Week 8: BibTeX & BibDesk for annotated bibliographies

I made substantially less progress in the past week than expected for two reasons. First, a crisis came up in LILT that required me to urgently work on SocialSense. Second, as part of the Sustainable Saunders Energy Group, I was notifying the occupants of the sixth floor of the Saunders building about upcoming nighttime air conditioning shutdown that should save at least $100K annually. Hopefully both situations have subsided for now and I can focus on the sustainability research this week.

I was looking for a way to get my literature review notes into my proposal document (per Philip’s request) in a sane and maintainable way. As I read each paper, I make notes (usually just bullet points) and once I have reached a stopping point (like the end of a semester) I assemble them into something conceptually coherent. I decided the best way to do this is to enter all the papers I read into my proposal BibTeX database, and place my notes in the annote field. BibDesk is a sweet Mac OS X GUI for maintaining BibTeX databases, and has easy access to the annote field. Then the key was getting the notes into the document. There are BibTeX styles (.bst files) that provide different bibliography styles, and some will print the annote fields of each referenced item, producing an annotated bibliography. I ended up using the annotation style, which ships as a standard part of TeX Live 2008. There are other annotated bibliography styles that could be installed, but I decided to go with the built-in one for now. Obviously I will switch back to the normal bibliography style when the literature review section is done.

Planned items from last week:

  • Read 2 papers from literature review list
    • Understanding mobility based on GPS data
      • Not done
    • Learning Transportation Mode from Raw GPS Data for Geographic Applications on the Web
      • Not done
  • Start building table of possible sensor inputs
    • Not done
  • Add publications from PET workshop paper to BibTeX
    • Not done

Other accomplishments this week:

  • Fixed formatting on my research portfolio per Philip’s suggestions
  • Moved literature review notes into proposal document per Philip’s request via annotated BibTeX entries

Hours worked: 6 (target: 15 hr)

Plans for coming week:

  • Read 4 papers from literature review list
    • Understanding mobility based on GPS data
    • Learning Transportation Mode from Raw GPS Data for Geographic Applications on the Web
  • Start building table of possible sensor inputs
  • Add publications from PET workshop paper to BibTeX

Pointers to work products:

Cool links:

  • Caffeine, a Mac OS X application that allows disabling sleep, screen dimming, and the screen saver via a menu bar item. This is really handy for presentations, so you don’t have to keep moving the mouse to keep your system awake. There’s even a timer functionality so it only stays “awake” for a fixed amount of time, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off. Freeware.
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