Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities (course

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SUPPORTING DATA MANAGEMENT

INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE HUMANITIES

(SUDAMIH)


Research
Information
Management:
Tools for the
Humanities

Course Book

Sudamih Project,

Oxford University Computing Services


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


ii


About This Course Book

This handbook is part of a set of training resources covering various facets of research
information management. While written primarily for use as part of a taught course intended
to last about half a day, this handbook can also be used for private study.


Two accompanying resources are also available:



A
PowerPoint

slideshow,
intended

for use in a classroom setting



A set of exercise files, needed to complete some of the hands
-
on exercises in this
handbook. These are organised in folders named
Exerci se
1

to
Exerci se
5

(though note that there is no
Exerci se 3
folder, and the
Exerci se 2

folder is
purposely empty)
, plus
a PDF file named
Tool websi t e l i nks
. In a classroom
setting, each student needs to be provided with a computer with Internet access
and a co
py of the exercise files.

The original version of this course was run as part of OUCS’s IT Learning Programme in
February

2011, and comprised a combination of lecture
-
style presentation by the course
leader, and hands
-
on sessions during which the particip
ants worked on the exercises.

Member of Oxford University can access the
ITLP version of the
course materials through
the ITLP Portfolio site:
https://weblearn.ox
.ac.uk/portal/hierarchy/asuc/oucs/itlp_courses/portfolio


Writing Conventions

A number of conventions are used.



In general, the word
press

indicates you need to press a key on the keyboard.
Click
,
choose

or
select

refer to using the mouse and clicking on items on the
screen (unless you have your own favourite way of operating screen features).



Names of keys on the keyboard, for example the Enter (or Return) key, are shown
like this
E
NTER
.



Multiple key names linked
by a + (for example,
C
TRL
+
Z
) indicate that the first key
should be held down while the remaining keys are pressed; all keys can then be
released together.



Words and commands typed in by the user are shown
like this
.



Labels and titles on the screen are show
n
l i ke t hi s
.



Drop
-
down menu options are indicated by the name of the options separated by a
vertical bar, for example
Fi l e | Pri nt
. In this example you need to select the option
Pri nt

from the
Fi l e

menu or tab. To do this, click when the mouse pointer is o
n the
Fi l e

menu or tab name; move the pointer to
Pri nt
; when
Pri nt

is highlighted, click
the mouse button again.



A button to be clicked will look
l i ke t his
.



The names of software packages are identified
like this
, and the names of files to
be used
l i ke
t hi s
.

The instructions given are for computers running
Windows XP
: slight variations may be
necessary for other operating systems.



Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


iii


Rights and Reuse

This document and the accompanying resources were produced as part of the JISC
-
funded
Sudamih Project (
http://sudamih.oucs.ox.ac.uk/
) in early 2011. The original version of the
course book used a template provided by OUCS ITLP, and some elements of this (the
writing conventions listed above, and the table layout fo
r the exercises) persist in this
version, and are used here with permission.

We are keen to encourage reuse and adaptation, and so these resources are made available
under a
Creative Commons Attribution Non
-
Commercial Share Alike License

(
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by
-
nc
-
sa/3.0/
). If you would like to use them for any
purpose not covered under this license, please contact us on
sudamih
@rt.oucs.ox.ac.uk
.

Most of the online resources mentioned in this book are available to everyone. A few,
however, are accessible only to members of Oxford University. Course tutors adapting this
material for use at other institutions may wish to substitute

any similar resources that are
available to their students.

A version of the course materials with the Oxford
-
specific
references removed is available from JORUM:
http://resources.j
orum.ac.uk/xmlui/handle/123456789/14726

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


iv


Content
s

1 Introduction

................................
................................
..........................

1

1.1. What You Should Already Know
......

Error! Bookmark not defined.

1.2. What You Will Learn

................................
................................
.......

1

1.3. Where Can I Get a Copy?

................................
..............................

1

2 Selecting Appropriate Tools

................................
................................
.

2

2.1. Finding

Out What’s Available

................................
.........................

2

2.2. Desktop Versus Online

................................
................................
...

2

2.3. Data Storage and Sharing Issues

................................
...................

2

2.4. Security and Sustainability

................................
.............................

3

2.5. Safety Concerns

................................
................................
.............

3

3 Organising and Retrieving Electronic Material

................................
......

5

3.1.
Hierarchical versus tag
-
based organisation

................................
....

5

3.2. Retrieval Methods

................................
................................
...........

5

3.3. Search Utilities
................................
................................
................

6

3.4. Tools for Tagging

................................
................................
............

6

Exercise 1

Using
Tabbles

to organise files

................................
...............

7

3.5. Bibliographic Software

................................
................................
..

11

Exercise 2

Managing PDFs using
Mendeley

................................
...........
12

3.6. Further Organisational Tools

................................
........................

16

Exercise 3

Annotating a website using
Diigo

................................
...........
17

4 Integrating Varied Material

................................
................................
.

20

4.1. Integrating Paper and Electronic Material

................................
.....

20

4.2. Integrating Electronic Material

................................
......................

21

Exercise 4

Creating an electronic notebook using OneNote

....................
23

Exercise 5

Creating a project plan using
Planz
................................
........
26

Exercise 6

Annotating a document using
A.nnotate

................................
31

4.3. File Synchronisation

................................
................................
.....

33

5 Databases and Tools for Structured Data

................................
..........

35

5.1. When a Word Processor is Not Enough

................................
.......

35

5.2. Spreadsheets

................................
................................
...............

35

5.3. Relational Databases

................................
................................
...

36

5.4. X
ML Databases

................................
................................
............

37

5.5. RDF Data

................................
................................
.....................

39


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


v


5.6. Where to Go for More Information

................................
................

40

Exercise 7

Dealing with different data problems

................................
......
41

6 Other Resources

................................
................................
................

43

6.1. Further EndNote Courses

................

Error! Bookmark not defined.

6.2. Software Courses

............................

Error! Bookmark not defined.

6.3. C
omputer8

................................
.......

Error! Bookmark not defined.

6.4. OUCS Help Centre

..........................

Error! Bookmark not defined.

6.5. Downloadable Course Materials

......

Error! Bookmark not defined.

6.6. Useful Websites

...............................

Error! Bookmark not defined.



Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


1

1

Introduction

1.1.

What You Will Learn

This course
provides an introduction to some software tools for managing
research material,
with a view to helping you identify those that will work best for you and your research project.
You will also have the opportunity to try out some of these tools yourself.

The

following topics

are covered
:



Selecting appropriate tools



Or
ganising electronic material



Retrieving information



Integrating varied material



When to consider a database

We will assume that you are
already
familiar with simple file management tasks


opening
and closing files, creating new files and folders, and
moving files around.

1.2.

Where
Can I Get
a Copy?

The software mentioned in this course includes a mixture of freely available and commercial
packages. For most programs, a URL including further information about the software
(including how to acquire it) is pr
ovided.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


2


2

Selecting Appropriate Tools

2.1.

Finding Out What’s Available

You can’t use what you don’t know about, so the first step to selecting appropriate tools is
learning

what’s on offer.

This course

book describes a number of software package
s which may be u
seful for
managing research material, but this is
inevitably
only a small sample of what’s available.
Other ways of finding out about new tools include:



The
Research Skills Toolkit

website: this offers a guide to a range of tools and
services for researche
rs:
http://www.skillstoolkit.ox.ac.uk/

(Oxford only).



WISER

(Workshops in Information Skills and Electronic

Resources): this is a
programme of free sessions run by the Bodleian Libraries. Details are avail
able
from:
http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/services/training/wiser

(Oxford only).



Colleagues and friends
: other people working in your area may be aware of useful
tools, or may have helpful
hints
for

getting the most out of
those

you’re already
using.



Google or other search engines
:
try searching for a phrase that describes what
you want to do, perhaps with a term like ‘software’ or ‘online service’. If you find
there are lots of options,
searching for software reviews can help narrow it down.

2.2.

Desktop Versus Online

Desktop applications are those which you download (or perhaps load from a CD
-
R
OM
) and
install on one specific computer. Online services don’t

generally

require you to download
an
ything:
instead,
you use them by visiting the service’
s website
, and your information is
usually stored on the service
-
providers servers, rather than on your hard drive
. Some
services use a combined model: you download software to use on your own computer,

but
you can also access an online version of the service (sometimes a more restricted one) via
the Web.

The most obvious difference between desktop and online services is whether you need an
Internet connection to use them. If you spend long periods of time working without access to
the Net,
you’re likely to favour
desktop applications. On the other hand, if

you use multiple
computers on a regular basis, or you want to be able to work via a mobile device, online
services
offer significant advantages.


Combined services often offer the best of both worlds: you can use the desktop application
even when you’re o
ffline, but
can
also
use the Web version when you’re away from your own
computer (and if you use multiple machines, you may be able to use the online service to
keep the contents of these synchronised with each other).

2.3.

Data Storage and Sharing Issues

If y
ou opt to use online services, there are some important issues you need to consider.

First, if you’re working with sensitive or confidential data, there may be restrictions on how
you’re permitted to store this. You’ll need to check whether any online serv
ice you’re
considering
meets the necessary requirements.

Even where confidentiality isn’t an issue, you may still need to think about copyright. Some
online services encourage you to upload material and share it with other users. While this
isn’t a problem

if the material is in the public domain or if you own the rights to it, there are
some circumstances in which copyright restrictions permit you to download a copy of an item

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


3

for personal use
, but not to make it publicly available


this is likely to be th
e case for articles
downloaded from subscription journals or databases, for example.

2.4.

Security and Sustainability

It’s an unfortunate fact that online services sometimes stop functioning.
In many cases, you
may decide that the benefits of using an online se
rvice outweigh the risks, but
if you’re using
an online
-
only service to store a substantial quantity of your research material
it’s worth
giving some consideration to exactly what the risks are
,

and how you can
safeguard your
information for future use.
Qu
estions to ask yourself include:



Is this service one I can reasonably expect to continue to exist into the indefinite
future? Does it have an established track record? Does it seem well maintained?
Does it have a sizeable user base?



If this site was down f
or several days for maintenance or due to technical problems,
how badly would that affect my ability to work?



If this site were to announce tomorrow that it was closing down, how easily could I
retrieve my data? Does the site allow users to export their i
nformation in formats
that can be used elsewhere (e.g. as plain text files, or .csv (comma
-
separated
values)
files
for structured data).



If this site simply disappeared tomorrow, how much of a disaster would that be?
Can I make back
-
up copies of my data (e
.g. by exporting the information) and store
them on my own computer?

While you have more control over data that’s stored on your own hard drive, desktop
applications aren’t entirely exempt from this sort of consideration. If you’re using a program
that sto
res information in an idiosyncratic format, there’s a risk you’ll find yourself unable to
access your data if the manufacturers stop producing the program and something happens
to your existing copy.
Once again, it’s worth checking whether it’s possible to

export your
information in a more widely used format. And even common file formats aren’t immune to
data corruption, accidental loss or damage, or theft


so it’s important to make regular back
-
ups.

2.5.

Safety Concerns

While you don’t need to paranoid, it is
sensible to exercise reasonable caution when using
online services or downloading software from the Internet.



If software is from an unfamiliar provider,
check whether anyone has written about
their experiences of using it.

o

Testimonials on the site offerin
g the software can sometimes provide useful
information, but an independent source is likely to be more impartial.

o

Googling the name of the software plus ‘review’ will often find relevant sites.



Ensure that you’re running up
-
to
-
date anti
-
virus and spyware
detection software on
your computer.



Be aware of how much personal information will be displayed on the service’s
website (in your user profile, for example), and don’t reveal more than you’re
comfortable with.



If you’re concerned that registering to use an online service may
result in
unsolicited emails, consider setting up an alternative email address


preferably
one which doesn’t include your real name.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


4




The OUCS resource
Unwelcome to IT

provides general advic
e about staying safe
online:
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/welcometoit/unwelcome.xml





Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


5

3

Organising and Retrieving Electronic Material

3.1.

Hierarchical versus tag
-
based organisation

Until relatively recently, the dominant method for organising material was a
hierarchical

structure
: related documents are grouped together into folders, inside which may be sub
-
folders containing smaller sub
-
categories, which may themselves contain sub
-
su
b
-
categories, and so on
.
This sort of method has been used for paper materials for
generations, and has also been widely adopted for electronic storage: for example, the most
common operating systems (e.g.
Windows and Mac OS
) default to this way of organis
ing
files.


In recent years, however, another organisational model has gained prominence: the
tag
-
based

system.
Tags are electronic labels or keywords that are attached to files, which can
then be used to sort them in various ways. A key advantage is that
each item can have
multiple tags, which provides far more flexibility. In a hierarchical system, each item can only
go in a single folder (unless a duplicate copy is made, which means there are then two
documents to be kept up to date instead of one), but
in a tag
-
based system, an item can be
placed in every category it’s relevant to. It’s also much easier to create multiple
types

of
category; instead of having to decide whether to organise your material by project, by author,
or by subject matter, you can
add tags which relate to all of these. Moreover, it’s possible to
add administrative tags: items can be labelled ‘to read’, ‘irrelevant’,
‘draft’, and so on.

There are, of course, also some drawbacks to tag
-
based systems. While a hierarchical
system forces

you to decide how to categorise an item when you file it, it’s possible to add an
item to a tag
-
based system without adding all the relevant labels, meaning it may be harder
to locate the item again later. If tags aren’t added consistently (for example, i
f some items
are tagged ‘reference’ and others ‘references’), this can also lead to retrieval problems.
Additionally, some people find that tag
-
based systems don’t represent the structure of their
information as well as a hierarchical system does, and hen
ce it’s harder to see how the
various concepts relate to each other.

The best approach is probably to experiment with systems of both sorts, and see which
works for you. If you work with a variety of types of information, you may find that you want to
adop
t different sorts of system within different contexts.

3.2.

Retrieval Methods

There

are two main techniques used to find things within an organisational system:



Location
-
based finding


looking in the folder you think most likely to contain the
item you’re afte
r, then the next most likely, and so on



Using a search function

Studies
indicate

that when we look for something in our personal filing systems, most of us
tend to default to location
-
based finding. However,
some information management experts
have suggested that making greater use of searching
(and before we do this, brushing up
our search technique)
would make our information retrieval
faster and more efficient.

1

The way we plan to retrieve information is s
omething we need to think about when we
choose how to
file it in the first place.
Hierarchical systems are well adapted to location
-



1

For more on this subject, see Douglas C. Merrill,
Getting Organized in the Google Era

(Broadway Books,
2010), Chapter 5.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


6


based finding
, although a good search function is often a useful supplement, especially for
finding information that hasn’t
been used recently. Tag
-
based systems
often include
sophisticated search functions which allow you to combine searching by tag with searching
for a word or phrase within the document.

Whichever type of system is being used, it’s worth giving some thought
to the terms
you

may
later wish to search for, and ensuring these are included


whether in the body of the
document, in the file name, or in a tag.

3.3.

Search Utilities

Although most operating systems come with a built
-
in search
function

(in
Windows
, for
exam
ple, this is usually found on the
St ar t

menu), these can be slow, and may not offer
many options for more advanced searching.

For more efficient searching, you can download a desktop search application: these index
the contents of your computer to speed up

the process, and allow you to search your emails
and Web browser history in addition to your files and folders.

However, it is worth noting that the indexing process

can

consume a lot of processor power,
and so
me people find this

can slow down their comp
uter. If this
occurs
,
you can temporarily
turn the utility off when you need to.

Popular desktop search utilities include
:



Windows Search 4.0

from Microsoft


See
http://www.
microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/desktopsearch/

for more
information.



Google Desktop



available for Windows, Mac, and Linux

See
http://desktop.google.com/

for more information.

3.4.

Tools for Tagging

Because most common operating systems organise files hierarchically,
you can
arrange your
material
this way
without acquiring

any additional software. But if you fav
our a tag
-
based
system, you need to find a tool that allows you to create one. Fortunately,

a number of
programs exist which are designed to do just that.

Tabbles

Tabbles

is a file tagging application. The word ‘tabble’ is a combination of ‘tag’ and ‘bubble’,
and the program allows you to create ‘tag
-
bubbles’ or ‘tabbles’, and use these to organ
ise
your documents. A tabble is a virtual folder
, or a collection of files with a particular tag
:
your
files stay wherever you saved them, but can also be accessed via any tabbles you place
them in.
It’s also possible to search for a specific combination o
f tags, or even to view
the

files that
don’t

have a particular tag.

If you create a new file or modify an existing one while
Tabbles

is running, the program will
give

you the opportunity to add tags

when you save it
.

The basic version of
Tabbles

can be dow
n
loaded free of charge; premium versions which
offer more features are available on payment of a fee.

See
http://tabbles.net/

for more information.



Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


7

Exercise 1

Using
Tabbles

to organise files



Download and install Tabbles



View files

and folders using Tabbles



Create tabbles (tag
-
bubbles) and add files to them



Search for file
s

using Tabbles

Note: This and several subsequent exercises make use of the exercise files provided to
accompany this course book.



If you are completing this exercise as part of a taught course, your course teacher
will be able to tell you where to find the files.



If you are working independently, you may need to download the exercise files
yourself and save them in a convenient plac
e on your computer.



Among the files provided is one called
Tool websi t e l i nks.pdf
. This provides
clickable links to the home pages of the tools described in this course book, to
save you from having to type each URL individually.

Task 1


Download and install
Tabbles

Step 1


Start the computer if necessary
.

Step 2


Launch the Web browser of your choice
.

Step 3


O
pen the file
Tool websi t e l i nks.pdf

(
you can do
this via
Windows Explorer
, which can
usually
be
found by clicking the
St ar t

button
, then going to
Al l
Pr ograms

|
Accessori es
).

C
lick on the link for
Tabbles
.

Alternatively, type
http://tabbles.net/en/downloads
-
document
-
management.html

in
your browser’s

address
bar, and press
E
NTER
.

Step 4


Click

, then follow the on
-
screen
instructions to download and install the
program.

Task 2


Launch

Tabbles

Step 1


Click

the
St ar t

button on the
Task Bar

at the bottom
of the screen
.

Step 2


Hover the mouse pointer over
Al l Programs
. You
should see a program group called
Tabbl es
: move the
mouse pointer over this, and then select the
Tabbl es

program from
the
sub
-
menu which appears

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


8


Step 3


When you first
launch

Tabbles
,
you may find that the
Tabbles

website opens instead of the main program
window. If this happens, simply launch
Tabbles

again.

Y
ou may
also
be taken through some first time use
configuration steps. If you are asked which database
you wish to use, select
Tabbl es Home
. (Don’t be
alarmed if it seems to be asking for a registration key:
this is only needed for the premium versions of the
software.
)

Task 3


View files and folders using
Tabbles

Step 1


When you open
Tabbles
, you will see the
w
orkspace. In
the right
-
hand pane is a list of tabbles. At present, these
are the tabbles the program automatically creates for
you: you’ll add some of your own in a moment.

One of the tabbles in the list is
Comput er
. This allows
you to view the files and folders stored on your
computer


much like
Windows Explorer

or the
My
Document s

window.

Double click on
Comput er

to

view the list of drives
,

and navigate to

wherever the

Exerci se 1
is saved.

Double click the folder t
o open it

and view its contents
.

Step 2


Take a few moments to look at the files in the
Exerci se 1
folder.

The files could be organised in a number of different
ways. For example, you might want to divide them int
o
‘British wildlife’ and ‘American wildlife’. Or you might
want to create separate categories for each type of
animal. However, these categories cut across each
other: there are resources relating to both British
squirrels and American squirrels, for examp
le.
Fortunately, if you’re using tabbles rather than folders,
this isn’t a problem.

Task 4


Create new tabbles to
organise your files

Step 1



Click
New

(at the top of the left
-
hand side of the
screen) to create a new tabble.

Type
British wildlife

in the dialog box that
appears, then click
Creat e
. The new tabble will appear
under
Wor kspace

in the left
-
hand panel.

Step 2


Repeat this process to create three more tabbles with
the following names:

American wildlife

Squirrels

Badgers


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


9

Step 3


Now we need to put files into the newly created tabbles.
The second file in the list,
Badger and squi rrel
habi t at s i n Bri t ai n.pdf
, clearly fits into more than
one category. Start by dragging the file

onto the
Bri t i sh
wi l dl i f e

tabble in the left
-
hand panel.

The tabble’s
name appears in the list underneath the file name.

Step 4


When you
put a file in
to

a tabble,
an information box
appears in the bottom right
-
hand corner of the screen.
Click
Add f ur t her t abbl es

to continue tagging the
file. (If you do nothing, the

information box will disappear
after a few seconds. If this happens before you can click
Add f ur t her t abbl es
, simply drag the same file onto
another relevant tabble, and the information box will
reappear.)

Step 5


The
Tag

dialog box gives you a list of availab
le tabbles.
Click the appropriate ones (
Badgers

and
Squi rrel s
,
in this case), and they will move to the grey panel at the
top of the
box
. Click
Tag

to add them to the file.

You can also use this dialog box to remove tags; click
the name of the tag you no longer want to move it to the
grey panel, then click the down arrow next to the
Tag

button, and select
Unt ag
.

Step 6


Use the drag
-
and
-
drop method to
put the rest of the files
int
o the tabbles that seem most appropriate.

To speed up the process, you can select and then drag
multiple files at once. To select an adjacent range of
files, click the first file, then hold down
S
HIFT

and click
the last file. To select non
-
adjacent files, hold down
C
TRL

as you click each of them.

Task 5


Find file
s

using tabbles

Step 1


To view the files in a particular tabble, click the tabble’s
name in the list in the left
-
hand panel. For example, click
Bri ti sh
wi l dl i f e

to view all files with this tag.

Step 2


At the top of the list of files in the right
-
hand panel, you’ll
see a list of other tags that files in the list have. In this
case, you should see at least
Badgers

and
Squi rrel s
, and perhaps some others,
depending on
which tags you chose to add during the previous task.
You’ll probably also see one or more automatically
created tabbles relating to file types.

Click
Badgers

once. You should now see this tag
highlighted wherever it appears in the list, allow
ing you
to skim through and spot the files with this tag easily.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


10


Step 3


To see only the files which are tagged as both
Br i t i sh
wi l dl i f e

and
Badgers
, double
-
click the
Badgers

tag
in the list at the top of the page.

To change the list to include all files tagged
Badgers
,
regardless of whether they are also tagged
Bri t i sh
wi l dl i f e

or not, you can click
Badger s

in the tag list in
the left
-
hand panel.

As you
view different combinations of tags, notice the
bar at the top
of the screen: this indicates what you’re
currently
looking at
.

Task 6

(optional)

The
Tabbl es hel p

tabble (accessible via the
Tabbles
Workspace) includes a link
to the
Tabbles

manual. You may wish to spend some time browsing this: it
provides more detailed information about
Tabbles

and how to get the most out of
the program.

In particular, this details more sophisticated methods of searching
using tabbles, including the combine

and subtract functions, which provide a
faster way of finding files with a particular combination of tags.

Task 7

(optional)

Explore any further
Tabbles

features that interest you.

Task 8


Close the
Tabbles

window by clicking the
x

in the top right
-
hand corner. Note that
Tabbles

continues to run in the background: to exit completely, right click the
Tabbles

icon in the system tray (in the bottom right
-
hand corner of the screen),
and select
Exi t Tabbl es
.


TaggedFrog

TaggedFrog

is a
nother

free file tagging application for Windows.

The interface is fairly
straightforward
, though it’s worth reading the Quick Start guide to pick up some tips about
how to use the program to best effect.


See

http://l
unarfrog.com/

for further
information
.

TaggTool

TaggTool

allows you to tag both files and websites, and offers a handy desktop search box
to aid swift retrieval.
It offers more features than
TaggedFrog
, but does cost about £10
(although a free trial versi
on is available).

See
http://www.taggtool.com/

for further
information
.

Gmail

Gmail

is Google’s email free service. It offers a generous amount of storage (currently over
7GB), and unlike most email systems, allows users to organise message using labels (tags)
rather than folders. This combination means that
it is possible to use
Gmail

a
s a tag
-
based
storage system, by attaching files to messages (which you can then send to yourself). A
s

it’s
an online service, your files will be available from any computer with an Internet connection.

You can sign up for a free
Gmail

account at
http://mail.google.com/
.


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


11

Flickr and Picasa

Flickr

and
Picasa

are tag
-
based image management applications. They are chiefly designed
for photo sharing, but can also be used for other image types.
Flickr

is an online service;
P
icasa
is a freely downloadable desktop application.

See
http://www.flickr.com/

and
http://picasa.google.com/

for further information.

3.5.

Bibliographic Software

An alternative approach is to use
bibliographic software to store your material. Many
researchers use bibliographic programs

primarily

to generate citations and bibliographies,
but while this is of course one key function, they can also do far more.

Most
packages allow files to be attached to bibliographic records, and

also provide a field in
which you can type your own notes.
As several popular

bibliographic
programs

use tags or
keywords to organise items,
this means
you can use them to create a searchabl
e tag
-
based
library of your research material and notes.

Mendeley

Mendeley

is
a reference and PDF management application. Like all bibliographic software, it
allows you to create records for bibliographic items (journal articles, books, and so forth), and
then use these to insert citations and bibliographies in your own documents.

However
,
Mendeley

also includes a number of tools designed to aid researchers working
with a large number of PDF files. When you add a PDF to
Mendeley
, it will attempt to index it

automatically, saving you from having to type in the author, title, and publication details
manually (though the degree of success with which it is able to extract the information is
somewhat variable, and at present is rather better for many science subj
ects than for the
humanities).
You can also add keywords (which function as tags) to records to allow easy
searching and sorting.


Mendeley

allows users to annotate PDFs on the screen. Also offered is an automatic
renaming function, which will replace the
arbitrary string of letters and numbers which often
forms the title of downloaded PDFs with something more meaningful

(though the accuracy
with which it does this depends on how accurately it has indexed the PDF in the first place)
.

The
Mendeley

desktop ap
plication can be downloaded free of charge, although registration is
required. Once you have a
Mendeley

account, you can also access the Web version of the
service,
which allows you to access your papers from any computer with Internet access. If
you use m
ultiple computers, you can also use the Web version to synchronise the contents
of the desktop application on your various machines.

See
http://www.mendeley.com/

for more information.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


12


Exercise 2

Managing PDFs using
Mendeley



Register with and download Mendeley



Create a watched folder



Use Mendeley’s
automatic indexing and renaming functions



Annotate a file


Task 1


Register with
Mendeley
,
then d
ownload and install

the desktop application

Step 1


Start the computer if necessary
.

Step 2


Open your

Web browser of choice

Step 3


If it is not already open, open the file
Tool websi t e
l i nks.pdf

(
you can do this via
Windows Explorer
,
which can
usually
be found by clicking the
St ar t

button
,
then going to
Al l Pr ogr ams

|
Accessori es
).

Click on
the link for
Mendeley
.

Alternatively, typ
e
http://www.mendeley.com/

in your
browser’s address bar, and press
E
NTER
.

Step 4


Click
Creat e a new account

(in the top right
-
hand
corner of the screen) follow the on
-
screen instructions to
register, verify your account, and down
load the
Mendeley

desktop application.

(If you prefer not to use your usual email address, you
could create an alternative email account using a free
service such as
Gmail
,
Yahoo!
,
or

Hotmail



but do
ensure you make a note of which email address you use
for future reference.)

Task 2


If
Mendeley

does not start
automatically, launch the
desktop application

Step 1


Click

the
St ar t

button on the
Task Bar

at the bottom
of the screen
.

Step 2


Hover the mouse pointer over
Al l Programs
, and then
select

Mendel ey Deskt op

|
Me n d e l e y De s k t o p

f rom t he menu
.

Task 3


Set up a watched f ol der

Step 1


You can t el l
Mendeley

t o wat ch a part i cul ar f ol der on
your comput er
, so t hat every t i me you save a f i l e t here,
i t wi l l
aut omat i cal l y be added t o

your

Mendeley

l i brary
,

savi ng you t i me and ef f ort
.

To do t hi s, cl i ck
Fi l e | Wa t c h f o l d e r...

on the

menu
bar at the top of the screen.

Step 2


When the dialog box appears, locate
exercise files
.
Click the box next to the
Exerci se 2

folder to tick it,
then click
OK


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


13

Task 4


Set up
Mendeley
’s file
renaming function

Step 1


Click
Tool s | Opt i ons...

on the menu bar at the top of
the screen.

Step 2


When the dialog box appears, click the
Fi l e
Or gani zer

tab.

Step 3


Click the box next to
Or gani ze my f i l es

(towards the
top of the dialog box) to tick it.

Step 4


Now click the box next to
Rename document f i l es
.

Step 5


Underneath this there are two boxes:
Unused f i el ds

and
Fi l e name
, containing bubbles with four file name
elements:
Journal
,
Aut hor
,
Year
, and
Ti t l e
. You

can
drag these bubbles around to set the file name format
you’d like to use.

Drag the bubbles up and down as required until the
Fi l e name
box contains the bubbles
Aut hor
,
Year
,
and
Ti tl e
.


A pull
-
down menu on the right
-
hand side of the dialog
box allows you to decide how the file name elements
are separated: leave this set to
Hyphen
-
separ at ed

for now.

Click
OK

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


14


Task 5


Add a file to your watched
folder

Step 1


Now let’s add a PDF to
Mendeley
. Return to your Web
browser, and open a new tab or window. Type
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/656675

in the
address bar
and press
E
NTER

(or click the link in
Tool
websi t e l i nks.pdf
)

. This will take you to the online
version of
Isaac Stephen’s

paper


Confessional Identity
in Early Stuart England
’ on JSTOR. (
You may need to
log in to see the full text
.)

Click
Vi ew PDF
, and then
Pr oceed t o PDF

to accept JSTOR’s terms and
conditions.

If you do not have access to JSTOR, go to
http://revistes.iec.cat/index.php/CHR/article/viewFile/370
24/pdf_49

instead: this is Agustí Alcoberro’s paper ‘The
War of the Spanish Succession in the Catalan
-
speaking
Lands
’ in the open
-
access
Catalan Historical Review
.

Step 2


The PDF will open in another window. Click the
s
ave

icon

towards the top of the screen. When the
dialog

box

appears, navigate to the
Exerci se 2

folder,
then click
Save
.

Note that the PDF file name is currently a meaningless
string of numbers. But you don’t need to change this:
Mendeley

will do it for you.

Step 3


Return to the
Mendeley

desktop application. The article
will have appeared in your
Mendeley

library, and
Mendeley

will have attempted to extract the key details
from the PDF.

Check these details by looking at the information in the
right
-
hand panel, and correct or add anything as seems
necessary (for example, you may find you need to add
the journal title: click the
Journal

field, and
type
this in
).

If you choose, you can also add tags or keywords to
help you find this item again later.

Step 4


Towards the bottom of the right
-
hand panel, you’ll see
the heading
Fi l es:
, and underneath this the PDF of the
article: note that
Mendeley

has renamed it in
accordance with the preferences you specified in Task 4
above.

Click the file name to view it.


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


15

Task 6


Annotate a PDF

Step 1


Mendeley

allows you to highlight or add notes to PDFs.

Scroll down to view the main text of the article. To
highlight text, click

on the toolbar at the top of the
screen
, then drag the mouse pointer over the text you
want to highlight while holding down the left
-
hand
mouse button
.

To turn off the highlightin
g tool, click
.

Note: the highlighting function does not always work
perfectly: how successful it is seems to vary from PDF
to PDF.

Step 2


To add a note, click
, then click the place on the
screen where you’d like the note to be positioned. When
the note appears, type
This is a note

(or
something more imaginative, if you prefer!), and then
click anywhere else on the screen to hide the note.

Its position will be indicated by a small note icon:

You can drag this to wherever you like in the PDF. Click
the note icon to view its content.

Task 7

(optional)

When you download the
Mendeley

desktop application, a document called
Get t i ng st art ed wi t h
Mendel ey

is automatically added to your library
. You may
wish to spend some time looking through this: it provides a more detailed
overview of
Mendeley

and its features.

Task 8

(optional)

Explore any further
Mendeley

features that interest you.

Task 9


Log out of the
Mendeley

website by clicking the down arrow beside
My Account

in the top right
-
hand corner of the screen, then clicking
Logout
.

EndNote

EndNote

is

a high
-
performance commercial software package.
It’s not cheap, though some
institutions are able to offer
it to their members at a substantially discounted price.

At time of
writing, staff and students of Oxford University could purchase
EndNote

through the OUCS
shop for a little over £80.

See
http://www.endnote.com/

or
https://www.oxforduniversitystores.co.uk/

for further
information.

RefWorks

RefWorks

is

a Web
-
based reference manager,
and

is available
through personal or
institutional subscription. The Bodleian L
ibraries subscribe to
RefWorks
, meaning it is
available
free of charge to members of Oxford University.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


16


See
http://www.refworks.com/

or
http://www.bod
leian.ox.ac.uk/eresources/refworks

for more
information.

Zotero

Zotero

is a free reference management add
-
on for the
Firefox

browser (although
your
references are saved on your computer, and
it can also be used in offline mode). It
automatically detects
when you’re viewing an online article, book, or bibliographic record,
and provides an icon in the address bar which you can click to harvest the bibliographic
information.

See
http://www.zotero.org/

for more informati
on.

Colwiz

Colwiz

is a relatively new research management application, offering both desktop and
online versions.
In addition to reference management functions (including features such as
the ability to annotate PDFs), it also offers tools

to aid collaboration and productivity (e.g.
calendars and to do lists). Developed by a team of Oxford researchers, it is free of charge,
although currently available only to those with
an academic

email address.

See
h
ttp://www.colwiz.com/

for more information.

3.6.

Further Organisational Tools

Diigo

Diigo

is an online bookmarking and annotation tool. When you add a Web page to your
Diigo

library, you can then highlight sections or add notes, much as you would on a printed
document. Because your annotations are saved on the
Diigo

server, you can access them
from any computer (or from a mobile device) by logging in to your
Diigo

account. Yo
u can
also archive a snapshot of the page, reducing the worry that online resources will disappear.
If you choose, you can share your bookmarks and annotations with friends and colleagues.

Although

Diigo

is an online service, to use the highlighting and an
notation features it is
necessary either to install the
Diigo

toolbar or add a
Diigo

bookmarklet (the ‘
Diigolet
’) to
your bookmarks toolbar.

Diigo

offers a basic free service, with more features available for a yearly fee.

See

http://www.diigo.com/

for more information.



Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


17

Exercise 3

Annotat
ing

a website using
Diigo



Create a Diigo account and add the Diigo bookmarklet to your browser



Annotate a Web page



View your annotations


Task 1


Create a free
Diigo

account.

Step 1


Start the computer if
necessary
.

Step 2


Launch the Web browser of your choice

Step 3


If it is not already open, open the file
Tool websi t e
l i nks.pdf

(
you can do this via
Windows Explorer
,
which can
usually
be found by clicking the
St ar t

button
,
then going to
Al l Pr ogr ams

|
Accessori es
).

Click on
the link for
Diigo
.

Alternatively, typ
e
http://www.diigo.com/

in your
browser’s address bar, and press
E
NTER
.

Step 4


Click
Joi n Di i go

(at the top right
-
hand side of the
screen), and follow the on
-
screen

instructions to create
an account.

Alternatively, if you already have an account with
Facebook
,
Twitter
,
Google
, or
Yahoo!
, you can join
Diigo

via this.

(If you prefer not to use your usual email address or
login details, you could create an alternative email
account using a free service such as
Gmail

or
Yahoo!



but do ensure you make a note of which account you
use for future reference.)

Task 2



Add the
Diigo

bookmarklet
to your browser.

Step 1


For ease and speed, this exercise uses the
Diigo

bookmarklet. If you continue using
Diigo

later on your
own computer, you may wish to install the full toolbar,
which has more features.

To get the bookmarklet, click
Tool s

(on the navigation
bar at the top of the screen), then select
Di i gol et

from
the list of tools in the left
-
hand side bar.

Step 2


Follow the on
-
screen instructions for whichever browser
you’re using
.


Step 3


Once you have the
Diigolet

button on your browser’s
bookmark/favourites bar, click it. The
Diigolet

toolbar
will appear at the top of your browser window. (If the
toolbar disappears at any point, simply click the button
again to restore it.)

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


18


Task 3


Annotate a Web page

Step 1


In your browser’s address bar, type
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/enlightenment/
, and
press
E
NTER

(or click the link in
Tool websi t e
l i nks.pdf
)
.

(This is the
Stanford Encyclopedia of Phi
losophy
’s entry
for the Enlightenment: you can visit another website of
your choice if you prefer.)

Step 2


Add a floating sticky note: this is a note that is attached
to the page, but not to any specific part of it.

Click
Fl oat i ng St i cky Not e

on the
Diigolet

toolbar.
In the note that appears, type
This article covers
the 17th and 18th centuries.

Then click
Post
.

The note will be replaced by a numbered note icon like
this:
. You can drag this to a location of your choice
on the screen. To view the note’s cont
ent, hover the
mouse pointer over the note icon.

Step 3


Now let’s highlight some text. Select a sentence or two,
and a small pop
-
up menu will appear. Click
Hi ghl i ght
,
and the text will be highlighted in yellow.

You can change the colour of the highlighting by clicking
the down arrow next to the word
Hi ghl i ght

on the
Diigolet
toolbar.

Step 4


Scroll to the bibliography at the bottom of the article.
Pick a few references that look interesting, and highlight
these using the same method.

Try adding a sticky note to one of your highlighted
sections: after selecting the text, click
Hi ghl i ght and
St
i c k y No t e
. Add some t ext t o t he not e (perhaps a
remi nder t o yoursel f t o
Check whether the
Bodleian has a copy
), and click
Post
.

This time a different sort of note icon will appear:
,
indicating that the note is anchored to a particular
section of text.

Task 4


View your annotations via
Step 1


Hover the mouse pointer over
Di i go

on the
Diigolet

toolbar, and then click
My Li brary
.


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


19

Diigo

Step 2


The
My Li br ary

page shows you

a list of

your sticky
notes (both floating and anchored) and the sections of
text you highlighted.

This can provide a useful way of compiling a collection
of key quotations, or a
se
t of references to follow up.

You can view your annotations in context by returning to
the website (the
My Li br ary

page provides a link). If
your annotations do not appear im
mediately, ensure
that you are signed in to
Diigo
, and then click the
Diigolet

button.

Task 5

(optional)

The
Diigo

help pages provide a more detailed overview of how to get the most
out of the service:

y
ou may wish to spend some time looking through
them
.

Task 6

(optional)

Explore any further
Diigo

features that interest you.

Task 7


Finish by returning to the
Diigo

website, and logging out of your account using
the
Si gn Out

link in the top right
-
hand corner of the screen. (To see the link, you
may need to hide the
Diigolet
, by clicking

at the right
-
hand end of the
toolbar.)


NVivo

NVivo

is a commercial software package for organising and analysing qualitative research
data


it offers tools for sorting, searching, and annotating material such as interview
transcripts, survey results, images, videos, and sound files.

See
http://www.qsrinternational.com/products_nvivo.aspx

for more information.

AllMyNotes Organizer

The
AllMyNotes Organizer

is a personal information management application for Windows.
It allows you to arran
ge your notes (plus quotations, links, contact information, and more or
less anything else you might want to record in a text file) in a customisable, easily searchable
hierarchical folder structure.
The

basic version is free of charge
;

t
he Deluxe Edition,

which
costs about £20, offers additional features, such as colour coding, alarms and reminders,
and the option of password protection.

See

http://allmynotes.vladonai.com/

for more information.

Stickies

Stickies

is a free downloadable Windows application which allows you to create virtual sticky
notes on your computer screen


ideal for taking quick notes or writing to
-
do lists. Notes can
be made to remain on top of other windows to aid visibility, or to
reappear at a set time to act
as a reminder. You can also attach a sticky to a particular program or document, so it will
appear every time you open it.

See

http://www.zhornsoftware.co.uk/stickies/

for more information.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


20


4

Integrating Varied Material

While all researchers work with a variety of types of material, this is perhaps particularly true
in the humanities
: you may be working with textual sources in multiple formats, images,
databases, historica
l records or artefacts, audio and video files, and possibly much more


plus of course your own notes

and everything else that forms part of the process of
producing your research outputs.

Whether you’re thinking about how best to store it, or how to retri
eve information from a
diverse collection, integration is a key consideration


and in some cases can feel like an
ongoing headache.

While unfortunately there’s no simple single solution, there are some
tools which can make life easier.

The first question
to address is how integrated you need your collection of research material
to be. Storing everything you have in one system
can offer significant
benefits, the most
obvious of which is that
a single search should locate everything that relates to a particular
topic.
This means all the material relevant to a particular task will be easily accessible,
meaning you can work more efficiently. You’re also far less likely to overlook (or simply forg
et
about) useful resources, or to waste time hunting for something in one place when it turns
out you’d actually put it somewhere else.

However, while an integrated organisational system can save a lot of time and effort, it’s
worth noting that

such a sys
tem may
also
be time consuming to maintain
.

I
f parts of your
collection
are relatively discrete, it’s possible that the benefits of integrating them won’t repay
the investment needed. Additionally, if you use different materials in different ways, it may
a
lso make sense to store and access them in different ways. In short, remember that
integration isn’t a goal in itself: it’s a means to more efficient research
. It can be a very helpful
means, but is only something to strive for to the extent that it’s actu
ally useful.

4.1.

Integrating Paper and Electronic Material

Most of
us
find ourselves with a m
ixture of digital information and old
-
fashioned hard
-
copy
documents. The paperless office has not yet materialised, and even if it were practical to
achieve it, it’s n
ot necessarily desirable: many
of us still prefer (and find it
easier

on the eye)

to read from paper rather than a screen.

But having research material in a mixture of formats
can

make it harder to keep track of what you have, and to locate it when it’s ne
eded


especially given that paper material isn’t searchable in the way that electronic texts are.

Scanning

and OCR

If you have a collection of printed notes, handouts, or articles which you’d like to have
available in
a searchable
electronic form, scannin
g them and then using OCR (optical
character recognition) software is an option worth considering
, although the r
esults will
inevitably
vary depending on the clarity of the text
.

Although OCR software for scanners is not generally sophisticated enough to r
ecognise
handwritten text
s
, it is still possible to scan these and create an image file: while this won’t be
searchable,
it does mean you can store a copy of your notes in the same place as electronic
material on the same subject.

If you don’t have your ow
n scanner,
your institution may provide facilities. For members of
Oxford University, t
he OUCS
H
elp
C
entre has three flatbed scanners available for use with
either OCR or image software: you can book one of these via the diary which is kept next to
each ma
chine (though in practice booking is not always necessary). The
Help Centre’s
OCR
software offers helpful additional features such as automatic scanning at preset intervals
(useful if you are working through a large number of pages) and the opportunity to
proofread
your text and correct any errors before saving it.

There is no charge for using the scanners.


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


21

Although they do not usually include OCR, many photocopiers (including those in the
Bodleian Library) now offer a scanning function, allowing you to mak
e an electronic copy of a
book chapter
or journal article and send it to yourself by email. If the copy is clear enough,
you have the option of later using an OCR program to transform this into searchable text. As
with all photocopying, please ensure that
you are aware of and abide by any relevant
copyright restrictions.

Digital Pens

If you prefer to take notes by hand, but would like to have an electronic version of your notes
to refer back to, a digital pen (also known as a smart pen) may provide a soluti
on.
These use
a tiny camera to record the movement of the pen as you’re writing, and often also offer the
option of making an audio recording (ideal for lectures or meetings where you may find it
hard to write down every word). OCR for handwriting is bette
r developed in this area, so
some
software for digital
pens offer
s

the ability to search the electronic version of your notes
(though clearly the accuracy of the search will
depend on

the neatness of your handwriting!).
Some
also allow you to play back the

relevant section of the audio recording by simply
tapping on the corresponding place in your notes.

With a starting price of around £120, smart pens require a substantial initial investment (
and
most models also require you to purchase or print special pa
per), but may be worth
investigating if you make extensive use of handwritten notes.

The current leader in the digital pen market is Livescribe. See
http://www.livescribe.com/en
-
gb/

for more information.

Int
egrated Indexing

Although

it

may

not

be

practical
to store all your research material in the same format, it may
nevertheless be possible to maintain a single index which tells you where to find everything.
For many types of research material, bibliographi
c software is ideally suited to the task. As
noted in section
3.5

above, you can attach di
gital files to each record; you can also add a link
to online material, o
r use the notes field to record the location of a hard copy (‘In second
drawer of filing cabinet’, for example, or a library shelf
-
mark for works you don’t own). Also
note that
this isn’t limited to

textual material:

there’s no intrinsic reason why you sho
uldn’t
create records for images, audio recordings, or other types of resource


indeed, many
p
ackage
s include built
-
in reference types for some or all of these
.

4.2.

Integrating Electronic Material

Even within the electronic sphere, the wide variety of materia
l types, file formats, and
software packages many of us use can mean that integration is far from straightforward. This
section describes some tools which may help.

In cases where
more thorough integration isn’t practical, a

good search utility can be
in
v
aluable for speedy location of diverse types of material: see section
3.3

above for more
details.

Microsoft OneNote

OneNote

is a Microsoft application for storing

and organising notes. Although it comes as
part of a number of
Microsoft Office

packages, it’s often overlooked: many people find that
they already have it on their computer, but have never used it.

A
OneNote

notebook can be used to store or link to a diverse collection of material: textual
notes,
quotations,
images,
audio and video material,
other files, and Web pages, for
example.
It can thus be used to draw together all the material relevant to a particular

project.
The different elements stored in a notebook can
easily
be rearranged.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


22


Notes are fully searchable (you can choose whether to search a particular

notebook or
notebook section, or your whole collection). One particularly noteworthy feature is the ab
ility
to search text in images



such as a scanned text document or a clear photograph of an
inscri
ption, for example.

See

http://office.microsoft.com/en
-
gb/onenote/

for more information.




Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


23

Exercise 4

Creatin
g a
n electronic notebook using
OneNote



Launch and explore Microsoft OneNote



Add a textual note, an image, and quotations to a notebook page


Note: The instructions given are for
Microsoft OneNote 2007
and

Word 2007
.
In

earlier
versions of
OneNote

and
Word
,
you may find that things are arranged slightly differently
.

Task 1


Launch
OneNote

and note
some key
navigation
features

Step 1


Start the computer if necessary
.

Step 2


Launch OneNote: this can usually be done by c
lick
ing

the
St ar t

button on the
Task Bar

at the bottom of the
screen
, then selecting
Al l Programs

|
Mi c r o s o f t
Of f i c e

| Mi c r o s o f t Of f i c e On e No t e 2 0 0 7

Step 3


Spend a f ew mi nut es f ami l i ari si ng yoursel f wi t h t he
screen l ayout.

On t he l ef t
-
hand si de of t he screen

is

a navigation bar
which lists your collection of electronic
notebooks
.
OneNote

offers a few suggested notebook titles to get
you started:

these may be called things like

Per sonal
,
Work

and so on. To move to a notebook and see its
contents, click the appropriate button on th
is navigation
bar.

Each notebook can have multiple
sections
, which are
shown in tabs across the top of the screen.

Click on a
section tab to see its contents.

Each section can have multiple
pages

and
subpages
,
which are listed on the right
-
hand side of the

screen.

Click a page title to move to it.

You can create new notebooks, sections, pages, and
subpages by clicking the down arrow on the

button, located in the toolbar at the top of the screen.

Task 2


Give a page in your
notebook a name, and then
a
dd
your
first note

Step 1


Click the
Work

notebook in the left
-
hand navigation
bar
, then click the
Research

tab

(if your version of
OneNote

doesn’t have these precise labels, pick
another notebook/section, or create your own)
.

C
reate a new page
using the

button as
described above, or
by clicking the
New

Page

button
at the top of the page list on th
e right
-
hand side of the
screen
.

Step 2


Towards the top of
the page, you’ll see an oval shape
made up of dotted lines. Click inside this, and give your
page a title

by typing
William Shakespeare
. Note
that this
title
now also appears in the page list on the
right
-
hand side of the screen.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


24


Step 3


Click anywhere else on the page, and type
William
Shakespeare was born in 1564
. As you type,
your note is automatically enclosed

in a box. You can
drag this note to anywhere on the page


try doing so.
You can also resize a note, by dragging its right
-
hand
edge.

Task 3


Insert an image in your
notebook

Step 1


Click
I nsert

on the menu bar at the top of the screen,
then click
Pi ct ures | From
fi l es...

Navigate to the
Exerci se 4

folder
.

Click the image
Shakespeare
Chandos portrai t.j pg

to select it, and then click
I nsert
.

Step 2


The image will appear in your notebook. If you hover the
mouse pointer over it, a four headed arrow

will
appear next to it: clicking this allows you to move or
resize the image. Move it to the location of your choice.

Task 4


Add a quotation from a
Word

document to your
notebook

Step 1


It’s often helpful to include references to other works.
You can add a link to a whole file using the
I nsert

menu, but sometimes it’s more useful just to include a
relevant extract, with a link back to the original. If you
copy and paste material from
Micr
osoft Office

documents or Web pages,
OneNote

will create the links
for you automatically.

Open
Microsoft Word
: this can usually be done
by
clicking

the
St ar t

button on the
Task Bar

at the
bottom of the screen, h
over
ing

the mouse pointer over
Al l Programs
, and then
select

Mi crosof t Of f i ce

|
Mi c r o s o f t Of f i c e
Wo r d

2007

f rom t he menu t hat
appears
.

St ep 2


Cl i ck t he Of f i ce but t on
, t hen
. Navi gat e
t o t he
Ex e r c i s e 4

f ol der
.

Doubl e
-
cl i ck t he f i l e
So n n e t
1 8.d o c

t o open i t.

St ep 3


Sel ect t he f i rst t wo l i nes of t he sonnet, and press
C
TRL
+

C

t o copy t he t ext.

St ep 4


Ret urn t o
OneNote
. Cl i ck t he pl ace on t he page where
you’ d l i ke t he quot at i on t o appear,
and press
C
TRL
+

V

t o past e t he copi ed t ext i nt o t he not ebook.

The t ext wi l l appear,
compl et e wi t h a l i nk back t o t he f i l e
i t was t aken f rom.

Task 5


Add a quot at i on f rom a
St ep 1


Open t he Web browser of your choi ce.


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


25

website to your notebook


Step 2


Type
http://poetry.eserver.org/sonnets/

into
the address bar, and press
E
NTER

(or

click the link in
Tool websi t e l i nks.pdf
)
.

This will take you to an
online version of Shakespeare’s sonnets: click on the
sonnet number of your choice to see the text.

Step 3


Use the mouse to select the first two lines of your
chosen sonnet, and
press
C
TRL
+

C

to copy the text.

Step 4


Return to
OneNote
. Click the place on the page where
you’d like the quotation to appear, and press
C
TRL
+

V

to paste the copied text into the noteboo
k.

The text will appear, complete with a link back to the
page

it was taken from.

Task 6

(optional)

One of the

notebook
s

listed in the navigation bar on the left
-
hand side of the
screen is the
OneNote 2007 Gui de
. This provides more detailed information
about the ways you can use
OneNote
: you may wish to spend some time looking
through it.

Task 7

(optional)

Explore any further
OneNote

features that interest you.

Task 8


Exit
OneNote

by clicking the
x

in the top right
-
hand corner of the window.

Planz

Planz

is a prototype personal information management tool, developed by the Keeping
Found Things Found project at the University of Washington. It provides a straightforward
means of organising notes and
sources for a project in a single integrated document. The
word
-
processor
-
like interface allows notes to be structured hierarchically using headings and
subheadings. Links can be added to files (including
MS Office

and
Open Office

documents),
and
Web pages
. I
f a quotation is dragged and dropped into the plan, a link back to the
source item is automatically created.

If you use
MS Outlook
, you can also link to

emails, and
you can add items to your
Outlook

calendar from within
Planz
.

NB. Because
Planz

is a pro
totype application rather than a finished product, you may
occasionally find some rough edge
s
. If a feature doesn’t seem to be working as it should,
closing and reopening the application can sometimes help
. As
Planz

is still being developed,
it is
also
lik
ely to change from time to time

(
if any of the instructions below seem to be out of
date, please let us know
)
.



Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


26


Exercise 5

Creating
a project plan

using
Planz



Download and install Planz



Create a project plan



Add links from the plan to relevant materials


Task 1


D
ownload and install
Planz

Step 1


Start the computer if necessary
.

Step 2


Launch the Web browser of your choice.

Step 3


If it is not already open, open the file
Tool websi t e
l i nks.pdf

(
you can do this via
Windows Explorer
,
which can
usually
be found by clicking the
St ar t

button
,
then going to
Al l Pr ogr ams

|
Accessori es
).

C
lick on
the link for
Planz
.

Alternatively, type
http://kftf.ischool.washington.edu/planz_install.html

in
your browser’s address

bar, and press
E
NTER
.

Step 4


Click
,
then

follow the on
-
screen
instructions to download and install the program.

NB. The
Planz

website says Windows Vista or 7 is
needed to run the program; nevertheless, it seems also
to work without problems in Windows XP.

Task 2


Open
Planz

Step 1


Click

the
St ar t

button on the
Task Bar

at the bottom
of the screen
.

Step 2


Hover the mouse pointer over
Al l Programs
. You
should see a program group called
Pl anz
: move the
mouse pointer over this, and then select the
Pl anz

program from s
ub
-
menu
which appears.


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


27

Task 3


Collapse the contents of a
heading

Step 1


When
Planz

opens, you will see a number of headings
(in blue text), and under them notes (in smaller black
text). When you hover the mouse pointer over a
heading, either

or

will appear. Clicking this will
expand or collapse the heading, to show or hide the
sub
-
headings and notes under it. You can also do this
by clicking on a heading, then clicking

or

on
the toolbar at the top of the screen.

At the top of the main work a
rea, you’ll see the heading
Today+
, with sub
-
headings
The Days Ahead

and
Not es
. This section can be used to create task lists, but
we won’t be using it in this exercise. To give yourself
more space to work, hover the mouse pointer over
Today+
, then click t
he

that appears to collapse the
heading.

Task 4


Add a new heading and
notes,
and

convert a note
into a sub
-
heading

Step 1


Underneath
Today+
, you will see another heading:
My
fi rst proj ect
. Replace this by selecting the text using
the mouse, and then typing
ABC
Conference
.

Step 2


When you press
E
NTER
,
Planz

will create a new blank
note under the heading. Type
Conference
program
me
, and then press
E
NTER

again to get
another new note
.


Step 3


Add the following notes, pressing
E
NTER

at the end of
each line:

Call for papers

Arrange accommodation

Investigate on
-
site accommodation

Contact tourist information office

Step 4


Click on or select
Ar r ange accommodat i on
, then
click

on the toolbar at the top of the screen to
convert this into a sub
-
heading: the text will become
slightly l
arger and change colour.

Step 5


Now click on or select
I nvest i gat e on
-
si t e
accommodat i on

and click
. This converts the
note into a sub
-
note under the sub
-
heading you’ve just
created. Repeat for
Cont act t ouri st i nf or mat i on
of f i ce
. You can now expand or
collapse this section of
your plan by click
ing

the

or

next to
Ar r ange
accommodat i on
.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


28


Task 5


Add
a document link
to a
note


Step 1


Open
Windows Explorer
: this can usually be found
by
clicking

the
St ar t

button on the
Task Bar

at the
bottom of the screen,
then
selecting

Al l Programs

|
Ac c e s s o r i e s
.

St ep 2


Usi ng t he l i st of dr i ves and f ol der s i n t he l ef t
-
hand pane,
navi gat e t o t he
Ex e r c i s e
5

f ol der. ( I f t he cont ent s of a
dr i ve or f ol der ar en’ t vi si bl e i n t hi s pane, you can r eveal
t hem by cl i cki ng t he pl us si gn

next t
o i t.)

St ep 3


Fi nd t he f i l e
F i n a l c o n f e r e n c e p r o g r a mme.d o c
.
While holding down the left mouse button, drag the file
icon down to the
Planz

button on the
Task Bar

at the
bottom of the screen (keep the mouse button
depressed). After a second or two, your
Planz

window
will reappear. Drag the icon to the
Conf er ence
pr ogr amme

note, and
then
release the mouse button.

A shortcut icon will appear at the right
-
hand end of the
line. You can click this to open the file.

Step 4

(optional)

The
Exerci se 5

folder also contains
files called
Cal l
f or papers.doc

and
Accommodati on
i nformati on.doc
. If you wish, you can also drag these
onto the relevant notes in your plan to create links to the
files.

Task 6


Create a note and
document link by dragging
text into a plan

Step 1


Position the cursor at the end of the
Cal l for papers

note, and press
E
NTER

to create a new blank note
beneath it.

Step 2


Return to
Windows Explorer
, and double click on the
file
Regi strati on f orm.doc

to open it.

Step 3


Use the mouse to select the text
Regi st r at i on cl oses
on March 15t h
. Holding down the left
-
hand mouse
button, drag the selected text to the
Planz

button on the
Task
B
ar
. When

the
Planz

window reappears, drag
the text
to the blank note you have just created, and
release the mouse button.

A copy of the text dragged from the
Word

document
will appear in the note, and a link to the file will appear
at the end of the line.

Task 7


Add a Web link to a note

Step 1


Return to your browser, or reopen it if you have closed
it. Type
http://www.visitbirmingham.com/

into
the address bar, and press
E
NTER

(or click the link in
Tool websi t e l i nks.pdf
)
. This will take you to the
Birmingham tourist information website.


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


29

Step 2


Select the URL, and drag it to the
Planz

button on the
Task
B
ar

whi l e hol di ng down t he l ef t
-
hand mouse
but t on. When the
Planz

wi ndow reappears, drag the
URL t o t he
Co n t a c t t o u r i s t i n f o r ma t i o n o f f i c e

not e, and then rel ease t he mouse but ton.

An
Internet Exp
lorer

i con wi l l appear at t he ri ght
-
hand
end of t he l i ne. You can open t he websi t e by cl i cki ng
t hi s.

Task 8


Add a fol der to the pl an,
and reorgani se the fol der’ s
contents

Step 1


Posi t i on t he cursor at t he end of t he
Co n t a c t t o u r i s t
i n f o r ma t i o n o f f i c e

note, and press
E
NTER

to create
a new note. Type
Conference presentation
. Now
click

twice
: the first click

convert
s

the new note
into a heading
, and the second click promotes it in the
hierarchy, so it’s now on the same level as
Arrange
accommodati on
.

Step 2


Return to
Windows Explorer
. Holding down the left
-
hand mouse button, drag the folder
Conf erence
presentati on

to the
Planz

button on the
Task
B
ar
.
When the
Planz

window reappears, drag the folder to
the new heading, and release the mouse button.

Step 3


A folder icon will appear at the right
-
hand end of the
line. You can open the folder by clicking this, but
Planz

also automatically inserts the contents of any folders
you add as items in the plan. Click the

to the
lef
t of
Conf er ence pr esent at i on

to see a list of
the
files,
each with its own link.

NB.
When you add a link to an individual file by
dragging and dropping it into a plan,
Planz

creates a
shortcut: this can safely be deleted without affecting the
original file. However, when you add a wh
ole folder,
deleting any of the files it contains within
Planz

will
also delete the original
, so only

do this if you are
certain the file is no longer needed.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


30


Step 4


At present, the files under the heading are not in a
logical order. Fortunately,
Planz

allows
to you
rearrange them.

Click on or select
I ni t i al i deas

in the file list, then click

on the toolbar at the top of the screen
until it’s at

the top of the list. Click on or select
Abst ract
, and
move it to immediately underneath
I ni t i al i deas
. Use
the

an
d

buttons to rearrange the rest of files
until you’re happy with them.

These buttons can also be used
to
reorder
notes or
headings within the rest of the plan.

Task 9

(optional)

At the bottom of the document which appears
when

you first open the program,
there is a link to the
Planz

user manual. You may wish to spend some time
looking through this: it provides a more detailed overview of
Planz

and its
features.

Task 10

(optional)

Explore any further
Planz

features that interest you.

Task 11


Exit
Planz

by clicking the
x

in the top right
-
hand corner of the window.


A.nnotate

A.nnotate

is an online service which allows you to upload and annotate documents. You can
upload files in a wide range of formats, including PDFs,
Microsoft Office

and
Open Office

documents, and images
; these are then converted to PDFs by
A.nnotate
. You can also make
and annotate snapshots of Web pages.

Documents can be organised using folders and tags, and
can
also
be shared with other
users, which may be useful in coll
aborative projects


for example, for suggesting revisions
that need to be made to a co
-
authored document.

Using the service requires only a Web browser: there’s no need to download any software or
add
-
ons. Registering for an
A.nnotate

account (which is qu
ick and easy) permits you to
upload approximately thirty single
-
page documents each month. Those who wish to upload
more can purchase additional credits, on either a pay
-
as
-
you
-
go or monthly subscription
basis.


See
ht
tp://a.nnotate.com/

for more information.


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


31

Exercise 6

A
nnotating a document using
A.nnotate



Register for an account with A.nnotate



A
nnotat
e

a

document


Task 1


Register for a free account
with
A.nnotate

Step 1


Start the computer if necessary
.

Step 2


Launch the Web browser of your
choice.

Step 3


If it is not already open, open the file
Tool websi t e
l i nks.pdf

(
you can do this via
Windows Explorer
,
which can
usually
be found by clicking the
St ar t

button
,
then going to
Al l Pr ogr ams

|
Accessori es
).

Click on
the link for
A.nnotate
.

Alternatively, type
http://a.nnotate.com/
in your
browser’s address bar, and press
E
NTER
.

Step 4


Click

(towards the top right
-
hand corner
of the screen), and follow the on
-
screen instructions to
register

and verify your account
.

During this process, you will be sent an email containing
a link which you need to click on to verify your account.
This email also includes a password that you will need
to log back in to
A.nnotate

on future occasions.

(If you prefer not to use your usual email address, you
could create an alternative email account using a free
service such as
Gmail
,
Yahoo!
,
or

Hotmail



but do
ensure you make a note of which email address you use
for future reference.
)

Task 2


View and annota
te a
document



Step 1


A.nnotate

provides a sample document which explains
some of the basics and allows you to experiment with its
features. Because the free account only allows a limited
number of upload
s
, we’ll use this

during this exercise

rather than uploading a new document.

O
pen the document by clicking
Sampl e document
.

Step 2


To annotate a section of text, use the mouse to select it.
A comment box will appear: type in it
This is a
comment

(or if you prefer, something more
imaginative!), then click
Save
.

Your comment appears in a bubble floating above the
text. You can move it around by dragging it, or hide it by
clicking the small

x


in the top right
-
hand corner of the
bubble. To view t
he note again, click on the text it’s
associated with.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


32


Step 3


To

highlight or strikethrough text
, select a section of text
as above. When the comment box appears, click the
Aa

but t on at t he t op of t he box, sel ect your desi red
opt i on, t hen cl i ck
Sa v e
.

St ep 4


You can al so f l ag t ext wi t h one or more t ags: t o i ndi cat e
t hat t here’ s a t ypo t hat needs f i xi ng, f or exampl e, or t o
quer y t he wordi ng. Sel ect a sect i on of t ext, and when
t he comment box appears, ei t her cl i ck on a t ag f rom t he
l i st i n t he bot t om hal f of t he

box, or add your own t ag by
t ypi ng i t i nt o t he
Ne w t a g

box and pressi ng
E
NTER
.
Click
Save

to finish the process.

Step 5


To annotate part of an image, place the mouse pointer
at the top left
-
hand corner of the section you wish to
annotate. Holding down the left
-
hand mouse button,
drag the pointer to the bottom right
-
hand corner of your
chosen section, and release the button.

Type your
comment, and click
Save
.

Step 6


To view a handy summary of your annotations and
highlighted sections, click
Not es

on the navigation bar
at the top of the screen.

Clicking on a note provides some information about its
context, and a link which will
take you back to the
relevant section of the original document.

Task 3

(optional)

The
A.nnotate

sample document offers some further information about ways to
use
A.nnotate
: you may wish to spend some time reading this (note that it has
two pages: you can view
the second page by using the navigation tool which
appears in the top left
-
hand corner of the document window when the mouse
pointer is over part of the document) .

Task 4

(optional)

Explore any further
A.nnotate

features that interest you.

You are welcome to
try
uploading a document, but n
ote that the free version only allows you to upload
around
thirty
single
-
page
documents per mo
nth, and that anything

you upload
today will count towards this allowance.

If you wish to upload your own documents (now or later), this is straightforward:
on the
Documents

page (this is the page you see when you first load
A.nnotate
),
simply click the
Upload

button, which is just underneath the main navigation bar
at the top of

the screen, then click
Browse
. Find the file you want to upload,
click
Open
, and then
Upl oad
.

Task 5


Log out of
A.nnotate

using the button on the navigation bar at the top of the
screen.



Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


33

Idea Rover

Idea Rover

describes itself as offering ‘PhD thesis research

automation’. The software is
designed to allow you to construct an outline (for a thesis, research paper, literature review,
or any other substantial piece of writing), and then save Web pages, PDFs, and text
documents (.rtf or .txt files) in the appropri
ate section. It thus allows you to keep your
research sources and your own notes together, organised in a way that makes sense for
your project. This is commercial software, costing about £60, but a free trial version can be
downloaded from the website.

Se
e
http://www.idearover.com/

for more information.

Scrivener

Scrivener

is a word processing and project management tool, designed for structuring and
writing long documents.
A split screen mode allows a variety of
types of research materials to
be viewed alongside the current document.

Also offered are

tools for outlining and keeping
track of progress.
Scrivener
was originally written for the Mac; a Windows version is now
available for public beta testing.

See
http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

for more information.

4.3.

File Synchronisation

If you regularly work on multiple computers


a laptop and a desktop, for example, or one
machine in yo
ur college or department and another at home


a file synchronisation (or
‘syncing’) service will help ensure you always have access to the latest version of all your
material, without the hassle of emailing files to yourself or saving them to a flash driv
e.

F
ile syncing services
generally
also store a copy of your files on their server. This provides
you with an extra back
-
up copy, and means you can access your material from any computer
(or mobile device) with an Internet connection by logging in.

Most se
rvices also offer the
ability to share files with other people.

Dropbox

When you install the
Dropbox

software, a folder called
My Dr opbox

is created on your hard
drive.
Dropbox

will automatically update
its
contents on every computer you’ve installed the
s
oftware on


so if you add or edit a file on one machine, those changes will be copied to
your other machine(s) next time you connect to the Web.

Dropbox

offers 2GB of storage free
of charge, with more available for a monthly fee. It’s compatible with Wind
ows, Mac, and
Linux.

Dropbox

is very straightforward and user friendly. Its chief disadvantage is that only the
My
Dropbox

folder
is

synchronised, which may be inconvenient for those with more elaborate
folder structures.

See
http://www.dropbox.com/

for more information.


SugarSync

The

SugarSync

File Manager
allows you to

map folders on different computers to each other

(which is particularly handy if you want to give folders different names on different machines,
or to synchronise specific sub
-
folders), while the

‘Magic Briefcase’ feature allows you to
synchronise individual files. The user interface is slightly more co
mplex than
Dropbox
’s
, but
in return you gain significantly more control and flexibility.

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


34


SugarSync

offers synchronisation of up to
5
GB of material free of charge. More storage is
available for a monthly fee. It’s compatible with Windows and Mac.

See
https://www.sugarsync.com/

for more information.


Windows Live Mesh

Live Mesh

(which is part of the Windows
Live Essentials

software suite)
allows you to specify
which folders you want to keep

synchronised. In addition

to syncing files,
Live Mesh

also
allows users to synchronise program settings for
Microsoft Office
and
Internet Explorer
.

Up to 5GB of data can be saved and synchronised free of charge using
Windows

SkyDrive
,
and it’s also possible to synchronise much lar
ger folders directly (though this requires both
machines to be connected to the Internet at the same time).
H
owever,
Live Mesh

is currently
only available to users of Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Mac OS X.

See
http://explore.live.com/windows
-
live
-
mesh

for more information
.







Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


35

5

Databases and Tools for Structured Data

Although traditionally less amenable to data
-
driven approaches than other academic areas,
more and more people in the humanities are
working with structured data as funding
agencies and senior researchers look to explore the possibilities opened up by new
technologies.

Even if you have no intention of producing a website or presenting your data publicly, there
are situation
s

where you m
ight be able to better organise the information you gather by using
databases and database
-
like tools. The trick is knowing which sort of tool is most appropriate
for the kind of information being gathered, and what you intend to do with that information.

5.1.

When a Word Processor is Not Enough

Almost all researchers in the humanities will use a word processor for a considerable portion
of their work, particularly when writing books, papers, theses, and notes. Because of this
familiarity, it can be tempting to use a word processor for everything.


This approach does of course save time which would otherwise need to be invested in
learning new software and methods, but it all too often leads to people generating extremely
long
Word

files from which it is a struggle to retrieve useful information in

any meaningful
manner.

This chapter suggests other approaches which you may find more appropriate to your
research.

5.2.

Spreadsheets

If you are working with information consisting of a number of discrete objects, each of which
shares essentially the same limi
ted set of characteristics, then a spreadsheet may be the
ideal means by which to structure your data. Historical surveys, such as censuses, and
bureaucratic records are often most clearly set out in the form of a spreadsheet; a list of the
bibliographic d
etails of a set of books might be another example, or a list of financial returns
from a publishing house.

Spreadsheet software is well adapted to sort and re
-
sort records alphabetically or
numerically, and is ideal if you wish to conduct numerical analysi
s


to establish means and
medians in a particular dataset for instance, or visualise information in the form of charts and
graphs.


Figure 1

Example of information in a spreadsheet


Useful for:



Ordering simple records



Numerical analysis



Generating charts and grap
hs

Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


36


Disadvantages:



Not as good at handling complex relationships as relational databases

Popular software packages:



Microsoft Excel



OpenOffice Calc

5.3.

Relational Databases

Whilst a spreadsheet is likely to be fine for a lot of basic data organisation and analy
sis, there
are times when you may be better off using a relational database instead. If you are working
with information or sources that have relationships with other objects, which in turn have
interesting properties or relationships, using a relational d
atabase is probably a good idea.

When you construct a relational database, you can create separate tables (which individually
tend to look much like spreadsheets) and link fields within each table to other tables. So, for
instance, you could create a table

of bibliographic details about books, including the names
of the authors, and link this to a separate table of authors, containing information about when
they were born and died, where they were educated, and so forth. If you wished, you could
link the in
formation about where they were educated to another table, providing information
about the size and location of the school or university they attended. Relational databases
cater for one
-
to
-
many relationships, or even many
-
to
-
many.

Relational databases can

be designed to enable quite complex cross
-
searching, for instance,
listing all the books published by authors who attended a particular university during a given
period. Searches of databases are called
queries
, and need to be constructed using a query
-
la
nguage.
SQL
(standing for Structured Query Language) is a common format. Learning to
construct queries is not difficult, but there are various clever tricks that one can pick up to
perform complex but efficient searches.


Figure 2

Example of a relational database
structure


Useful for:



Situations where you are not sure in advance how you (or others) will want to query
your data, and wish to keep your options open and flexible


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


37



Spotting unexpected relationships between things



Hosting information on the Web and allowi
ng others to search it

Disadvantages:



Efficiently structuring large databases can be a challenge

Popular software packages:



Microsoft Access



Filemaker Pro



MySQL

(especially
for databases hosted

on the Web)



PostgreSQL

(
especially
for databases hosted

on the

Web
)

5.4.

XML Databases

Spreadsheets and relational databases can be very useful if you are working with essentially
consistent data


where there are a limited number of shared characteristics common to
each record in a given table. If the information you wis
h to analyse is difficult to characterise
in such a way, however, you may wish to take a different approach.

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a standard for tagging information in order to render it
machine
-
readable. It is primarily used to assist textu
al analysis, as it can be used to indicate
particular characteristics that apply to particular sections in a text.

For instance, you may have a number of texts which cover very different subjects, but you
want to be able to find all instances where a parti
cular individual or event is mentioned. You
could surround each personal name with tags indicating that part of the text is question is a
personal name


<name>Christopher Columbus</name>. You could then search your texts
for all the people named in them,
or index each occurrence of a specific name.
You could
also use XML to create a standardised version of a name that occurs in many different
variants, in order to render it searchable but without altering the original spellings in the
document itself.

Othe
r tags can be used to indicate how a text should be displayed. Enclosing a piece of text
between two emphasis tags, for instance, will indicate to a Web browser or some other XML
reader that it should be displayed as bold, or italic. The precise interpreta
tion of how an XML
file should be displayed can be customised


the important thing that XML separates content
from its representation, ensuring that the document does not become unreadable just
because the technology used to display it has changed.

As is
the case

when working with relational databases, it is possible to create quite
complicated queries when working with XML
-
tagged documents. XQuery is one popular
language for searching XML databases. As with MySQL and its equivalents, it is fairly
straight
forward to learn how to return results from simple searches, but complex queries can
also be constructed with a little more knowledge and experience.

XML is not only used to indicate textual content but is also widely used in linguistics to
indicate parts
of speech or features of spoken language. It is also popular amongst those
working with manuscripts or multiple editions, to indicate variations, alternative translations,
and so forth.

TEI XML

Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) XML is a schema established to
aid consistency and
interoperability between digital humanities projects. Essentially, the TEI has defined a
number of labels (about 500) for use when tagging texts, so that people do not end up having
Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


38


to create their own definitions every time they want t
o make a text machine
-
readable. The
TEI guidelines are available from
http://www.tei
-
c.org/Guidelines/
.

The University of Oxford is a centre of expertise in TEI XML. OUCS runs an annual summer
school, and members of the University can email
tei@oucs.ox.ac.uk

at any time for free
advice.











Figure 3

Example of a
text

with TEI XML mark
-
up, rendered into simple HTML


Figure 3 shows part of the play ‘
The Raigne of King Edvvard the Third
’ marked up into XML.
Some of the tags instruct the Web browser how to display the text, whereas others are
‘invisible’, but can assist s
earching and analysis of the text. For instance, homographs are
indicated in the XML, but are not flagged up in the text displayed in the browser. One can
see here that the browser has not been instructed to recognise all of the rendering
information in th
e XML original, as it is not displaying the names of the speakers or the stage
directions in italic.

Useful for:



Working with texts



Providing access to textual databases via the Web



Textual and l
inguistic analysis

Disadvantages:



Tagging documents is time
-
c
onsuming


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


39



You need to ensure that you tag elements consistently

Popular software packages:



Oxygen XML Editor

is useful for editing and tagging XML documents and checking
that they meet TEI standards



eXist
is a free
, open source,

native XML database manageme
nt system



5.5.

RDF Data

Although not yet as widespread as other means of structuring data, the use of RDF
(Resource Description Framework) metadata (data that describes other data) is increasingly
being seen in the humanities as a means of linking together da
ta from disparate sources, so
it m
ay

be useful to understand what it is.

RDF represents relationships between things in the form of subject
-
predicate
-
object
expressions. Any given subject (a particular book, for instance) may have a particular
relationship

(such as being published by) with a particular object (a given publisher). The
book will have other relationships and properties as well, such as being published in (a
relationship/property) a particular year (object); or being published as (relationship/
property)
a paperback (object). In RDF terms, such subject
-
predicate
-
object expressions are called
‘triples’, and a database containing them is called a ‘triplestore’.

RDF data is used especially to describe the relationships between resources on the Web i
n a
machine
-
readable manner, and as such is a key component in what is known as the
‘Semantic Web’. The idea behind the Semantic Web is essentially to evolve the Web from a
linked document store to a database of interlinked information. This may not be the

easiest
concept to envisage, but it basically means enriching data by merging data from different
sources together.

RD
F

data is often written using XML tags to describe the relationship being expressed. Some
sort of standard ontology will need to be chosen to ensure a degree of consistency between
descriptions.

The predominant query language for RDF data is SPARQL, which a
s its name suggests has
certain similarities to the SQL
-
type languages used to query relational databases.


Useful for:



Integrating existing data from disparate sources



Network analysis

Disadvantages:



Can be tricky to conceptualise at first



Coding RDF rela
tionships
by hand
would be time
-
consuming. It is often therefore
generated automatically from SQL or various XML formats.



Most triplestore software is at present aimed more at developers than ‘ordinary’
users


you will almost certainly need technical help

Popular software packages:



Jena



Sesame


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


40


5.6.

Where to
G
o for
M
ore
I
nformation

If you wish to produce anything more than a very simple relational database, it would be wise
to learn first a little about the principles of structuring data and the capabilities of

the software
you are considering using. Fortunately, you do not need to look too far for help and support.
Most good bookshops will have a selection of introductory guides to database design and
XML.
For members of the Oxford University, t
he IT Learning
Programme at OUCS offer
s a
number of courses that may be of interest: c
heck the ITLP
Web

page
at
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/itlp/

for
details
.

Alternatively, if you have an idea for a research database and want
to talk it through with a
technical expert, speak to a member of the Infodev team at OUCS
: see
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/infodev/

for more information
.

Infodev can also help with other
aspects of research su
pport, including data manipulation and website building.




Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


41

Exercise 7

Dealing with different data problems



In small groups, read the following scenarios and decide what tools you
would use to address the problem described in the most efficient manner



There are no st
raightforwardly right or wrong answers, but it may be easier
to justify some approaches rather than others!


1)

You are writing a book and wish to keep track of any interesting quotations you
come across in such a way as you can find them again quickly as
you write each
chapter.


2)

You are preparing an edition of somebody’s correspondence and you are
particularly interested in countering (or confirming) the assumption that the man
in question was very parochial, having had few contacts beyond his own county.


3)

You have been awarded funding to create a public website that allows people to
locate where various Neolithic tools were found in Britain, searching by location
and/or the period when the tool was created.


Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


42


4)

You are looking at variant manuscripts of a p
articular poem, and wish to create a
Web resource that will illustrate the differences, with editorial comments.


5)

You have received funding to create a searchable online consolidated bibliography
of critical works relating to Hegel.


6)

You wish to survey r
epresentations of saints in English church architecture to see if
there are significant regional differences.




Research Information Management: Tools for the Humanities


43

6

Other Resources

Note:
Most

of these resources are only available to Oxford staff and students.

OUCS IT Learning Programme


offers

a wide range of training courses, many of which are
relevant to research information

management.
These include courses on some of the
software packages mentioned above. P
lease
see the courses

W
eb page for further details
:

http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/itlp/courses/

The
Research Skills Toolkit

website provides information about a range of software tools,
University services, and other resources which may be useful to researchers:
http://www.skillstoolkit.ox.ac.uk/

The University’s
Research Data Management website

gives advice on data management
planning, data security, and sharing and archiving:
http://www.admin.
ox.ac.uk/rdm/

InfoDev

is

an OUCS service offering a range of services to University research staff. They
can help with the technical aspects of research projects, from

the initial planning stages
through to ensuring that data is preserved at the end of the

project. More details are
available from their website:
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/infodev/

OUCS’s
HFS Backup Service

offers free secure data backup to Oxford University staff and
postgraduates:
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/hfs/