I am often in charge of researching new sub-topics in my discipline for short papers. I find my default technique is:
- Search Google Scholar for best-guess keywords
- Open relevant-looking resulting paper, skim
- Find new references in that paper, open new tabs for those papers while reading first paper
- Look at new papers, find new references and key words. Open new tab for new Scholar searches
- Decide those key words aren't useful after all
- Make valiant attempt to figure out which of the 20 open tabs are still worth keeping open, which papers are worth adding to Zotero, which papers are worth downloading.
Clearly, I am not of a methodical mindset. I'm beginning to wonder if I took 5 sec to add each paper author-year-keyword to a small notepad app on the side of the screen before I opened the article, that might help me keep track of the mess. Or something. Does anyone have a simple workflow for this "brainstorming" phase that would work well for the non-methodically minded? I'm a Chrome/Google type rather than an Apple type, if that matters.