As a student conducting research, you often need clarification on the right way to go about it. Planning is one thing that makes it easy to conduct detailed research. Another thing that makes it easier is knowing the right tools to use. In this piece, we’ll pick out ten useful and popular research tools for students. Have a great read.
Why Do You Need to Use Tools for Research?
You might be wondering if using tools for research as a student is advisable. Well, here is a brief explanation on why you should.
We are in a digital age, and this comes with a lot of dynamism which often causes confusion as there are more than a million ways to do one thing. As a student, you need to be guided on how to conduct proper research and ensure it meets the requirements of the institution/body that will review it. Using research tools makes this possible; with the proper research tools for students, you can get the project done faster, cheaper, and more presentable. Remember, good research work will be revisited over and over, while a poorly written one will be abandoned.
That said, check out the ten popular research tools for students below.
10 Popular Research Tools for Students
1. Google Scholar
One of the most useful research tools for students is Google Scholar. This tool helps you to check out already published research works like; articles, abstracts, citations, theses, books, and many more. This tool is best used when you are at the ideation stage, still coming up with ideas, resources, and references for your project. You can search your research topic on Google Scholar to get the result of works similar to yours. Google Scholar is a free tool.
As a student, keeping a record of all the content and resources you have come across in your research can be complicated if you do not use the right tool. This is where Evernote comes in; this tool is designed to help you store your ideas, content, resources, etc., in one place.
Evernote is one of the popular research tools for students. It comes with a reminder feature that is effective for tracking the progress of your project. This tool also enables you to sync your data across multiple devices; you can switch from your phone to a laptop or desktop and use the tool without losing any data. Evernote has both a free and paid version. The paid plan is between $3.99 on the Plus plan to $7.99 on the Premium plan for a monthly subscription.
Mendeley is another one of the popular research tools for students. It is similar to Google Scholar. However, unlike Google Scholar, Mendeley is only a partially free tool. Mendeley is one of the top research tools for students designed to provide publications to users. Its primary focus is on citations, references, and bibliographies. Mendeley is the best option if you are stuck on where to get suitable references for your research. Another exciting feature of this tool is that you can access job opportunities and grants in science, health, and technology. The paid plan is around $55 for an annual plan.
One of the challenges students, especially those in the STEM field, face in research is finding the right way to present data collated in the research process. To solve this problem, a data analysis tool like Tableau is recommended. Tableau is a tool that helps researchers create reports and present them with data visualization and analytics. Simply put, it makes your data presentable and easier to understand. Unfortunately, Tableau is not a free tool. The monthly plan ranges from $15, $42, $70, to $140.
5. Excel/Google Sheets
The list of top popular research tools for students cannot be complete without referencing these two data collation tools. Excel and Google Sheets make it easy to record, manipulate, and build analyses from the data. When the student cannot afford to use Tableau, any of these tools can be used because they do not have paid versions.
One interesting feature of Bit.ai is that it allows you to collaborate with other researchers for your project. This tool also allows you to share, manage, and track research all in the same place.
With Bit.ai, you can share notes, images, videos, PDFs, audio, articles, etc., with colleagues and editors. Bit.ai has both the free and paid version. The paid version starts from $8 monthly for an Individual plan and $15 monthly for a business plan.
ChatGPT is one research tool currently making waves in the digital world. Almost everyone is exploring the tool. OpenAI launched this tool in November 2022; ChatGPT is designed to generate human-like text for users. You can find out anything using ChatGPT. Students can also use this to write essays, summarize extensive articles, conduct analyses, etc. However, relying solely on using AI to write your research is not advisable. The paid version of ChatGPT is announced to be available for $20 monthly.
Editing and proofreading are two essential processes to be conducted on research before it can be confirmed to be completed. The seamless way to achieve this is by using tools like Grammarly. Grammarly is a spellchecker and writing enhancement tool that adds a professional touch to your research. It helps detect grammatical errors, suggest corrections, scan for plagiarism and tone, and ensure the overall readability of your content. It is available in both free and paid versions. A monthly subscription for the paid version is around $12.
Like Google Scholar and Mendeley, ResearchGate can also be used to generate already published articles and citations for your research. It is one of the most popular research tools for students. ResearchGate also allows researchers to share projects with other collaborators.
Publications on ResearchGate cover fields such as; biology, computer science, climate change, mathematics, medicine, engineering, social science, physics, astrophysics, and chemistry. ResearchGate is a free tool.
After all the resources for the research have been obtained, there is a need to have a tool that will make it easy for researchers to create and manage each task. This is where GanttPRO comes in. GanttPRO is a project management tool with templates that allow users to create a limitless number of tasks, manage the tasks, and ensure they are completed by sending reminders to users before the project deadline.
GanttPRO helps students stay organized and focused on their projects. Students can also add collaborators to this tool. This tool comes with a paid version that allows users access to a 14-day trial with all features available. It costs about $15 for a monthly subscription on GanttPRO.
Final Thoughts on 10 Popular Research Tools for Students
Research for students can seem challenging when little or no knowledge of the right tools exists. This is why this piece was prepared to guide on the easy-to-use and popular research tools for students. Try out any of the above-listed tools and share your experience in the comment section below.