Top 9 Tools for Scientists, Researchers, and Academics

Posted June 21st, 2021 in Misc. Tagged: .

Conducting academic research can be a painstakingly long process. There, we said it.

Even if you are the most experienced scientist or an accomplished researcher, you know that every research has its journey which can be quite the roller coaster ride. But with the right set of tools at your disposal, you can optimize your research process and save tons of time. Not to forget, you can potentially increase the quality of your work to a great extent.

scientist

Here, we have curated a list of tools that can be highly resourceful in your research, and make the process more efficient. These tools have been divided into three categories: Research management, Writing management, and Task management.

Research Management

Research management includes a list of tools that can be used for making the overall process of conducting research highly productive. These tools can help you find the right sources easily and help you access even the most ambiguous sources conveniently, thus speeding up your research.

Mind the Graph

1. Mind the Graph

Mind the Graph makes it easier for you to create infographics as well as graphical abstracts for your paper. Data visualization is transforming the way data is presented in academic papers now. The fact that visuals can help your readers retain more information from your paper, makes it lucrative for you to include them. Visuals in academic papers can be included in multiple ways such as infographics and graphical abstracts, that you can create easily through a tool like Mind the Graph.

Mind the Graph - screenshot

With Mind the Graph, you can create infographics that can present complex data and information in a visually appealing as well as engaging way. Moreover, most journals now ask for graphical abstracts instead of a textual abstract, allowing you to make a pictorial representation of your research paper.

2. Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Every scientist or researcher has heavily relied on Google Scholar at some point in time. It is a freely accessible search engine used specifically for finding scholarly sources. Google Scholar indexes different types of publishing formats and journals including almost all peer-reviewed journals, books, conference papers, theses, and dissertations. For legal researchers, Google Scholar even has a large database of court cases and patents that they can easily find relevant sources from.

3. ResearchGate

ResearchGate

ResearchGate has been a great source for scholarly journals and articles for many years and has a wide network of scholars registered on the website. ResearchGate differentiates itself from other similar companies by offering the additional feature of being able to network socially with other researchers. The platform allows you to freely share your work, find collaborators and seek feedback on your research from other scholars.

ResearchGate is known for being the largest academic social network across the globe in terms of the number of active users. Additionally, you can also track the analytics of your paper to see the impact that it is garnering. The best part? The registration is completely free.

Writing Management

Many sub-processes are involved within the process of writing a research paper including the creation of necessary infographics, the management of surveys, plagiarism checks, grammar checks, and so on. Here is a list of tools that can help you with this process:

Turnitin

4. Turnitin

Almost all educational institutions across the globe that have students or researchers who are working on academic papers, use Turnitin to check and manage plagiarism within the papers. It is a common occurrence that a well-written, and informative research paper is turned down as a result of unintentional plagiarism.

Turnitin - screenshot

Turnitin has a vast database of journals, academic articles, books, and web sources which it uses to scan your content with and points out potential content blocks that might be plagiarized, and the sources from which the content may have been copied. If used effectively, this tool can save a lot of time for researchers and help them remove unintentional plagiarism before submission.

Survey Monkey

5. SurveyMonkey

When applying quantitative methodologies wherein the researcher wants to collect data from a sample population, surveys are required. Surveys can get quite tricky and if planned improperly, they can lead to a time-consuming process. Making this process much simpler, SurveyMonkey is a platform where you can prepare surveys quite easily, and the user-friendly interface makes it easy for you to choose from a wide variety of response styles.

SurveyMonkey - screenshot

Moreover, SurveyMonkey also has an extensive database of questions and potential responses that you can choose from to save time. However, the biggest advantage is that the software allows you to collect responses directly by sharing links and also has attractive visualization options for analyzing the results, thus saving a whole lot of time and resources for you.

GraphPad

6. GraphPad

Quantitative methodologies, as discussed before, require researchers to collect a lot of first-hand primary data through surveys, which can warrant the use of many different types of statistical tests for analysis. Statistical tests like ANOVA, f-Test, t-Test, and Chi-Square tests are just some of the many that you may need to identify patterns and correlations between your data points.

GraphPad - screenshot

Statistical analyses in a quantitative research paper are often the most cumbersome part and may require the research to devote a lot of time and resources to it. Tools like GraphPad allow you to import large datasets directly from your Excel sheet to the software and to easily conduct the required statistical tests.

Task Management

A crucial step within a research project that people do not give enough credit to, is task management and collaboration which runs parallel to the core processes. Here is a list of tools that can help you manage the various activities involved within the project, and any collaborative tasks, efficiently:

Trello

7. Trello

Collaborating and managing multiple tasks and subtasks can get quite confusing, especially if the authors of the paper are in different locations. And this happens more often than not. Trello to the rescue. This SaaS platform provides the perfect interface to manage workflows and collaborate seamlessly.

Trello - screenshot

With Trello, you can create a personalized board with specific workflows for tasks, and cards for sub-tasks. The application also allows you to assign tasks to specific people and to manage the progress and status of each task within the application. Many businesses use Trello to organize organizational processes, so you can imagine the kind of organization it can bring into a research project.

Mendeley

8. Mendeley

Mendeley is a platform specifically designed for academic researchers, and it is one of those tools that has definitely earned its spot within this list. The tool encompasses several plugins and features, that academic researchers can use while writing a paper. It allows researchers to research, write, format, and reference their paper within one interface.

Mendeley - screenshot

Mendeley has a web importer which can be installed as a browser plugin to import web sources directly into your Mendeley library to be used in your paper. Have all your sources sorted out? Simply use the citation plugin to insert citations and references within your paper seamlessly.

Microsoft Project

9. Microsoft Project

Used by project management professionals across the globe, Microsoft Project is a versatile product designed by Microsoft with features tailored to facilitate effective project and task management. MS Project allows users to create detailed project workflows, along with proven project management tools such as Gantt Chart, and Network Diagrams which help in scheduling and task management.

Microsoft Project - screenshot

With MS Project researchers can create detailed tasks and sub-tasks for their research projects and manage all the tasks and activities in a unified manner. Simplified options to edit tasks and organize the accountable owners of each task or activity make MS Project a touted task management tool for any kind of project.

Bottomline

With the right tools and applications at your disposal, conducting a research project becomes so much easier. You can seamlessly carry out your scientific or academic research and not have to worry about the peripheral tasks that come with it. Moreover, with major aspects of the project such as the research, writing, and task management sorted, you can focus entirely on enhancing the quality of your academic paper, and creating a difference with it.


About the Author

Hiral Rana

Hiral Rana is a Digital Marketing Consultant with over 10 years of experience. She’s passionate about all things digital & social media and has conducted training programs at institutes like GLS University and L.J. Institute of Media & Communications. Hiral also shares her insights and knowledge with the audience of publications like AdWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner to name a few.

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