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- Version 1.02 Posted! - 05/22/04
- Version 1.01 Posted! - 12/26/04
- Version 1.0 Posted! - 12/08/04
- Added description, screenshots. - 12/06/04
- Project Page edited. - 11/18/04
- Project started! - 11/01/04
Research Buddy!Hooray for bugfix versions (now at 1.02!)...This version should work with the new versions of firefox (1.03+)
Since the beginning of teaching in this country, everyone from high-school students to doctoral students have been plagued by domineering teachers that require them to write research papers. Research is a dreary, dismal task, characterized by monotonous reading and constantly scribbling down where appropriate sources are found. It would be really helpful to have a secretary that noted all the interesting papers a student read, remembering the important paragraphs from each one, and putting the citations into appropriate format, ready to use in the research paper that will earn the student a Nobel Prize (or Turing Award, if you're lucky).
But wait! There is such a secretary! Starting on December 8th of 2004, there is Research Buddy, a Firefox plugin that does exactly this (and much, much more)! You can arrange your citations in different topics, manage those topics, specify the format of the citation, and anything else your little heart desires. Isn't the internet great?
(Use it often, use it wisely.)
The plugin is designed to be used in the following way:
- The user finds a quote on a webpage and wants to reference the quote in her paper.
- The user selects the text of this quote, and, in the right-click menu, selects "Research Buddy" (this step is optional: the page can be referenced without selected text).
- The plugin opens the main Research Buddy dialog, which allows the user to select which research topic the page should be filed under.
- The user clicks on "Add to selected topic", and the reference is saved to the topic. Depending on the preferences, the page (and it's images) may be saved to the user's disk.
Users can also add new topics, delete old topics, rename topics, and view the bibliography for a topic.
The Research Buddy preferences allow the user to configure the behavior of the plugin. Preferences are stored in a file, so they persist between web sessions:
- Bibliography format string (defaults to a generic reference string)
- Root directory to store pages in (set to the mozilla profile directory by default)
- Save the html of the referenced page (this is useful for ensuring access to the content regardless of the availability of the website. on by default)
- Save the images on the referenced page (useful for pages where content is at least partially contained in images. off by default to save disk space)
One note: many bibliography strings will require an "Author" field. Due to the difficulty of accurately finding the author of a given webpage, it was decided that this task be left up to the user. Since it would be impossible/impractical for the Research Buddy to find this string, you must add it in manually where necessary.
Another note: the citations are stored in xml format, and an html file is only generated when the user clicks on "View Topic".
To really understand the program, you should just go see the screenshots, or just download it and start playing.