A Coding Challenge – Organize my PDF library

I have a massive library of PDF documents. Many of these are ebooks, most of them are individual journal articles from my six years of enthusiastic study. I need a way to organize them besides my highly detailed file system that I use Google Desktop Search to search. (I am a librarian after all)

But I have seen the future, and it is… Mac only. It’s called Papers.

I’ve also discovered the world of E-Comics and this amazing application, ComicRack.

So, Papers downloads metadata about PDF files from a number of different sources, but doesn’t seem to use the file name except in very specific instances, like PubMed’s unique file naming system. ComicRack has an exceptional parser for file names, getting it right almost all the time. Papers allows you to search within files, by author and title. ComicRack can be extended to read PDF’s, but doesn’t have the ability to search within them and you would expect with a piece of software set up for displaying images. It’s strength is in reading and organizing.

So, this is what I need. I need a program that can parse file names, identify ISBN’s of print versions of the work or download journal information from databases like PubMed and JSTOR. I need to be able to search within documents. I need to be able to create lists and to display PDF’s with both graphics and text. Optical Character Recognition would be nice, but not essential. I would also like it to have the ability to name files based on rules set up, I’ve invested a lot of time into my organizing system and I’d like to preserve my standards of Lastname,Firstname – Title.

Anybody know of something that resembles a mashup of Papers and ComicRack? Let me know. The academic world needs it.

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Company Culture – Myths, Legends & Evidence Based Managment

What are your myths? I have worked in a number of different organizations; academic, volunteer, government and religious and every one has myths. They may center around certain individuals and their escapades, challenges and their solutions, or the suitability of certain types of people for certain positions within the company.

Myths perform a number of different roles, they give us goals, heroes and perspective. They introduce us into the culture of our organization. But they can also limit the scope of where we look for solutions.

One of the roles of the Knowledge Audit, the first step in a Knowledge Management process is to document these corporate myths, the way ‘things have always been done’. Myths are often a part of the tacit knowledge of an organization.

Evidence Based Practice is a relatively new style management in health care, psychology and psychiatry that attempts to move these disciplines away from the rather fuzzy foundations of their assumptions towards practices and treatments based in research.

I like to think of Evidence Based Practice, and it’s twin Evidence Based Management work like adding a four year old to the team. When you do any action, ask yourself ‘Why?’ and keep asking until you get a satisfactory answer. ‘Because I say so’ is not satisfactory. ‘Because it’s always been done that way’ is not satisfactory. ‘Stop asking questions’ is a challenge.

If your interested in further reading, a book published in 2006 Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management from the Harvard Business School Press provides an excellent introduction, as well as the references from the Wikipedia articles linked above

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