The Mechanics of Your Research Production

The Mechanics of Your Research Production

There are many little everyday steps leading up to the production of a philosophical manuscript. Charles Rathkopf (CUNY) writes in asking philosophers about “the daily habits of routine research.”

Do they take notes on paper, then transfer to a computer? Does anyone still try to write anything substantial with pen and paper? What bibliographic system is best? Do people keep pdfs of the papers they read on their computer? Or just save the references? Do people use comment functions in pdf readers? Do they keep physical copies of the papers they read? What software do people like to use for note-taking? For writing articles? How do people deal with logical notation?

 Some of these questions have been addressed here at Daily Nous, with posts about writing and reference software (and just a few week’s into DN’s existence we conducted a little poll about when people write). But people are welcome to revisit these questions and the others Rathkopf lists, and we can add further ones that might be of interest:

Do you keep files of notes for paper ideas, and how do you organize them? Where do you write? What kind of devices do you write on? Do you write only when you have long stretches of time available (how long?) or are you able to squeeze in writing whenever you have a few minutes to spare? Do your ideas for papers arise mainly from conversations with others or when you are by yourself, reading or thinking? How do you decide which of many ideas to try to turn into papers? Do you stop writing when you get stuck, or do you leave your document knowing what you are going to write next, so it is easier to start again, or write for a fixed amount of time each day? Do you time your work? Do you turn off email and social media while writing? Do you take naps to recharge?

Further questions, along with answers to any of them, are welcome.



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