This question is a try of making Do you use any article organizers? question suitable for TCS (as suggested in meta answer https://cstheory.meta.stackexchange.com/a/359/6133 )

Question similar -> about organizers, but ...

What organizer do you use, know that are possible to handle TCS related meta-information ?

We organize our knowledge in many ways.

  • Some of them are hierarchical, as complexity zoo.
  • Others more like graph -> let's take algorithms as vertices and how they are related with each other as edges
  • As another extreme, some knowledge we organize like sets and think about it in terms of sets intersections - to be more specific conjunction of criteria, just like flat tags.

I would love to see tool that combines many approaches and enables collaboration between researches, even better, if between strangers (possibly with crowdsourcing).

Above might relate to Academia in general.

What I mean is that TCS people have more CS skills, knowledge and are able to apply it in organizing their own information.

I believe our approach in organizing information is different, partially because we use concepts of graphs, sets, ontology in our job, so they are natural to us and we are able to handle complex models of organizing information, which might use or even might all of mentioned. On the other hand, people from non scientific fields (especially not math related), might have problems with using such models and I believe that's the reason why almost all tools have so much simplified models.

I use "hacks", "tips&tricks" to extend them, but it's not comfortable and not build-in. I even run sometimes analysis tools on my own collections of data - but again, in hacky, why. I would love to see really flexible tools, suitable for CS / TCS people.

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    $\begingroup$ This can be generalised to all research and is ontopic on Academia. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 2:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Raphael thanks you for pointing this out. I've tried to stress-out what was my point : CS, TCS people have different approach than people from other fields - I believe it can be used in imagined tool, in order to help us to use our natural approaches, rather than *simplified standard" ones, like "flat tagging". $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 9:24
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not convinced that TCS is special in any way. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ @SureshVenkat I thinks it's "special" as any other science - in that sense there could exist special way of organizing information for each of science. General trade-off: general vs specialized tools. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 0:07
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    $\begingroup$ I am still unconvinced that this needs to be here, as opposed to Academia.SE $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 18:12

2 Answers 2


I am old school and just use files and folders to organize everything. I have it in Dropbox and I share it with my professors or other students. I think using files and folders although it isn't very fancy but it works well. I have tried special organizers but never used them.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 I basically organize my papers as author1name_author2name_..._authorNname_year.pdf and am happy with that. The real knowledge is in what other people in your branch do, and one you have this knowledge, articles listed by names and year is enough. $\endgroup$
    – yo'
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 10:18
  • For graph organizing research papers I like http://kleenk.com/ approach. They create relations between papers with semantic type and description text. This helps in organizing information more like in our heads -> how things relate to each other.

  • For set approach - flat tags - there are many services, like OdySci, Bibsonomy etc.

  • For Hierarchies, there might be Mendeley with it's directories structure. I put tag keywords into description, what enables me to search through them in "tag style. But it's not built-in feature and I have to maintain collection of tags which are special keywords not conflicting with natural language. One more disadvantage - so far Medneley does not handle efficiently big hierarchies. I hope it will be improved in future. On more advantage -> Mendeley benefits from users, but performing crowd-sourcing and providing results as suggestion for automatic filling meta-information (this as well needs improvements, I've found it has problems with syncing with your own meta-info, especially when I corrected provided data it tried again and again to overwrite it with their -> thankfully, it asks before synchronization so I can refuse)

  • I've found interesting post about ordered tags. http://pubnotes.wordpress.com/2007/10/14/ordered-tags/ -> interesting concept. It's like flat tags but benefits from tags arrangement. It seems there was source code of prototype provided in past, but unfortunately, not any-more.


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