Howto create structured research documents with 'Books' (revised)
In the past few months TNL has gone through significant changes. Although many of those are not visible on the surface straight away, they constitute great improvements of the site. Key changes have been made especially in regard to this forum topic about books and bibliographic references.
If you go to create content -- book page http://www.thenextlayer.org/node/add/book
you can create a new book page either on the top level of navigation or under some existing second layer such as 'Documentation' or 'Readers' or 'Waves and Code' which are at the time of writing the three top level links for books.
A book page is nothing else than a static page which is linked in a hierarchical structure to other static pages. You give it a title, select one of the categories and / or create a new one under the 'topic' vocabulary and then put your actual content in the body of the book page. Here take care to select the right Input format. For a beginning, filtered html will just do fine.
If it is your first page, the 'weight' pop-up menu can be kept at 0. Later this will take on a crucial function.
if you want to add an image or a 'related link' then just do so. You can also ignore those menu options. scroll to the bottom, the only menu option you should look at is 'publishing options'. Here you can decide if your book page should be published on the front page or not. If you are certain that you want to share your page with the wider public, then go ahead. Otherwise un-tick the 'published to front page' option. Then choose preview or submit and here you go, you have created a book page.
Once you have created your first page, you can scroll to the bottom of it and simply click on 'add child page'. You will get a menu which is exactly the same as the one you got via create content -- add book page. If you add now a second page, this page will automatically show up in a navigation menu below the first page.
However, if you have a more complex structure with nested hierarchies between pages, you will have to consider the weighting. by selecting a weight from -15 to +15 you select where the page shows up in the navigation. if you have a lot of pages which need organising this will probably take some trial and error. However, in principle this is easy and you cant break anything which cant be repaired equally quickly.
So far we have just used the built in book function. Part of the fun is that you can invite other people to edit your book pages for collaborative writing projects. If you make significant edits to a page, either your own page or the page of somebody else, select 'create new revision' at the bottom menu under 'publishing options'. This will later allow you two things: to move backward in time through revisions of the page, and to 'diff' revisions. Diff means that you can compare changes between the last two versions, which comes in handy if you do some collaborative text editing.
If you are used to complex text editing programs such as MS Word or Open Office, you will probably enjoy the Footnote and Biblio functions. In your text in a book page, you can us the fn tag <fn>and what you write in between the tags will appear as an automatically numbered footnote, but don't forget the end tag </fn>
Almost analogue to that works the bib tag. If you want to refer from within your text to a bibliographic reference, use
<bib> and </bib> whereby in between the tags you have to put the citekey. You can only use bib if your reference exists in the biblio reference database of tnl. To do that, go to create content -- biblio and add a reference, which can be anything from book to article to journal, etc. Once you have entered your reference a citekey will automatically be generated (you could also enter one by hand). the automatically generated citekey is just a number. Put this number between bib tags and it will again create an automatically numbered endnote which will contain your reference.
Enjoy your footnotes and bibs, admin 26.06.2008
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well, this is the question, innit? I am not sure to have the answer yet but I would like to develop it collaboratively with you.
I suggest to use the module 'books' in drupal to create structured research areas with agreed hierarchies between terms so that all of us can identify with those structures and feel comfortable in using them.
But when i started to think about an actual structure for 'books' i cam immedeately across taxonomical problems.
I would like to take it slowly and discuss those hierarchies with you.
For now I have added the term 'documentation' thinking it would be good to have some very high level terminology. continuing like this you could have
continuing with this logic the first entry "waves and code" is wrong as it would have to come under research. then also waves and code have to be separated as obviously this way of putting it together is a pet book
idea of me but not a generic structure for research .
this could be a possible structure
research projects publications notes papers books
in this hierarchy my "waves and code" could be a 'project' or I could
file the actual text 45rpm under 'papers'. which other categories could
there be? a 'study' or 'research reports'?
but the basic question:
is it feasible or necessary at all to have so many hierarchies, or
is it okay to have just one layer of actual research projects? if we
have layers, then how many?
and the multi-hierarchy problem: 'notes' could relate to publications as
well as projects
should we add a category 'materials' which refers to images and
audiovisual means of documentation relating to a research project?