Month: December 2016

What’s the difference between Philpapers and Philosopher’s Index?

Are you lost in the literature? Or are you desperately looking for the ‘needle in the haystack’? Even though you might be already familiar with Philpapers and Philosopher’s Index, the philosophy-specific bibliographic databases, in this blog post we highlight some important differences between the two. You can find further comparisons between them on both the Philpapers dedicated webpage and the Philosopher’s Index webpage, whereas Princeton University did an excellent external review in 2014.

Philpapers has arguably become the central online resource for English-speaking philosophy, and its repository includes more than 1.800.000 research books and articles. Browsing and discovery are facilitated by a hierarchical subject taxonomy with more than 5000 categories which, together with the indexing, are implemented by a large community of professional philosophers. In addition to the search engine, Philpapers offers further tools, such as a job portal and the possibility to create a personal profile. It is a relatively new database which has showed a successful development in scope while maintaining a good quality, and it is also likely that its structure will be improved in the near future.

Originally created in 1966, Philosophers Index contains about 600.000 records and is controlled only by a limited number of editors, who submit full texts of papers only after checking their quality and assigning relevant keywords to them. Both simple and advanced searches are supported, allowing users to formulate complicate and precise queries limited to specific field, by language, or document type. Individual indexes can also be browsed directly, and the philosophical taxonomy, featuring a 15000 words thesaurus, exhibits a great variety and interconnectedness.

Caglan Dilek

Michele Luchetti

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Drowning in the sea of your papers? Hold on to a citation manager!

Every graduate student knows that moment of existential despair when the papers you’ve been reading and the citations you’ve been accumulating for a particular project begin collapsing into unnavigable chaos. Fortunately enough, a marvellous piece of software known as a citation manager can come to rescue.

One thing to bear in mind, though, is that there are multiple options out there, and not all of them are made equal. In this blog post we compare two of them: Zotero and Mendeley.

Here are some elements of comparison you might consider. Both Zotero and Mendeley:

  • have a desktop version as well as a web-based version,
  • provide extensions (which save items into your library as you go),
  • offer the possibility to upload articles, and
  • generate your list of references in a diversity of styles (in both managers the accuracy of data needs to be checked, though).

Generally, the main difference between Zotero and Mendeley is that the first one is better for long-term projects because it is very stable and reliable, whereas Mendeley, although less stable, offers unmatched functionality with PDF editing, thus we can recommend it for short-term projects.

However, it is strongly advised that you try both of them out and compare on your own, just in order to see what works best for you personally.

If you are looking for more detailed comparisons that also include other reference manager software, you can consult the dedicated Wikipedia page and the overview provided by the University of Toronto.

Olesya Bondarenko

Michele Luchetti