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Author Topic: database project -- I think  (Read 4320 times)
Aster Breo
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« Topic Start: April 18, 2007, 07:29:48 pm »

Are there any database experts out there who can help me figure out how to set up a project?

I want to catalog my research on Brighid.  I *think* the best way to do this is with a database -- but I could easily be wrong.  (Please feel free to tell me so!)

I have a number of different kinds of resources, ranging from a couple of entire books all about Brighid to chapters and large passages in books, to brief mentions in books, to journal articles, to websites.  Some pieces are about Brighid as goddess, others are about Brighid as saint, some are both.  Some focus on her associations with smithcraft, some with healing, some with poetry, etc.  Some are about Imbolc, and therefore related to Brighid.  Some of my resources are stories in the mythology.  Some are archeology books.  Etc. Etc.  Etc.  And I continue to collect them.

I would like to somehow input all this data so that I can search it according to a variety of tags or labels or whatever they're called.  For example, if I want to find all the places in my library where Brighid's association with fire are mentioned, I can plug that in to my computer and get back a list of specific references to my books and files.

I don't currently have a database program, but realize I'm going to have to get one.  Suggestions?

Or do I actually need a different kind of program?

Thoughts about how to set this up?  Pitfalls to try to avoid?

Thanks!!
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« Reply #1: April 18, 2007, 11:00:55 pm »

I want to catalog my research on Brighid.  I *think* the best way to do this is with a database -- but I could easily be wrong.  (Please feel free to tell me so!)

I think there are some specialized research tool programs that will do this -- buyiong one orf those would probably make more sense than buying a general purpose database and their have to design and code what you want.
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Aster Breo
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« Reply #2: April 18, 2007, 11:37:46 pm »

I think there are some specialized research tool programs that will do this -- buyiong one orf those would probably make more sense than buying a general purpose database and their have to design and code what you want.

Ah ha!  Do you have any suggestions?  Or titles, at least?

(I didn't even know those existed -- although I probably should have figured it out... Embarrassed )
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« Reply #3: April 19, 2007, 07:21:13 am »

Are there any database experts out there who can help me figure out how to set up a project?

Two thoughts.

One is that one of the 'run on your computer' Wiki programs would do it, I think, especially if it has a way to categorise pages. (I use VoodooPad, for the Mac, for a number of similar tasks.)

As far as the academic programs - Endnote, Biblioscope and others are out there. They're usually fairly pricy ($100-300) but you might poke around somewhere like versiontracker.com and see if there's anything else that looks like it might work.
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« Reply #4: April 19, 2007, 09:23:41 am »

Are there any database experts out there who can help me figure out how to set up a project?

I want to catalog my research on Brighid.  I *think* the best way to do this is with a database -- but I could easily be wrong.  (Please feel free to tell me so!)

I have a number of different kinds of resources, ranging from a couple of entire books all about Brighid to chapters and large passages in books, to brief mentions in books, to journal articles, to websites.  Some pieces are about Brighid as goddess, others are about Brighid as saint, some are both.  Some focus on her associations with smithcraft, some with healing, some with poetry, etc.  Some are about Imbolc, and therefore related to Brighid.  Some of my resources are stories in the mythology.  Some are archeology books.  Etc. Etc.  Etc.  And I continue to collect them.

I would like to somehow input all this data so that I can search it according to a variety of tags or labels or whatever they're called.  For example, if I want to find all the places in my library where Brighid's association with fire are mentioned, I can plug that in to my computer and get back a list of specific references to my books and files.

I don't currently have a database program, but realize I'm going to have to get one.  Suggestions?

Or do I actually need a different kind of program?

Thoughts about how to set this up?  Pitfalls to try to avoid?

Thanks!!

Micorsoft Access is a GREAT program for this sort of stuff. 
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Aster Breo
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« Reply #5: April 19, 2007, 09:32:31 am »

Micorsoft Access is a GREAT program for this sort of stuff. 

I was originally thinking that a database program would be the way to go, but then...maybe there's something more tailored to academic research...

Have you used Access for this kind of thing before?
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« Reply #6: April 19, 2007, 09:44:12 am »

One is that one of the 'run on your computer' Wiki programs would do it, I think, especially if it has a way to categorise pages. (I use VoodooPad, for the Mac, for a number of similar tasks.)

On a similar note, my initial thought was to just set up a blog on one of the free services that lets you categorize stuff.  (After all, if mostly what she wants is a bunch of listings of research that she can put in categories...  It might not be a blog's intended purpose, but the software would certainly work for that.  No need to reinvent the wheel.)
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« Reply #7: April 19, 2007, 10:23:51 am »

I was originally thinking that a database program would be the way to go, but then...maybe there's something more tailored to academic research...

Have you used Access for this kind of thing before?

The last time I used access it was for a call log when I was working IT. 

What I liked about it was that you can create drop down lists to categorize, so you might be able to do a field for title, author, media - then have a drop down for media, where you can have (website, book, magazine, encyclopedia, etc.) and then after that a box that you can reduce/ expand with the relative content.

If you have a limited number of authors you could do a drop down menu.

What I liked about the program was the ability to sort data quickly.  I used it to track trouble users and trouble programs.  I was able to sort by user, sort by problem, sort by program, and sort by time.

eg. 

User  Time  Issue  Program  Priority 
Joe Schmoe  3:15pm  locked up computer  photoshop  2   
                   

Then I did drop downs for user, program, and priority.  Basically anything I had a limited number of.  I was trying to come up with a way to organize and save time, track calls, and identify areas of issue, that could be searched quickly.

There was also the option of sorting alphabetically, and sorting by any of the fields that you created.  It's a cool program.  So you could sort by media, sort by date entered, sort by author, etc.

Then again, something more for research might be the way to go too.
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #8: April 19, 2007, 10:40:27 am »

Heh, being the kind of guy I am, I immediately thought "Hey, I could easily do this up using MySQL and a Java applet front end. In fact, I've already got code lying around that would only take a couple weeks to modify!"

...

Ooooor, you could use a wiki and be done with it Smiley
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« Reply #9: April 19, 2007, 04:01:16 pm »

Have you considered Library Thing?
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Star
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« Reply #10: April 19, 2007, 04:06:56 pm »

Have you considered Library Thing?

I thought about that too (or something similar), but it's not really set up for anything other than books, and it sounds like Moon Ivy needs to also catalog web sites and articles and things.  Sad
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« Reply #11: April 19, 2007, 05:50:13 pm »


Kayuda:- its a online mindmapping tool. and its free.

Never used it myself but people tell me good things. like easy and used lots. And apparently Howard Tayler (of schlock mercenary) uses it for storylines.

http://www.kayuda.com/workspace/trial#zoom=69.0909090909091 for a demo and
http://www.kayuda.com/ to sign Up and make your own space
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Aster Breo
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« Reply #12: April 19, 2007, 05:58:10 pm »

Kayuda:- its a online mindmapping tool. and its free.

Never used it myself but people tell me good things. like easy and used lots. And apparently Howard Tayler (of schlock mercenary) uses it for storylines.

http://www.kayuda.com/workspace/trial#zoom=69.0909090909091 for a demo and
http://www.kayuda.com/ to sign Up and make your own space

Ackkkkk!   Shocked

I just clicked on the first link, and it's really scary!!

OK.  just had to get that out of my system.  Now I'll go back and try to figure out what "mindmapping" is. 

 Huh
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