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Thread: Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

  1. #1
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    Question Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

    I'm wondering if there are any good open source (and free) programs for Ubuntu that are for writing dissertations/academic papers/etc. I don't mean something like Open Office, but something where I can write loads of notes and links ideas together. The sort of program you'd plan one on.
    Tomboy Notes is alright, but doesn't give you the bigger picture of what you're working on very well.
    I've had a bit of a look round, but nothing has sprang up so far, so I'm turning to the community to see if anyone has any recommendations.
    I'm using Zotero for the bibliographic side, so I just need something for the planning/preparation stage where I start to commit all my notes into some form of (structured) plan, maybe with some sort of mind-map type stuff to help get an idea of what links to what, etc.
    Suggestions would be very welcome.
    'And all we ever were, just zeros and ones'

  2. #2
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    Re: Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

    maybe something like https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Kdissert

    I did mine with paper and pen(cil) I'm afraid.

    Freemind is in the repos.

  3. #3
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    Re: Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

    Good old fashioned pencil and paper worked for me

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    Re: Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

    For my thesis, dissertation and all the following papers I use LaTeX and TexMaker editor. I am not sure about the "link" of ideas and sch, but you have a programming language (with the ability to put your own comments), you can embed fancy graphics, handle special fonts (like Math formulas) and this is the best thing for editing huge documents.

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    Re: Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgoode83 View Post
    Good old fashioned pencil and paper worked for me
    The only thing is I hate writing (I don't have the best hand writing ever, for one) and find it much easier to word process things. Also, it makes editing (and countless rewrites) a hell of a lot easier.
    'And all we ever were, just zeros and ones'

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    Re: Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgoode83 View Post
    Good old fashioned pencil and paper worked for me
    +1

    I guess organizing your thoughts on paper is better. Writing it up for others, I would recommend LaTeX.

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    Re: Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Throne777 View Post
    The only thing is I hate writing (I don't have the best hand writing ever, for one) and find it much easier to word process things. Also, it makes editing (and countless rewrites) a hell of a lot easier.
    I found that while I was formulating 'the plan' having a bit of paper with me as I went about my day worked - always had it to scribble on when I thought of things

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    Re: Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

    +1 to LaTeX for writing the actual dissertation/paper - although a little clunky at first, it beats any office suite hands down

    If you want to use BibTeX for your bibliography (which I recommend), I found Pybliographer to be a powerful interface to manage BibTeX entries (it's in the repositories).

    As for keeping track of your notes and ideas, here is a short list of some mind-mapping software (the first list in particular is free and mostly cross-platform):

    HTML Code:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_concept_mapping_and_mind_mapping_software
    You might also want to check out Nevernote, an open-source clone of Evernote.

    Hope this helps!

  9. #9
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    Re: Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

    Quote Originally Posted by lobralleo View Post
    As for keeping track of your notes and ideas, here is a short list of some mind-mapping software (the first list in particular is free and mostly cross-platform):

    HTML Code:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_concept_mapping_and_mind_mapping_software
    You might also want to check out Nevernote, an open-source clone of Evernote.
    Are these programs being actively utilized by anyone for working on scientific projects?

    I just installed and fired up freemind. I'm staring at it right now but nothing happened yet

    I usually start with LaTeX right away and then slowly turn it into a manuscript (by converting plain language and condensed lists of ideas into a pompous journal style). I also use paper & pencil for deriving and scan those into PDFs so they don't get lost. Occasionally, I use zim for note taking, it has a LaTeX plugin, useful for embedding equations. A lot of times stuff is born off a whiteboard scribbling too (must be the marker fumes).

  10. #10
    wojox is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: Best Program for Planning a dissertation?

    Quote Originally Posted by forestpiskie View Post
    I did mine with paper and pen(cil) I'm afraid.
    You can not go wrong with this.

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