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How can I keep track of papers I've read?

  1. Apr 13, 2015 #1
    I'm going to enter graduate school in August and I read in an article title something like "Some number of things I wish I knew before going into grad school" that having a way to keep track of all the papers you've read is endlessly valuable. Incidently I lost the article and don't know the way to keep track of citations and papers.

    Are there apps or programs that I can use for this?

    I know Endnote is one but it's also fairly expensive. Is there a method I can just organize folders by?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2015 #2

    DrClaude

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    I use JabRef, which is free.

    Edit: Forgot to mention that, in addition to its price, its best feature is that at its core it works with BibTeX files, so its use in conjunction with LaTeX is seamless.
     
  4. Apr 13, 2015 #3

    Doug Huffman

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    It is imperative that you maintain your bibliographic database, particularly in this day and age of high publication rates, and (suspicions of) plagiarism.

    Your anecdote is a prime example, "I lost the article." See the controversy over Emory University's Michael Bellesisles' Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture.
     
  5. Apr 13, 2015 #4

    SteamKing

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    Yeah, you don't want, "I lost the article" to turn into "I made it all up." :rolleyes:
     
  6. Apr 13, 2015 #5

    Doug Huffman

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    "The dog ate my homework" has achieved meme status it is so tolerated.
     
  7. Apr 13, 2015 #6

    SteamKing

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    I think Mr. Bellesilsles also tried a variant of this, except his involved a flood of some sort, which washed away his research. :wink:
     
  8. Apr 13, 2015 #7

    Doug Huffman

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    You are correct, as I recall, his research notes were claimed to have been destroyed by a failed pipe flooding his home basement.

    After I retired i helped a friend that maintained a vital records storage warehouse that specialized in medical records and imaging film. Shortly after I left a forklift driver knocked-off a fire suppression sprinkler head. The system functioned as intended and the entire warehouse was wetted.
     
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