized...
> http://judson.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/defeating-bedlam/?th&emc=th

I've also struggled a bit with scientific papers and my research habits:

Ultimately what needs to happen is the dismissal of the PDF format.
Instead of giving everybody PDFs, there needs to be a file much like a
zip or tar file with metadata in it, as well as the actual content,
and then anything else that might be relevant to the paper, such as
formatted BibTeX for the bibliographical information, contact
information, separated figures/images/photos, any sort of software
that they had to write for the research, etc.

There's very little reason to just cram everything into a PDF.

Also, PDFs suck as it is. I can hardly open 200 PDFs on my machines
without things getting slow and dangerous. Yes, as I increase system
RAM I can open more PDFs, but that's really a stupid idea. Instead of
just hoping that I have enough RAM and virtual memory configured, it
should use a caching system for my paper reading pleasures. Oh well.

The autoscholar software (above) was made to help fetch papers
automatically from Google Scholar. And if I ever get around to helping
people get past PDF and into that tar-like file format for papers,
then it will also be able to automatically extract the BibTeX
information :-) so that you can recursively read papers and their
citations. Another part of the autoscholar software package is an
automatic paper reading program. Sometime earlier this year I
downloaded 40 GB of papers from a publisher, and so I wanted to devote
an entire monitor to reading the papers. My reasoning was that it
would be something to look at, be mildly entertaining and hey, of some
educational value as well. So it just flips through papers at some
static rate (a page every 4 seconds - this is stupid, it should keep
track of eye gaze really).

- Bryan
1 512 203 0507

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