Scholarly Research Tools

The basics of academic research are covered in the Help with Research section of the Library website. Here, we look at some resources for the more in-depth research required for graduate students working on theses, and for professional academics engaged in scholarly publication.

  1. Preparation/ Project Management
  2. Finding and Visualizing Scholarly Research
  3. Systematic Reviews
  4. Analysis Tools
  5. Keeping Track of Sources/ Writing
  6. Related Pages

Preparation/ Project Management

Start your project off right with project management/ planning tools.

  • OSF - The Open Science Framework offers a full suite of academic project management tools and workspaces, including protocol management, research material and data storage, and collaboration tools.
  • Hypothetical Science Workflows - a number of different workflows using various Open (and closed) Science tools from Innovations in Scholarly Communications. 

Finding and Visualizing Scholarly Research

In addition to the numerous full-text articles, books, and databases available through subscriptions via the University of Winnipeg Library, there are a number of tools you can use to find research “beyond the paywalls” - peer reviewed Open Access scholarly research, pre-prints, institutional repository content, patent information, and more.

  • Unpaywall: A database and browser extension for searching Open Access scholarly articles. The unobtrusive browser setting allows searching for a legal unpaywalled version of academic articles.
  • The Lens: Free and open patent & scholarly search. Includes datasets of patents, scholarly journal articles, scholarly books, biological sequences, conference proceedings, LibGuides, and more. The Lens features robust search features and analytics, and is an excellent Open Access metasearch, particularly in realms where integration of patent information would be helpful.
  • CORE: “The World’s Largest Collection of Open Access Papers”, CORE searches across institutional and disciplinary repositories to provide access to nearly 200,000,000 Open Access papers. An open API makes CORE a good option for data mining projects.
  • Dimensions : Search grants, OA publications, citations, clinical trials and patents in one place. Trace grants and impact (includes Altmetric data), as well as search for Open Access research.
  • Google Scholar: Connecting to Google Scholar through the Library website will ensure that you are recognized as a member of the U. of W. community, and will see fulltext links customized for our holdings. One of the best features of this resource is that if you are an author and your publications appear in your Google Scholar profile, any recently published material of a similar nature will appear under “my updates.” each time you log in.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), an online directory of high-quality, peer-reviewed, open-access journals. As explained on the site, “Journals that adhere to an exceptionally high level of publishing standards and best practice are awarded the [DOAJ] Seal as recognition of those efforts.” The DOAJ is useful not only for locating research material, but for identifying legitimate open-access journals to which to submit your own work.
  • Connected Papers: A visual tool to help researchers and applied scientists find and explore papers relevant to their research. Gives a visual overview of the field, helps build a bibliography/ identify important relevant works, find prior and derivative works. 
  • The Internet Archive, “a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more.” 
  • Open Library, with an eBook lending library of over 2,000,000 titles, including many recent works still in copyright.
  • OSF PrePrints Search Tool: Search across 30+ preprint archives.

Systematic Reviews

Systematic Reviews are highly structured, reproducible reviews of a field of study.  They are extensive, use multiple search strategies, and take time to complete.  University of Winnipeg Library does not provide full Systematic Review services, but your subject librarian may be able to provide additional guidance. 


Analysis Tools

There are a wide variety of tools to assist with the analysis phase of an academic research project. Many are discipline specific. Some of the more general/ useful tools include:

  • Hypothes.is: Allows you to easily annotate webpages, and share your annotations with others. Use it to take notes anywhere online, collaborate with others, and add tags.
  • Google Fusion Tables: Charts, graphs, and other visualization tools.
  • OpenRefine: Explore, clean, and transform data. Keeps data private on personal computer by running a small personal server.
  • DHBox: The DH Box platform comes pre-equipped with essential Digital Humanities tools: IPython, RStudio, Omeka, and NLTK. Allows for simple sign-in via a web browser.
  • Morph.io, a free web scraping tool to help collect data from the internet.
  • Jupyter Notebooks: The Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text. Uses include: data cleaning and transformation, numerical simulation, statistical modeling, data visualization, machine learning, and much more.
  • Protocols.io: Develop and share reproducible methods by structuring and sharing research protocols. 
  • Validation by the Science Exchange Network: Includes the Reproducibility Initiative, which matches submitted experiments with a lab that reproduces the results.

Keeping Track of Sources/ Writing

Writing academic works typically produces large amounts of sources.  Good Reference Management can help any project go more smoothly, and some writing tools may help your final output. If you are looking to evaluate options for publishing, please see Avoiding Predatory Publishers.

  • Zotero: A free, useful reference manager that includes a browser extension to easily capture references from webpages and articles. Zotero is integrated with Retraction Watch, which means papers that have been retracted will be flagged.  Using Zotero with Large Projects: A Guide that explains how to use Zotero to manage large projects, including organizing folders, exporting batches, deduplicating results. 
  • Scite: Interested in knowing the *kinds* of citations for highly cited papers? Scite contextually classifies citations to show whether they support or dispute the cited claim.
  • Git: Bersion control for keeping track of project changes.
  • Scalar: Authorship and publishing platform for long-form academic works; allows for semantic web structuring and nonlinear formats.
  • Overleaf: Online, collaborative LaTeX editor.
  • Penelope.ai: A fee charging automated service that checks manuscripts for common academic standards, such as ethics approval, conflicts of interest, and statistical errors.

Many thanks to Bianca Kramer and Jeroen Bosman’s Crowdsourced List of 400+ Scholarly Communication Tools


Related Pages:

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