Using Keywords in Scrivener [1 of 2]

I use keywords alot in Scrivener to doing my literature review. Keywords are essentially tags and can be extremely useful for gathering different ideas across various documents- however, there are a couple of practices that you need to implement from the word go to maximise the utility of keywords

  • when taking notes from your readings, you’ll need to split them into sections. This is so that each section can have its own keywords – if you just write one long document, then the keywords will apply to everything within that document- which isn’t really helpful when you are searching for a particular point.
  • You’ll need to make sure your document splits are child documents to the parent document (this is for ease of reading via the ‘group’ mode & if you do want to apply a certain keywords to the entire documents then its possible. For example, lets say I’ve got Author X who is writing about social inclusion – after my 1st reading through I can see that this author is talking about social inclusion + power, social inclusion + poverty, social inclusion + conflict- so from my notes and quotes I actually want everything to have the keyword ‘social inclusion’ but then I want to ‘tag’ certain sections with other keywords such ‘power’; ‘poverty’; ‘conflict’. Once I’ve done this process with many documents, when I come to writing about social inclusion and power – I can use my Keyword search to look for “social inclusion AND power” and any documents tagged (that is, with the assigned keywords) like this will turn up- I can then save the search as a collection.
  • You make make ‘in vivo’ keywords by highlighting the text in the document and dragging it into the inspector section in scrivener. This is quick and easy
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About Sarina Kilham

I'm a Doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. Trained as a social scientist and with a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture, I'm interested in farmer's experiences of growing feedstock for biodiesel production. My research has focused on biodiesel production in Brazil and Timor-Leste. Also on Twitter @sarinakilham and blogging at thequalitativeresearcher.net
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