I truly think, I just fell in love with a program. I’m talking about Scrivener. Since I’m doing research / academic writing rather than novel writing, I had not really looked at the program after I had bought it and played a bit with it a couple of years ago. Now, I’m starting here a series of blog articles about how to make Scrivener really work for academic writing and research. It’ll go very much in detail.


By mnott on 2016/11/23 | Research | A comment?

Speed Reading

I’ve been doing some investigation on speed reading, here’s there result.

By mnott on 2014/05/28 | Computer, Hacks, Research, Science | A comment?

Visual Feedback from Apple Scripts

I am probably overly abusing Better Touch Tool. As an example, while reading a book in Full Screen mode with Skim, I want to create different types of annotations but I do not want to use the menu or even the keyboard to switch annotation types. I want to keep my hand on the trackpad and do what’s needed – including saving. The issue I saw is that when using gestures, I’m not quite sure whether they actually were executed. Adding today the “save” operation, I definitely needed a simple way to display a notification on whether the given action has been performed. Enter Growl. And a very simple Apple Script that displays, using Growl, what ever has been passed on the command line. The script is given below; here’s how it works.

Read more…

By mnott on 2014/02/10 | Code, Hacks, Research | A comment?

Innovate or Exploit? Some thoughts on Rigidity vs. Flexibility, and Myopic Measurement

I’m just reading Schermerhorn et al. There’s an interesting chapter on innovation which captures the topic of flexibility vs. rigidity, or exploration vs. exploitation, that I’ve recently discussed with a group of research fellows in the context of the dichotomy of exploration vs. exploitation: “too much emphasis on exploration will yield a whole list of potential ideas for new products and processes to new clients and customers in new markets, but little pay-off . . . Conversely, an emphasis on exploitation stresses control and evolutionary development. Such exploitation can be planned with tight budgets, careful forecasts, and steady implementation. It is often much easier to stress exploitation because most organizations have a structure and culture that emphasize stability and control.” (2010, pp. 381–382)

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Innovation Culture: Thoughts about allowing for more flexibility.

For a well-formatted version, see here .


What is required—and why—to establish a balance between flexibility and stringent order to enable a company to be receptive to innovation? And what focus areas should be considered for implementing such change?

This paper is organized as follows: section  2  contextualizes innovation with organizational culture, innovation and change, the findings of which section  3  utilizes to explore why and how to allow for flexibility and change. Section  4  brings in some of the author’s own experiences, and section  5  concludes.

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Automate copying the Citation from BibDesk

Even though BibDesk has a very useful “Cite Tray” from which you can drag and drop your citations to the document you’re writing, what I consistently end up doing is to use, always, mostly the same format. As an example, I may be saying something like as \citeauthor{Nott:2014} said so eloquently, “repetitions are a sign of laziness.” (\citeyear[10]{Nott:2010}) So in essence, I am dragging and dropping twice, and am then entering (or not) the page I’m quoting from. And as repetitions are obviously a sign of laziness in the sense that for just too long I’m too lazy to automate the process, it took me probably 5,000 citation marks until I decided to do this in a better way using a nice dialog box that fetches the relevant information from the currently selected article in BibDesk, asks for the page number and finally copies the correct citation key to the clipboard:


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By mnott on 2014/01/25 | LaTeX, Research, Science | A comment?

Finally solved: BibDesk failing at generating Preview.

Now what I don’t like with automated solutions is that occasionally they don’t work – and that’s of course when you’ve no time to debug and fix it.

My automated solution of bibliography generating using BibDesk is massively effective, except that it occasionally fails. Read more…

By mnott on 2014/01/24 | LaTeX, Research, Science | A comment?

How to paste a URL from the Clipboard to BibDesk as a LaTeX (and Harvard) compatible reference

Now after I’ve ended up about 700 times to always do the same thing: In BibDesk, add a “Note” field to a publication, copy my template for that note field, paste it into the publication, then copy and paste the URL I want to refer to into the right place, I got bored. Here’s another way of doing it (obviously attached to a keyboard shortcut by one of the usual means, e.g. BetterTouchTool). It takes the URL on the clipboard, escapes some characters that LaTeX would choke on, wraps it with my template, calculates the current date, and adds it to the notes field (which is created if it wasn’t there). If the field was there, nothing is added, but the result is copied back to the clipboard. Read more…

By mnott on 2014/01/21 | Code, Computer, Research, Science | A comment?

How to open Preview or Skim from DEVONThink

Unfortunately, DEVONThink utilizes its own PDF preview application. If you’d rather want to open Preview, you can utilize BetterTouchTool and set up a custom action for DEVONThink for a keyboard combination to use. Read more…

By mnott on 2013/09/10 | Code, Computer, Research, Science

Some musing on scientific writing…

Some notes for my fellows at University of Liverpool. Quite often we’ve to manage a lot of content, which means get it, digitize it, and manage it to finally end up writing something about it.

Let’s see it from where we want to have it:

All content should be digitized, and it should be indexable. Which means, all articles and books must somehow end up being PDFs with actual content searchable, i.e. they need to be OCR’d if they were scanned, to then be put into a library manager such as BibDesk or DevonThink, to ultimately be used by LaTeX. Read more…

By mnott on 2013/05/01 | Research, Science