As I continue to research and teach, I often come across useful tools that should make the research process easier. As I come across them, I’ll post them here, with some comments about my experience with them. For the most part, these tools are free.
Through Google Scholar you can set alerts to receive notifications about new content based on your chosen keywords.
Google Scholar is a really useful and powerful tool that helps you to stay on top of the current research in your chosen field(s) of interest.
Feedly lets you create RSS feeds, updating in real-time, for any news source, blogs, or journals. Like Google Scholar, Feedly is a handy tool to help you stay on top of the current research from your field of interest.
Overleaf (and LaTeX)
Overleaf is a great tool for real-time collaborative writing online. Overleaf documents are written in LaTeX, a typesetting system, or rich text mode.
Overleaf provides a range of different templates, such as academic journals, project and lab reports, and theses, and makes formatting (relatively) easy when you have worked out the basics. One of the best features is the split screen mode whereby you can see your perfectly formatted manuscript being created in the right-hand side pane whilst you are editing and adding text to the left-hand side pane. Thus, you can see the final version of your manuscript as you type. Citation managers like Zotero, CiteULike, and Mendeley are also integrated with the writing tool.
Preprint Servers / Repositories
With the increasing move towards Open Access publishing and transparency / reproducibility of research findings, preprint servers and repositories are becoming more important. These are online archives that allow researchers to make their research papers Open Access by depositing a copy of the manuscript.
(Check Sherpa/Romeo to find out which version you are allowed to share).
Self-archiving enables you to reach the widest possible audience, increases your chances of getting cited, and receive feedback early on. Social scientists, take a look at SocArXiv!
Psychologists can take a look at
Twitter is one of the best social media platforms for researchers.
is great to disseminate your research, to learn about current developments, to find collaborators, as well as for public and interdisciplinary engagement.