• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Guidelines for Contributors

DiRT (Digital Research Tools) has a new home! Please visit Bamboo DiRT to explore this excellent collection of research tools.

If you are interested in writing a brief review of a tool that might be useful for researchers, please contact Lisa Spiro (lspiro@rice.edu) to get an account.  Please keep in mind the following guidelines as you write your review:


  • Please use the Connotea review as a template for your own so that the reviews are consistent.
  • In reviewing the tool, try to address the needs of researchers (academics, students, autodidacts, etc.). 
  • When possible, provide links to "Developer Resources" to aid software developers. Such links might include the source code of open-source software; software documentation; a developer's discussion forum; a list of reported or corrected "bugs" (known software problems); a feature request forum; and anything else that would benefit people working with the software from the back-end, or "inside," rather than the front-end user interface.
  • On the category-level page and in your review, include what operating system(s) the tool runs under.  Please also use the word "FREE" to indicate that it is free or a $ to indicate that it costs money.  (Once we've reviewed price points for software, we'll develop a more precise system for linking the number of $s to the price.)
  • Please ADD TAGS to all of the pages that you create or edit so that content is easier to find.
  • If you create a new category, please add it to the tool index on the home page and to the sidebar.  If you create a new tool review, please link to that review from the appropriate category page(s)--for instance, if you wrote a review of Zotero, you might add it to the category pages for managing bibliographic citations, organizing research materials, and taking notes.
  • Please add a brief bio to the contributors section of the wiki.  Include your name and the date on the review itself so that readers know who wrote the review and you get credit for writing it.
  • If the tool you are reviewing or recommending doesn't exactly fit under existing top-level categories, please check with Lisa Spiro about creating a new one.  As long as the proposed new category has at least three or four tools that go with it (and as long as those tools can be used to advance research), adding it will probably be fine.
  • See the DiRT blog for more information on project plans, quandaries, and big dreams.


Keep in mind that Digital Research Tools is a wiki, so your review may be updated or modified by other registered members.

For some helpful suggestions on how to edit a wiki, see PB Wiki's How To page.


Are you a tool developer/vendor?


If you are involved in the development or marketing of a tool, it would be a little fishy to write a review of it.  However, we do think that developers can provide the most complete description of their tool.  There are two ways to author such a description:

* provide a brief (1-2 sentence) summary of the tool next to the link to the tool on the category index page (e.g Data Collection Tools) and/or

* write a description of the tool that includes information about its key features, system requirements, technical architecture, developer, usage scenarios, and maturity, as well as other pertinent information.  This should be clearly labeled as a description on the page title and the link to that page from the category index page.  Please use the description template for your description.


You're also welcome make a comment on a review that someone else has written, or email Lisa Spiro to suggest a correction.

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