Right, first day back to searching for references. Nightmare. I absolutely detest the level of unnecessary complicatedness. Makes me sick! Why on earth anyone would like to be an academic. If it isn’t the joy of conceptual movement, perhaps operating some complex machinery of research, it can’t be the nightmare of using such ugly tools.

Ok. I use Mendeley. I have a list of 700 pdfs from my first search. I search for Doll, because he’s the closest to the kind of work I am interested in, ‘dissipative control’, talk of chaos theory and so on. It brings up five related texts. I open up one, go to the references. First search for title in University of Sheffield library brings up goblidigook, and after a few attempts, eventually get a link to a document to find it is a review, which I can’t even read. Second reference gives me front cover, contents page and the rest is blank. I give up and just copy references.

Then I go through the other four related texts, including Doll’s own work, and find that references need to be downloaded from book, since his reference is a chapter. I download the references, and add them to Mendeley, but there’s no way I can reference it in my gingko app.

I use Gingko app because I can copy citations, abstracts, and then copy sections from pdf, highlight, make notes. I can navigate clearly between them, the organisation is simple. I can then search the entire gingko doc. It is a brilliant system. Its the only way I’ve been able to keep sane with the number of threads I am tracking (about 30 topics or areas initially, ended up about 50).

To do this properly, I will cross-reference references, then use multiple DB to search for material. Some are books, which haven’t been digitised, or if they have, there will only be a few pages available to me. Unbelievable. The fact there is no application of AI to help do this cross-referencing of referencing is unbelievable. Why hasn’t Google Scholar got this? I should be able to put in a few search terms, or focus on specific texts, and it should do some network analysis and provide a ‘heat-map’ of concepts or texts. Considered doing that with Nvivo, but it involves copying references from all 700 pdf’s. Tedious. Can’t believe bibliography analysis isn’t an off-the-shelf service.

Ugly, ugly, ugly.

We should be able to read something, see a reference and click on it, and that document pops up. The number of firewalls, organisations, copyright, etc etc, just unbelievable.

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