Conducting research is usually a time-consuming task, regardless of your knowledge of a subject or academic experience. Finding the time to search, collect, read and analyze articles and data is just the beginning, after which writing and editing your own work starts!
Balancing these different stages of research is arguably the most stressful part of your journey. Luckily, there are several effective research automation technologies available today that can reduce the time you spend searching, reading, analyzing and writing all of which can help you improve the quality of your own research.
Given the available number of sources out there and the growing volume of published work, there are a few automation processes you need to know about if you’re going to conduct your own research efficiently and effectively today.
- Library Automation
Traditionally, literature searches have involved spending hours in a library sifting through a card catalogue and hoping the journals you needed weren’t checked out. While this is still an option at many locations, many libraries have converted to digital cataloguing systems to effectively manage their collections. These integrated systems allow users to find what they’re looking for much more quickly and from virtually anywhere in the world. We can thank these advancements for allowing us to conduct our research from the comfort of our own homes, where we can find and save any number of useful sources without needing to print out hundreds of pages.
2. Collaboration Automation
Just as we can save our references for later use, the ability to upload our own papers to cloud-based storage systems has innovated research project management. Years ago, a broken computer or misplaced flash drive could set a researcher back several months. Cloud storage systems allow documents to be saved (and accessed) from virtually anywhere, saving you the stress of relying on hardware.
3. Peer Review Automation
Searching and storage are not the only ways today’s research has advanced. Automation is now commonly used to help both the editing and peer-review process. Nearly every modern writing software offers some built-in functionality that corrects grammar, detects spelling errors, and scans for plagiarism. These features speed up the writing and review process significantly, giving both authors and editors more confidence about the quality and originality of their work.
4. Research Process Automation
Another recent advancement is the application of machine-learning technology to help students and academics speed up their research, in particular, to read large volumes of articles and books. AI-powered article summarizers such as Scholarcy enable individuals to generate a short, informative overview of the academic material they need to read and save these summaries to return to later. While it’s always important to thoroughly read through relevant documents, reading every single potentially interesting article you encounter isn’t always a productive use of your time. This AI technology offers a way for you to explore large numbers of articles and find the ones that will be most useful to you faster.
5. Academic Software Integration
Technological advancements have reinvented how we research. Although all these new and exciting features can be overwhelming, platforms, like Flowcite, are here to help you manage your research project by integrating several innovative services. Flowcite lets you take advantage of all the tools at your disposal so you can stay on top of the curve and make the most of your research experience.
Academic research is not what it used to be. Advances in technology have facilitated a new way to perform research and many of these innovative tools are making it easier than ever to manage your research papers and use your resources effectively.
Saffady, W. (1989). Library automation: An overview.