Research Tools

Research can be complex. These are some of the tools that can help you stay organized. All the tools listed here are free unless otherwise indicated. Find more at Use Tech To Get Organized: The 100 Best Tools, Websites, Apps and More 



GNU PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It is a free replacement for the proprietary program SPSS and appears very similar to it with a few exceptions.


TAMS stands for Text Analysis Markup System. It is a convention for identifying themes in texts (web pages, interviews, field notes). It was designed for use in ethnographic and discourse research. Mac & Linux.


WeftQDA is an easy-to-use, free, and open-source tool for the analysis of textual data such as interview transcripts, fieldnotes and other documents. It is also a simple tool to use when you first start to learn qualitative coding. PC only.



Use iAnnotate to read, mark up, and share PDF, DOC, PPT and image files on your tablet. $9.99.

Diigo Diigo is a multi-tool for knowledge management. Use the browser toolbar to annotate using digital highlighters and sticky notes on your PC or mobile device. Build a personal library with links, pages, notes, and pictures. Organize information to make it easy to find.
PDF-XChange Editor Annotate and mark-up PDFs. OCR your image-based/scanned PDFs to make fully text-searchable PDF files (base language set: English, French, German, Spanish). PC only.
Preview Annotate and mark-up PDFs with boxes and ovals, notes, or links, and add underline, strikethrough or highlights to text. Mac only.


PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Mac only.


Google Docs

Create and share your work online and access your documents from anywhere. Manage documents, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, and more.


Marketed as the "zooming presentation editor," Prezi is a presentation tool that can help you focus on concepts rather than the linearization of PowerPoint. There is also an iPad app where you can control the presentation using multitouch gestures.

Keeping Current


Browse, read, and monitor journals.


Follow your favorite journals and get alerts when new issues are published.



Put articles, videos, or pretty anything you find on the internet into Pocket to read later. Save directly from your browser or apps and read it on your phone, tablet, or computer without an internet connection.



Pulse is a news feed that you can personalize by selecting from hundreds of trusted sources.


Freemind Brainstorm, keep track of projects, or just organize your thoughts.
Popplet  Take notes, brainstorm, organize your ideas. Available on iPad and the web.
Text2MindMap Use this simple online mind-mapping tool to brainstorm or organize your thoughts.



With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files, and images are made available on every device and computer you use.


Helipad lets you write notes online with an accessible web interface. Search, tag, and share documents.


Notability allows you to sketch ideas, annotate documents, sign contracts, complete worksheets, keep a journal, record a lecture, jot travel notes, or teach a class. iPhone and iPad. $4.99


Take notes, sync, and share. iOS, Android, Mac, web.


Manage, sync, and share your to-do lists. iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, PC, and the web

Research Management


Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research and collaborate with others online.


Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. $45


Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

Scholarly Collaboration


Colwiz lets you create citations and bibliographies in 6,500+ styles and allows you to set up your research groups on the cloud to easily share files and references.


ReadCube is a tool to help organize and find scientific papers and supports scientific researchers across the entire research cycle.


Wiggio allows you to easily work in groups. Host virtual meetings, create to-do-lists and assign tasks, send email and text messages, create a shared calendar, and organize shared files.

Titan Pad

Titan Pad lets multiple people work on one document simultaneously in real time.



Dropbox is a free cloud-based service that lets you easily store and share your photos, docs, and videos and access them anywhere.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a free way to keep your files backed up and easy to reach from any phone, tablet, or computer.