I store all of my recordings on a external hard drive so that they can be transported with me wherever I move and so that the organization scheme stays intact when I switch computers. My access to this external hard drive is based in a password protected office server. The result is a website “library” with major categories listed on the home screen and separate topic folders within.
There are three layers of organization that my readers and I manage: the recordings website, the pdf sources, and the hard copies of sources.
On the website, the home page is a list of topics, such as PDA Project, Urease Projects, Manuals, and TraPPE. Some of these headings link directly to a list of scientific articles. For example, PDA Project leads to a page filled with articles that I reference in my research. For consistency, I name each of the articles in this format: Year of publication_Last name of first author_Full Title of article. Clicking on these article titles leads me to yet another page with section headings: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, and so on. At the bottom of the list the figures and tables that have been recorded separately are stored, titled by ‘Figure 1‘, ‘Equation 3‘, etc.
Other topic headings lead to sub categories. For example, Manuals contains four different manuals: MCCCS, Basics of Gaussian, Glide 5.8 User Manuel, and Maestro. Each of these folders contain recordings of books. The organization levels reflect headings found within the book. First, it’s separated into chapters, then in section heading.
Having things organized in subsections like this can make it much easier to find a specific piece of information. If I remember the name of the section under which a piece of information was found, I don’t have to listen through the whole article or chapter to find what I need.
For all of my recordings, I keep a pdf of the article saved. For ease, I have all the pdf’s named with the same format, Year of publication_Last name of first author_Full Title of article, and organized in folders that replicate the layers of the website.
I also like to keep hard copies of articles. I have some sight, so even though I can’t read the text, it can help to see the general layout of the paper, where the paragraph breaks happen, where the visuals are placed, etc. Additionally, if I am confused by a plot or figure description made by my recorder, I can have a reader who is with me pull out the hard copy to answer my questions.
Recording usually happens separately from reader’s time with me. I give the reader instructions on how to conduct the recording, and then they will complete it with the school’s or their own personal recording devices. Here are some of the instructions that I give to recorders:
- Scan over the reading first to identify any words or phrases that you don’t know. My readings can be heavy in mathematic and scientific jargon. If you don’t know how to pronounce something, look it up beforehand.
- Begin the recording by reading the full title, year, and authors’ names.
- Read page numbers and page turns.
- Read section headings. In fact, record sections as separate audio files.
- Record the descriptions of all charts, plots, figures, and equations separately, as well as the list of references
After the recorder has finished recording all the separate files for one article, they uploads them into a folder on the google drive of a shared gmail accounted created specifically for this purpose. Another reader takes these audio files and catalogs them into their proper space on the website.
Whenever I listen to an article, I have a file of the article saved onto my portable hard drive as well as a text document with notes that I type. This keeps things closely organized and easy to retrieve.