Dissertation Software Questions: Scrivener and Idea Rover

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by PsyD2Be, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. PsyD2Be macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2012

    I am preparing for the daunting task of writing my doctoral dissertation :eek: and decided that rather than go old school and use note cards and binders, I'd seek out software designed for my specific task.

    What I have ended up with so far is Scrivener and am also considering getting Idea Rover. However, I am wondering if adding Idea Rover would be redundant.:confused: I can't really tell all the features of both programs by looking at their sites, so if someone in Mac Forum-land can assist me with a comparison or details I'd be much appreciative. :eek:

    PS I also just purchased my first MacBook (still learning the OS) which completed my conversion to all :apple: products for phone and computing. :D
  2. twitter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    you should check out Mendely http://www.mendeley.com/
    and maybe if Citavi especially if you write a lot of text with quotes but it only runs on Windows but you can use Vmware or Paralles for that :)
  3. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I use Scrivener for my research and also CurioCore. I use Curio for brainstorming/ organising ideas and outlines and for sorting data, and Scrivener for writing my articles and taking literature notes/ importing literature. I'll often import files from Curio to Scrivener after I have done my brainstorming/ outlining.

    I also use Excel for literature reviews, and have been experimenting with Papers2 as an alternative to EndNote.

    I don't have any experience with Idea Rover but it looks like it duplicates Scrivener at least in certain aspects. They seem to have a free trial version, so I guess you could test out both for a little while. Please report back if you do :)
  4. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    This is off-topic, but yesterday three of us old farts were talking about our doctoral dissertations (all produced in the early 70s of the last century). Two of us hauled out copies for inspection.

    Mine was 334 pages and I typed every damn page myself. My university had a rule about white-outs -- I think we were allowed 2 or 3 per page, no more.

    All three of us write on Macs and print on laser printers now, so we were properly amazed at the magnitude of what we'd done long ago, which would now be so easily done.

    I use Scrivener constantly, but not for academic work. I use it for a large fiction project (300K+ words, 130+ chapters) and what I value most is its ability to let me easily look at different combinations of chapters, so I can check for tone, voice, content, flow of argument, etc., among chapters that might be separated by many pages.

    Thinking back to my dissertation -- this would have been a tremendous advantage. I remember worrying, well into the penultimate draft (and even into the final one) about whether I'd gone about something in a slightly different way many pages before, and had no easy way to learn that except to physically page back, hoping that it wasn't true.

    I remember the sinking feeling that not only was making an adjustment going to require retyping a page way back there, but that the new text wasn't going to fit on that physical page.

    The old technology's gone but I'm sure the problem remains, and Scrivener offers excellent solutions.

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