It is clear that googling is not enough and we have to collect our database of distilled information, but who will get the most out of building their own scientific library.
I am not talking just about collecting and storing scientific articles. I mean to learn to read science and interpret scientific results in a practical way ready to use in your projects.
The 6 profiles who leverage the most are:
- Content creators
- R&D professionals
- Advisors and data-driven decision-makers
- People interested in a very specific topic
- Undergraduate students
- PhD candidates and scientists
You are a blogger, an author, a YouTuber, or any kind of non-fictional content creator. You need to produce rich content constantly to gain an authoritative voice and become a reference figure in your field or industry.
For that, you have to be well-documented with facts, studies, researches, and analyses to support your arguments. You often read web articles and books about the topic, but you want to be authentic, you don’t want to vomit out others’ opinions.
So, you need to read directly the source, interpret it, and create your own judgments.
Scientific studies are the fundamental blocks of science. Understanding the scope and limitations of the scientific studies and mastering the art of reading a large number of articles will build up your confidence in the topic and create your unique and trusted voice.
You are part of a team. You develop new products, create new services, or work with new technologies. There is no manuals or roadmap to follow. You have to find your way out by yourself, providing new ideas.
No one is going to tell you what to try next. Your best chance to move forward is to be up-to-date with the latest advances in your field. You need data to test your ideas and to propose new approaches.
It is the moment to consult your scientific library and get inspired by different ideas that have been already tested and probably you can adapt to your specific challenge.
Advisors and data-driven decision-makers
You have to make decisions in an organization or advise people who make decisions. You are responsible for an area of expertise and you are frequently asked to make decisions or advise with little or no time to research the topic.
You’d better do the work upfront. During crisis-free times, you collect and curate scientific studies that will support your decisions next time, giving you confidence and building authority with your colleagues.
People interested in a very specific topic
There are many reasons why someone could be interested in a single particular topic. For instance, the case where you want to know more about a specific disease.
You or someone close to you suffer from rare diseases. You feel lonely and clueless about how serious it is, what options you have, what you can expect.
I cannot imagine a stronger motivation to build your own scientific library than focus on your own issue. Just by understanding better what’s going on, we feel much better, less stressed, relieved. Nowadays science advances very fast. You can be up-to-date with the latest advances related to your disease. Reading the evolution of the research can give you a realistic view of the situation.
Another situation could be the inheritance of a family business, for example, a farm that you would like to modernize.
You want to find more efficient ways to irrigate, so you start motivated reading some studies related to your specific crop and take some notes.
The time pass and one day discussing with your partner about the next move, one study comes to your mind but you don’t remember the details. This is a good moment to pick your digital scientific library and discuss it with the data at hand.
It is the beginning of the semester. Your teacher has explained that for the final evaluation you have to write a long essay. You know that filling so many pages is not going to be easy.
A good moment to start to collect information. You don’t need to start to write on a white page. Only with thirty minutes of work per week, you can collect enough information along the semester to write several essays. You just need to extract the key results, structure them in a meaningful way, and write your interpretation of the data. Easy peasy!
PhD candidates and scientists
This is probably the clearest profile for building a scientific library. You work in science and you have to be up-to-date with scientific literature. Not only for research but also to write and communicate your results. For each paper you read, you find four more to add to the reading list. Your folder of papers to read it only grows.
You need a method to organize all those papers efficiently to find them when you need them. Because the world needs you to do your best job to advance human knowledge, so all of us can have a better life.
Well, I am here to help you all. I will show the tricks and the tools that scientists use to handle that. To make your relation with scientific literature smoother, practical, useful.
In which of the 6 profiles do you identify yourself the most? You don’t fit in any of the 6 profiles? Leave us a comment below.
How to build YOUR own scientific library
In this blog, I write about how to find, organize, and retrieve scientific studies efficiently to create your own scientific library.
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