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workflow and Citavi

Got questions about Citavi 5? The Citavi team and other users are happy to help.

Re: workflow and Citavi

Postby Dav-o » 2017-02-08 05:19

g'day all

Thanks @piotrsmolnicki for your contributions. Controversial views? Ha! Not at all. As with @mnaah , I would also like some clarification about the ’tags’ term . I guess you mean keywords, although Citavi 'groups' are now a way to do what you describe without having such long (perhaps unwieldy?) Citavi category names.

while we are talking about keywords I have found that as my number of references steadily grows (I'm at about 400 references right now) my keywords are becoming close to out of control. some articles’ keywords come in to Citavi automatically which is nice, but can create problems in the differences between my established categories for the same concept.

Question: is it preferable to blend/merge keywords to address this OR 2 not even try because it is going to keep happening anyway, and let Citavi 'hit' any words in a search. (i.e. just live with it)

Like you i use capitals for major and lower case for minor categories. But i have been attempting to have categories as close as possible to match my chapters, headings and subheadings rather than aggregators or 'catchers'. I'd raise this one as one of the fundamental workflow issues. Like you @mnaah also suggested adding a category for unaligned Citavi knowledge items almost like a 'maybe later' container.

Like @mnaah, I also do not use the Citavi built-in tasks, but i agree a few more visual ways to codify, align (just like the red-flag mentioned already) would be a great addition. Not sure exactly what this might be just yet... thinking.

@mnaah, Thank you for introducing me to writemonkey - I hadn’t heard of it - interesting! Like you from time to time i’ve been afflicted by a similar inhibiting nature of word for first thoughts and often will use Google drive as my ‘scratch pad’ for this reason. (bonus points for using tools/options voice typing for getting the wheels turning :)
but, phew! one para at a time then the switch-eroo across sounds a bit too laborious for me. but regardless of software, the big take-out for me is that you get the para 99% right before you 'connect to' Citavi.

So as an overview in this thread on workflow: The thing i LOVE about Citavi is that is knowledge management, not just a reference/bibliography maker BUT I'm beginning to conclude that Civai and Word are best kept apart for a LOT longer than I had originally thought.

The context for the above is that I HAD expected with the word add-in a dynamic link to and fro between the two bits o’ software. But because it's a “once only” action I'm hearing that it's best to keep them separate and parallel until things really start to take firm shape...almost final draft. It is because knowledge items (the both as ‘things themselves’ and as Citavi things) can apply to a number of things concurrently and as we all keep working, read more our views on these develop and change over time. So our workflow needs to support this reality. Separately but additionally thesis structures DO change!

So this is a little problematic for me and my writing style for two reasons:
  1. i would like to have my references in and around my text as i'm writing. I can see arguments and positions relative to the literature much clearer when writing this way. I'd add that this is what is so great about word-processors (and perhaps the way they encourage us to work, too).
  2. my supervisors and other draft readers should be able to see how the ideas read with references and sit within the literature early on too. i keep saying, "yes the references will come, dont worry", but this is starting to wear a llittle thin now.

MY OPINION: Citivai is 50+ miles further down the track compared with EndNote, and i think what i'm saying about hoping for a more dynamic link between ideas, writing, knowledge management and referencing that Citavi would be 70 miles down the track compared to endNote.

This is a great discussion - hopefully others are getting a lot out of it like i am. Does anyone have further contributions to make about their workflow/approaches? All welcome :)


Re: workflow and Citavi

Postby piotrsmolnicki » 2017-02-08 13:18

mnaah wrote:[...] why would you not use keywords for what you describe? I am a little confused by what you mean by 'tags.' But I think a keyword would allow you to do what you want without having to hijack the categories function which is more for outlining arguments. Keywords would allow you to sort items thematically, and in more than one place. You don't even have to give up hierarchy as a keyword search will return a hit if it finds it anywhere in the field. The only downside is that it might be a bit more of a hassle to reassign keywords than it would categories.

For example, if you had keywords "Science. Physics" and "Science. Chemistry" and you searched for "Science" in an advanced search, it would return any entry with either keyword.

Does that make sense? Or have I misunderstood you?


I try not to enter the keyword ("tags") options menu - just working from the outside: from the quotation window. And the searchbox in quotation window doesn't allow to search any word from the keyword name - it allows to search the first one :)

Re: workflow and Citavi

Postby alainsr » 2017-03-23 18:01

Hi. It's great to read all this. I thought I could share a few things I do with tags.

First, I miss hierarchical tags, so I manually "create" them. For example, I have tags for countries and relevant subdivisions or places in them, so a paper could be tagged both "Brazil", "Brazil: CE" (for the state of Ceará) and "Brazil: RJ" (for the state of Rio de Janeiro) and "Brazil: CE: Fortaleza" and "Brazil: RJ: Rio de Janeiro" (for the respective capitals). Or subthemes: I have a "constitutions" tag, then "constitutions: Brazil", "constitutions: Angola", and, going deeper, "constitutions: Brazil: 1822", "constitutions: Brazil: 1988".

I also input other data-related categories, such as "time": "séc. XVII", "séc. XVI" (17th century, 16th century). This is important when you have one huge database with thousands of references: you can narrow them by place, time, subject, etc. Of course, you can always start with a search query such as 'tags containing "Brazil", but then you can't add or remove them from the combined tags view and immediately get the list of resulting references by the side so quickly and change the combination as you will.

(One other thing I really miss is combining categories AND tags in knowledge view. I am still using Citavi 4 though, so maybe Citavi 5 solved this already...)

I also use tags as tasks and/or categorization, by using special characters as first character: _people (_Rousseau for works that discuss or use his ideas), .tasks (.scan article, .redownload because file is corrupted, .check year, .check page numbers, .file is incomplete or just a sample, .print201701), .observations for myself (.read only contributions or parts specified in the notes [where I then write to myself something like "Ch. 3 and 5(!) are important, 4 may be relevant for idea X"], .used in paper presented at conference X).

Not related to tags but possibly relevant, I see my wife using custom text fields for specific purposes, such as comparing the experimental conditions used in some papers: pH, temperature, acid concentration, etc. This way she can quickly see that one author got result X but he used pH X, while others have different results but used different conditions.

Re: workflow and Citavi

Postby piotrsmolnicki » 2017-03-23 18:33

Our problem is exactly the same, thus I propose for Citavi Stuff to make it easier in the search box, for example typing "braz 87" you could get very fast the tag "Brazil: constitution: 1987".


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