Research Master 3.1

ResearchMaster has been designed to make working a little easier.
Research Master
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ResearchMaster project has been designed to make working a little easier. Specifically, the application can be either a storage facility for all of your precious, miscellaneous digital information, or for just some of it. The project began as a way for the author to [1] have a centralized library for all the papers and various snippets he collects, and [2] to have some powerful, built-in support for BibTeX, the LaTeX bibliography system ( The LaTeX bibliography system, as described in the Leslie Lamport book. ISBN 0-201-52983-1).

When the application starts up, it creates a virtual filesystem (vfs) from information contained in records. Each record appends itself under at least one folder in the vfs, and the vfs is represented by a tree-widget system of folders and records. The application is divided into folder controls (left) and record controls (right).

Each record is actually a set of three python dictionaries, stored in a flat ascii text file. The three dictionaries correspond to [1] BibTex information corresponding to the record, [2] Meta information (eg. isbn, call number, url, membership) and [3] an endless notes file. When a record is selected from the tree widget, the corresponding three dictionaries are presented in a three-tabbed notebook widget on the right side of the application.

New records are created via a button on the records toolbar. When you create a new record the application pops a filechooser and you are given the opportunity to import a single file. Perhaps the imported file is a pdf copy of a research paper that you don't want to lose. ResearchMaster is a good place to store it. First, the record and the imported file now have each other. Now you can keep a log of your involvement with the file in the notes portion of the record. The Meta portion of the record contains non-BibTex information, such as which folders the record is a member of. The application accesses the record's BibTex information whenever the record has membership within the subtree of a particular folder for which a recursive bibliography is being generated.

Here's a typical example: Say you create a folder for some project. Let's say that after six months your folder now has several subtrees of folders and records, all arranged according to the scheme that happened. Now imagine there are twenty records with BibTex information strewn throughout the project's subtree, side-by-side with other records that don't have BibTex information (notes, whatever). By pushing the Create Bibliography button on the left toolbar the application will produce a perfectly formatted BibTex file with all twenty records.

Each record can be made a member of any folder simply by adding the folder's path to the membership list in the Meta portion of the record. The tree widget is dynamically constructed by recursively examining a directory tree (corresponding to the folders of the tree-widget) and the membership list contained in each record. This is done so that we only have one physical copy of each record, despite the fact that the record might show up in fifty different places throughout the tree widget.

The file that gets imported with a record can be any file of any format. You can tell ResearchMaster to launch the file as an argument to any external application, based on the filename's suffix (.gif, .avi, .mpg, .mp3). Then, select the record from the tree, push the launch button (on the records toolbar), and voila! The associated application brings up your file. That's one feature that makes working a little easier.

What's New in 1.2c Stable Release:

Small correction was needed on line 1140 of, where "researchmaster" needed to be "ReseaerchMaster" for preferences initialization.

What's New in 2.0 RC1 Development Release:

The program was completely rewritten to incorporate and replace the Asymptopia LaTeX Flashcard System.

last updated on:
April 22nd, 2011, 10:12 GMT
license type:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
developed by:
Charles B. Cosse
ROOT \ Education
Research Master
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What's New in This Release:
  • A syntax error was preventing flashcards from working.
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