Here are the top 10 tools that are essential for PhD students to help them manage their research, organize their work, and increase their productivity:
Mendeley is a powerful reference management tool that enables researchers to effortlessly create references, citations, and bibliographies in multiple journal styles. Its intuitive interface allows users to easily access their library from anywhere, be it on Windows, Mac, Linux, or any other platform. Users can quickly add papers directly from their browser or import documents from their desktop with a few clicks.
In addition to its robust reference management features, Mendeley also offers a vibrant research network that enables users to connect and network with over 6 million researchers worldwide. Users can form groups to engage in discussions, discover research, and follow curated bibliographies.
Moreover, Mendeley provides access to over 250,000 science, technology, and health jobs to help advance users’ careers, as well as grant information from over 5000 organizations to help fund their next research project.
Key Features of Mendeley:
- Annotate and organize documents
- Find and create groups with fellow researchers
- Grant information from over 5000 organizations
- Free with limited functionality
- Paid plans start from $55/year for 5 GB to $165/year to unlimited storage.
If you’re conducting a literature review and wish to uncover connections between published papers, Connected Papers by @ConnectedPapers is the tool for you. Simply enter a typical paper into the platform, and it generates a visual graph of related papers in your field.
As you delve deeper into the platform, you gain valuable insights into trends, popular works, and dynamics in your field. With new papers being published every day, Connected Papers helps you stay current with important research. Additionally, you can use the Prior Works feature to search for ancestor works in your field and the Derivative Works feature to access literature reviews of your area of study.
Proofreading and spell checking are essential components of research work, but they can be tedious and time-consuming. Fortunately, Grammarly, a writing enhancement tool, makes this daunting task a breeze! In addition to basic spell checking and corrections, Grammarly offers a comprehensive grammar checker, punctuation checker, vocabulary enhancer, and even a plagiarism checker.
This remarkable tool scrutinizes your research for over 250 types of grammar errors across six different writing genres, resulting in error-free writing. It also provides detailed explanations for all your errors and weekly progress reports. Grammarly is a must-have tool for researchers and is available as a browser extension, desktop app, web-based app, and Microsoft add-in. There are also many excellent alternatives to Grammarly available in the market.
Key Features of Grammarly:
- Works with the majority of online tools like Word, Slack, etc.
- Plagiarism checker tool
- Tone detector
Google Scholar provides a platform to search for articles, theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions from various sources including professional societies, online repositories, universities, academic publishers, and other websites.
In addition, researchers can easily investigate related works, citations, authors, and publications. By creating a public author profile, users can keep track of who is citing their recent publications. Furthermore, Google Scholar enables researchers to stay updated with recent advancements in their field of interest.
Key Features of Google Scholar:
- Create a public author page
- Look for information across Google’s database
- Easy to use
Pricing: Free to use
In research, it is essential to stay organized, plan effectively, and maintain focus on all activities. Without a reliable planning tool, researchers may risk falling behind schedule and losing progress.
GanttPRO offers a project and task management solution that simplifies planning for both individual researchers and groups of any size. The platform features a visually appealing Gantt chart timeline that allows users to track progress and stay on top of deadlines. Researchers can create an unlimited number of tasks, groups of tasks, and subtasks on a single timeline.
Additionally, GanttPRO is an ideal planning tool for delegating tasks to fellow researchers or virtual resources. The software promotes collaboration, enables time tracking, and provides features for sharing and exporting schedules.
Key Features of GanttPRO:
- Dozens of ready-made templates.
- Real-time collaboration with fellow researchers.
- Elegant user interface with a short learning curve.
According to its creators, Typeset.io is the intelligent alternative to Word and LaTeX that all researchers should be utilizing. The platform offers an easy-to-use interface to begin your research, or you can import existing Word files. With access to over 100,000 verified journal formats, Typeset simplifies the research process. Users can easily copy and paste or upload their paper to the platform and follow any citation style required.
Typeset also includes a built-in plagiarism and grammar checker to ensure error-free writing. Once you’ve uploaded and cited your work, simply click the “autoformat” button to generate your report in seconds. Users can download their research in PDF, Docx, LaTeX file, or even as a Zip file. Collaboration features are built-in, enabling researchers to invite colleagues to the platform and work together seamlessly.
Key Features of Typeset:
- Over 100,000+ journal formats to choose from
- Plagiarism and grammar checker tool
- Editing services to improve your publication chances.
ResearchGate is a research platform that provides access to over 135 million publication pages, making it easy to keep up with the latest developments in your field. Additionally, ResearchGate includes a built-in community where researchers can share their work, collaborate with peers, and discover new papers and bibliographies.
The platform also offers comprehensive analytics to track who’s reading your work and to monitor your citations. With a user base of over 17 million, ResearchGate is an essential research community for any researcher to join.
Key Features of ResearchGate:
- Share and find researchers
- Analytics to see who’s reading your work
- Citation tracking
Citefast is an online and free bibliography and citation generator that supports multiple sources, including webpages, books, journals, magazines, social media posts, blog posts, dictionary entries, videos, audios, movies, lecture notes, conferences, podcasts, dissertations, newspapers, and more. It also offers support for numerous citation styles such as APA 6, APA 7, MLA 8, Chicago, and many others.
With Citefast, you can create unlimited bibliographies after signing up for a free account. You can add citations generated before registration to your bibliography once you log in.
Endnote aims to make research more efficient by simplifying tasks such as formatting bibliographies, finding full text, and searching for references. It offers collaboration features such as sharing selected groups of references, managing team access, and tracking activity and changes from one dashboard.
Endnote also provides smarter insights, automatically finding the impact of your references and suggesting the best-fit journal for your papers. Users can quickly export references and full-text PDFs into EndNote, and the platform automatically creates, formats, and updates bibliographies.
To enhance their experience, researchers can use EndNote templates and plug-ins.
Key Features of Endnote:
- Import filters for prior research
- Track your teammates’ activity on your shared library
- Automatic reference and link updating
Zotero is a citation management software that offers free and easy-to-use tools for organizing and generating citations and bibliographies. Its short learning curve and integration with popular web browsers make it a great choice for those seeking a simple option for online research.
To use Zotero, users must download the browser extension known as the connector, which communicates with the desktop software where references are collected and stored. Both downloads are available for free at https://www.zotero.org/download/