Workflow scientists/academics in STEM?

Hi everyone,

I came across obsidian and I am intrigued by the possibilities, especially with regards to importing notes/highlighted text from pdfs via Zotero. However, I am not sure what obsidian will add, other than having a central space to look at notes I made while reading the literature.

I looked at how other academics use and describe their workflow with obsidian, but often these are people that work in the social sciences/humanities. I am not sure how to implement obsidian into my daily work as a STEM researcher (I am doing my PhD in the field of biology, so this means also doing a lot of lab work, computational analyses etc, next to literature reading).

I was hoping some STEM scientists could describe how and when you work with obsidian and what you think it added to your work?

Many thanks,

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There’s a fairly recent thread discussing the use of Obsidian for Engineering/STEM:

I’ve been using Obsidian for engineering R&D for over a year now, and think it’s an excellent tool for the job.

Thank you for this, it seems I missed this thread while browsing though the forum before. I still find it difficult to imagine the best workflow for my situation, but I liked what you wrote about making a monthly folder with an “include” folder, in which PDFs, plots etc are dropped. I could imagine that on a day where I generate some figures (for example), I could dump them in obsidian with some addition information/thoughts and then 3-months-from-now-me would know why I made those figures. Do you use it as a sort of daily work diary?

I am just a bit concerned that I would use it a few days and then forget about it (being caught up in day to day work stuff). And I just do not seem to make that many notes anyway, so I am not sure if it is worth learning to use obsidian.

I guess I won’t really know until I try it… :slight_smile:

Take all I say with a pinch of salt as I’m still refining my setup. I don’t use Zotero; I keep all my PDFs in one directory named as per the bibtex alias (I have jabref to handle that side- which is ok).

At present I simply have one ‘#paper’ tagged note for each paper which contains all the notes for that paper. I then have the PDF in exploded view within the note. I suppose you could add your annotations to that and they would pull through, but possibly not machine readably so. Personally I don’t tend to annotate, I like to summarise. If you want to link back to check the exact wording you can put (p5.8) or something which would indicate something 4/5 of the way through page 5. That or just block quote it so it’s right there.

The benefit of adding obsidian on top of your setup would be that now your notes on the papers are in the wider PKM system and you can use them as sources to feed your collection/synthesis of ideas in a more effective way than in other systems.