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PhD Survey Results 12 Sept 2019

1. Reading & Interacting with Citations In the Document

Question 1.1

What do you do when you come across a Citation in a document which looks interesting?

  • Go To The References Section To Check It 15 •••••• ••••• •••••
  • Note It Down In a List 3 •••
  • Mental Note Only 1 •
  • No Action 2 ••

Question 1.2

When coming across a citation in the document you are reading: Do you find it inconvenient to have to go to the end of the document to see the citation information and then have to return to your place in the document?

  • Extremely 3 •••
  • Very 6 ••••• •
  • Slightly 10 ••••• •••••
  • Not At All 2 ••

Question 1.3

Where do you primarily read your PDFs?

  • Desktop/Laptop Computer 13 ••••• ••••• •••
  • Tablet 1 •
  • Smart Phone 1 •
  • Print Out Only 1 •
  • Desktop/Laptop Computer & Print Out 5 •••••
  • Tablet & Print Out 0
  • Smart Phone & Print Out 0

Question 1.4

Would it be useful to you to be able to: Point to a Citation in the Text and get a pop-up window where you could read the full citation information and click on it to access the source document?
(This would mean that you would not have to go to the end of the document to get this information)

  • Extremely Useful 10 ••••• •••••
  • Very Useful 8 ••••• •••
  • Slightly Useful 1 •
  • Not Very Useful 2 ••

Question 1.5

Would it be useful to you to be able to: Point to the Citation in the References Section to see where it is used in the text, rather than having to go to the section in the text and then back again to the References section?

  • Extremely Useful 6 ••••• •
  • Very Useful 9 ••••• ••••
  • Slightly Useful 5 •••••
  • Not Very Useful 1 •

Question 1.6

What is your main pain point when dealing with Citations which you come across in documents?

  • I have seen journals that use this system of showing the citation when hovering over and it has proven really useful to me. Being able to copy/paste it in plain APA format would be a huge bonus!
  • Finding that they’re not open access and having to sign in with my academic credentials.
  • Having to go to the end of the document to check a citation.
  • The (above) to and fro just to check what the reference is. Activity then branches. It is recognition—”Ah yes X’s paper” and back reading or reference doesn’t look interesting or does look interesting. The last often results in a side quest be following the reference to sight the text (if digital and accessible). The forking in attention (of side-quest) would be lessened if one could (a) quickly grab and validate [sic] the reference and then set a flag to remind you to return to the paper (I’m discursive and easily distracted)
  • Determining why that paper has used that specific citation. Would be handy to see the abstract of the paper when highlighting over the citation to get some insight into this.
  • I prefer to print out my papers as I find reading them on a screen to be awkward so it’s usually much easier for me to flick back and forth to the references if necessary. I wouldn’t say there’s really any particular pain point.
  • Long lists of citations in the same bracket. I want to know how they differ.
  • The next step of tracking down the document the citation references. It would be wonderful if the references in the pdf contained the link to where the document exists for downloading or purchase.
  • Trying to pinpoint which citation goes to which reference especially when they use the IEEE style.
  • Having to copy the title so that I can search for it and import it to my refs manager (Zotero)
  • It’s easy to navigate to and from references in many modern papers with their internal hyperlinks. Doing so in old papers particularly html versions is a pain not only because there are no hyperlinks there is also often text which is not searchable or able to be highlighted.
  • Retrieving relevant literature
  • I don’t have any pain points. I have a good system (that’s not reflected by your questions).
  • Trying to find the fulltext!
  • No main pain point… you get used to it
  • I don’t have problem dealing with citations
  • recording them! Often I am reading one document as part of one activity and come across a citation that I realise would be useful in another activity. Making a record of that citation so that I am prompted to review it at a later point is challenging.
  • Checking for validity of argument.
  • Searching for them on the Web and obtaining meta-information about the cited papers (e.g. citation information).

2. Reading & Interacting with General Text In the Document

Question 2.1

How do you you look up information you come across as text in documents which is not a citation, just
plain text?

  • Type into Google/Web Browser 8 ••••• •••
  • Copy to Google/Web Browser 13 ••••• ••••• •••
  • Ctrl-Click/Right-Click to Search Google 8 ••••• •••
  • Browser or PDF reader Extension 0
  • Copy to Specialist Search or Ref 4 ••••
  • I Rarely or Never do this 0
  • Other 1 •

       Question 2.2

How frequently do you look up information you come across as text in documents (concepts, names, ideas etc.), which has not been given explicit citations?

  • Frequently 10 ••••• •••••
  • Sometimes 9 ••••• ••••
  • Rarely 2 ••

N/A 0

Question 2.3

Would it be useful to you to access any search engines or references instantly based on any text in the
document? (This would include Google and Wikipedia, but also any special Search Engines and References, such as your university library and instant translations)

  • Extremely Useful 3 •••
  • Very Useful 6 ••••• •
  • Slightly Useful 8 ••••• •••
  • Not Very Useful 4 ••••
  • N/A 0

3 : Analysis of Your Literature Review Documents

Question 3.1

What Citation Management Software do you use to organise your academic source documents?

  • EndNote 1 •
  • Mendeley 5 •••••
  • Zotero 5 •••••
  • Manually in Folders 2 ••
  • Mind Map 0
  • Physical Index Cards 0
  • Digital Index Cards 0
  • More than One 2 ••
  • Other 2 ••
  • None 2 ••


Question 3.2

What are your pain points in the Analysis process?

  • Finding Documents Again After Reading 6 ••••• •
  • Keeping Track of What’s Read 7 ••••• ••
  • Narrowing Down Large Volumes 7 ••••• ••
  • Finding New Material 5 •••••
  • Seeing Connections 10 ••••• •••••
  • Annotating & and Accessing What’s Ann. 5 •••••
  • All of These 2 ••
  • None 1 •
  • Other 2 ••

4. Citing from Your Literature Review

Question 4.1

What is the main software you use to author/write your thesis?

  • Microsoft Word 7 ••••• ••
  • Open Office 0
  • Google Docs 1 •
  • LaTeX 10 ••••• •••••
  • Information Architects iA Writer 0
  • Literature & Latte Scrivener 0
  • Ulysses GmbH Ulysses 0
  • Liquid | Author 0
  • Other 0

Question 4.2

How do you add a citation to your thesis document?

  • Citation Management Software Plugin 6 •••• •
  • Manually 0
  • Copy & Paste 2 ••
  • BibTeX 10 ••••• •••••
  • Other 0

Question 4.3

How useful would it be for you to be able to: Copy text from a PDF and Paste that text into your word processing document with full Citation information appended and Export your document with citations in the body of the text being styled correctly and the references section being included automatically?

  • Extremely Useful 3 •••
  • Very Useful 6 ••••• •
  • Slightly Useful 6 ••••• •
  • Not Very Useful 3 •••

5 : Publishing Your Work

Question 5.1

How much time do you spend formatting the citations in your document for publication?

  • A Lot 3 •••
  • A Bit 12 ••••• ••••• ••
  • None 3 •••

Question 5.2

How many years do you expect your document to be available?

  • Very Long Term 7 ••••• ••
  • Your Lifetime 4 ••••
  • A Decade 2 ••
  • No Specific Time Horizon 5 •••••

Question 5.3

Is Long-Term Access of your published document an important issue for you?

  • Vitally Important 5 •••••
  • Quite Important 8 ••••• •••
  • Somewhat Important 4 ••••
  • Not Very Important 1 •

Question 6.4

Are there any other thoughts or issues you would like to mention?

  • Long term access is very important and I have already encountered some issues related to availability of documents that I used a while ago.
  • It is crazy that academic publishing still entails PDFs. It is crazy that this includes Web Science academics!
  • I thought I was happy with the way I deal with citations until doing this survey. You highlight some very good points.
  • I’m using Bookends BTW. Not in the Qs here but *cleaning/validating* data is a time drag (assuming one cares to do it). Formatting has 2 parts/layers: the canonical info (often wrong (incomplete/typos) and make- work of using some orgs desired layout. We are past the point where it’s acceptable for the print layout to be the primary record. IOW embedded metadata very important. The ‘cleaning’ part is also over-looked. We need to go from garbage-in-slightly-garbage-out to garbage-in-good-out.
  • This answer depends on whether I view my work in a positive light upon reflection years later. You may want your document not to be made available if the quality is poor and it affects your current circumstances. For me personally if I deem the document good enough to be published at the time I will presume this always to be the case because those reading it will (hopefully) see progression in my later works. It is therefore important to emphasize the age of a citation and perhaps suggest more up to date documents.
  • It’s probably worth mentioning that I do most of my reference management through Google Scholar. I bookmark pages or use the star option to save papers for later. I find the main reference managers to be extremely cumbersome and overengineered and when I have signed up for them I continue to get spam for months or years after. Because of my use of Scholar I frequently have to deal with holes in references that need filling in after the fact.
  • I’d love to be able to write a draft and link directly to the bit of text that I found a point in. Re-reading often changes how I see the text.
  • No.
  • Another pain point not mentioned is getting my refs out of Zotero and into my bib file in my latex document. I have used Zotero for years and have a lot invested in my very large database so I don’t want to switch. This wasn’t a problem when I used word but now I’ve switched to LaTeX I have to export the citations from Zoteron into a file and then paste this into my bib file. Trying to keep track of what’s in there is a nightmare
  • No
  • No
  • no
  • N/A
  • I have never found a good general solution for managing citations. I tend to use a lot of different tools and none of them seem to play nicely with one another.
  • This sounds like a useful project!
  • One of the most important pains when using citation software is finding good quality bibtex/endnore/other metadata for papers.


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