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From: Matthew Lundin <mdl@imapmail.org>
To: Graham Smith <myotisone@gmail.com>
Cc: emacs-orgmode@gnu.org
Subject: Re: Orgmode for research information management
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 10:29:46 -0500	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <87zlbzt1cl.fsf@fastmail.fm> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <2c75873c0906230106h3daf3d34y230845e15dad278e@mail.gmail.com> (Graham Smith's message of "Tue, 23 Jun 2009 09:06:41 +0100")

Hi Graham,

Graham Smith <myotisone@gmail.com> writes:

> I would be interested in any insights into  how people use orgmode for
> information management eg. gathering information for scientific paper.

Org-mode is very well suited to this purpose. I like to think of
org-mode as an outliner with the functionality of a database. Each
outline heading/subheading is a node to which all sorts of metadata can
be attached. Thus, notes can be as free-form or as structured as the
project requires. The structure can emerge as the project progresses.

When beginning a research project, I dump a lot of material into a new
org file, making heavy use of org-remember and org-protocol. I tag items
as they come in, so I know that I'll be able to find them easily later.
I also create links to relevant files (pdfs, images, etc.). And any time
I need to follow up on something, I create a todo. Indeed, todo state
changes are immensely helpful for keeping track of what I've done so

My citations are located in a bibtex database; org-mode is able to
create links to individual items via org-store-link or org-remember. I
make sure to add a link to every outline heading, whether it be to a
website, a bibtex item, a file, or to some other node in the outline
(via <<internal-links>> or ID properties).

The beauty of org-mode is that I can organize my outline only when the
need arises. Thanks to tags, searches, and sparse trees, I can easily
find individual notes. And thanks to hyperlinks I can travel quickly to
the source of the information.

Anytime I need a more structured database, I create one within the
outline by using properties and column views. Let's say I need to keep
track of sources I've looked at an archive. I can easily create a
mini-database for the archive.

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
* Some Archive
  :COLUMNS:  %25ITEM %10TIMESTAMP_IA %17collection %6doc-number %18author %25title %10origdate %TAGS
** An old letter 				  :industrialization:letters:
   :collection: Personal Letters
   :doc-number:   768b
   :author:   Michael Smithson
   :origdate: 1868
   :title:    Letter to brother

Some notes about the letter here...

[2009-06-23 Tue 09:37]
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

So an individual org outline can contain numerous custom databases! The
possibilities are endless.

And, of course, at any point I can export any part of the outline to
pdf, html, ascii, etc.

Hope this helps.

- Matt

  parent reply	other threads:[~2009-06-23 15:28 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 17+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2009-06-23  8:06 Orgmode for research information management Graham Smith
2009-06-23 11:06 ` Chris Gray
2009-06-23 11:51   ` Graham Smith
2009-06-23 12:41     ` Chris Gray
2009-06-23 12:51       ` Graham Smith
2009-06-23 15:29 ` Matthew Lundin [this message]
2009-06-23 15:44   ` Graham Smith
2009-06-23 19:16     ` Eric S Fraga, Eric S Fraga
2009-06-23 19:31       ` Graham Smith
2009-06-23 23:30         ` Sebastian Rose
2009-06-23 23:37           ` Graham Smith
2009-06-24 21:27 Shrutarshi Basu
2009-06-25 12:20 ` Greg Newman
2009-06-25 15:27   ` Alexander
2009-06-25 16:00     ` Shrutarshi Basu
2009-06-25 17:08       ` Bastien
2009-06-25 17:19 ` Graham Smith

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