Pick your own: Literature reviewing tools

Andy Tattersall describes five tools that can help you organise your literature review collection.

<< back Page 2 of 2

Google Drive

There is no doubt that Drive is a brilliant tool for writing collaborative documents and creating surveys and questionnaires. Yet it is also as useful as Dropbox that it will allow you deposit and save your useful research finds. There are still no shortage of students who are either tied to data on their laptop or USB stick when Drive can be their one stop shop to keep useful research in. The one consideration that researchers within academic institutions have to remember is that they are only allowed to keep one copy of an electronic article they have obtained from their university due to journal licence restrictions. Nevertheless for everything else, open access repositories, freely available reports, papers and proceedings amongst other things can easily be accessed by placing them into the cloud.


For some Evernote will seem like the stating the obvious, whilst for others it is something that they will have never considered. As with Readability, Evernote allows the user to save what you want, whether it be an article, Tweet or video and organise it as you wish. The trick is to start as you mean to go on and that comes from tagging your content. For the modern academic and librarian they are more likely than ever to work on the go, so it is important to consider these tools when stumbling on that missing piece of evidence for your research.


This is one of the many interesting APIs to be developed on the back of the excellent Mendeley model. PaperShip allows you to manage, share and annotate your papers whilst on the go. The application synchronizes with your Mendeley and Zotero accounts. It is a very quick and simple tool to use  

Given the growing number of resources required to search for a literature review it is unrealistic to think that writing it all down on a piece of scrap paper will lead to a cohesive collection of evidence. At least employing one or two of these tools you stand a better chance of not losing the valuable bits of research fruit you pick up along the way.

Andy Tattersall is an information specialist working at ScHARR.

Image courtesy of net_efekt via Flickr.


<< back Page 2 of 2