Greg Walsh


Home / Blog

Using Tiddly Wiki as a Research Tool

Tuesday February 02, 2021

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minutes

One of the most frustrating things as a researcher is keeping all of my sources and references organized. Fortunately, I've been using the BibTex format for some time and have minimized loosing sources once I have them. One of my colleagues at UMD posted this:

I do!

Each paper is a page (to collate \[\[context\]\]), and I identify "micropublications" (findings/claims that are contextualized) as blocks within these paper pages, then blockref them into outlines/notes where I synthesize ideas. Ex screenshot:

— Joel Chan is synthesizing knowledge (@JoelChan86) November 5, 2020

The program that he is discusisng is called Roam and it is a tool for organizing your research. I looked into it and the \$15 month price seemed a bit high for not knowing if I would like it.

Based on the screenshots, it looks a lot like a wiki with a graph database. I thought the best idea might be to start with just a personal wiki that I could use locally on my machine. That proved to be difficult because wikis are technically multiuser and a single user environment doesn't count as a wiki. In fact, multiple sources tried to send me to tools like Evernote and OneNote. (To be honest, I would use Notes on the Mac/iPad except that you can't interlink notes.)

I eventually found Dokuwiki and TiddlyWiki. Dokuwiki looked like it required a web install and I wasn't up for that. TiddlyWiki looked really nice and besides a few hoops to jump through to save, is very easy to set up. In fact, I found a really nice tutorial on setting TiddlyWiki up like Roam.