Tools of the Trade

New to scientific research? Interested in working more efficiently? The good news is that science doesn’t have to be hard all the time! The bad news is that, well, it’s still hard a lot of the time (but still obviously super cool). Below are a few of the science and research applications that I use or have at least reviewed. They’re linked to their respective developer’s web site, which you should obviously check out to see which one(s) might work best for you. Each of these should help shore up your science game in some way. Now get to it!

Papers – the ultimate in article management for Mac OS X, iOS, and now Windows.

G*Power – does your linear regression model have enough statistical power? Eta Sqaure big enough? Not for the faint of heart, G*Power is a free download and is a totally insane power analysis tool.

R – don’t have the long green for a copy of SPSS? If you’re not afraid of a little command-line action (no drop-down menus or radio buttons here) and don’t mind the most powerful stats application in the world at your disposal, then R is for you. Did I mention the countless packages (read: plugins) and an incredibly active community behind it? Head over to the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) to learn more.

Instapaper – quick and easy way to stuff articles by the truckload for later review. Archive them when you’re done.

EndNote – manage your journal references, and way more.

Qiqqa – journal article management for Windows and Android.

Zotero – an all-in-one web application suite for management of sources, citations, and more.

Notational Velocity/nvALT2 – nvALT2 is a fork of Notational Velocity – the original modeless capture application. To keep it brief, nvALT2 is a more feature-rich version of Notational Velocity – unfortunately, that’s way too reductionistic. You’ll have to check out each site to decide which is right for you, and/or read my review.


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