Tools for Research

This page highlights tools that support various stages of the research process. In an effort to promote equal access, the tools listed are either free (although many have paid versions with additional features) or ones to which the MW Library subscribes for the benefit of all Green Dragons, such as Noodle Tools.

Organizing your Personal Learning Environment (PLE)

NetVibes - organizer for many components of your personal learning environment
Symbaloo or SymbalooEDU - create a customized visual grid of your favorite sites and news feeds

Calendars, Password Managers, and Cloud Storage
Google Calendar
LastPass - free password manager for storing all your database logins. For a paid version, try Roboform.
Windows Live SkyDrive - 7GB of free online storage. 
Sugar, and iDrive are similar services that offer between 2 and 10 GB of free storage. Some have mobile apps and/or browser plug-ins too.  

Mind-Mapping, Outlining, Flow Charts
FreeMind - (requires download) free mind-mapping software written in Java
Gliffy - free basic account limits you to 5 saved charts/maps
Mindomo - web-based, free version available
Noodle Tools - the outlining feature is in the Note Cards section
Personal Brain - (requires download) mind-mapping tool with a free version
Scriblink - online white board
Xmind - (requires download) mind-mapping tool with a free version

Gathering and Compiling Data
Google Forms - create online surveys with the Google Spreadsheets app in Google Docs
Google Spreadsheets
Survey Monkey - online surveys
Zoho Creator - free online database tool
Zoho Sheet
Zoomerang - online surveys

Finding Curated Content (and creating your own)
On the open web, a search for your topic- paired with a phrase like subject guide or research guide - and limited to site:edu often leads to recommended resources about the topic organized by university librarians. Here are a few other places for finding (and creating your own) curated content in the form of annotated lists, virtual newspapers, or online binders.  You can search/browse these sites without signing up for an account.
Delicious Stacks - annotated lists
LibGuides - lists of resources organized in tabs (created by librarians from all sorts of libraries)
LiveBinders - online binders subdivided by tabs across the top
Paper.Li - virtual newspaper created from online articles, posts, tweets, etc.
Scoop.It - virtual newspaper created from online articles, posts, tweets, etc.

Collaborating and Communicating
Taking Notes
Gale TinyURL
Google URL Shortener
Google Docs
Noodle Tools (Note Cards)
Open Office (requires download)
Zoho Writer
Zotero (a Firefox extension)
Documenting Sources
How much of the URL might you need in your citation? Find out.

Citation Machine
Noodle Tools (a.k.a. NoodleBib)
Zotero (a Firefox extension)
Sharing your Story
Google Presentation
Google Spreadsheets
Prezi - zooming presentation tool
Storybird - collaborative storytelling - great source of ideas for designing creative infographics
Zoho Sheet
Zoho Show