Category Archives: Article Reviews

Article Reviews

Extracting text highlighted with Acrobat Pro

As mentioned here and here, I typically do my reading and note-taking-on of academic papers in Acrobat Pro these days. I then typically record my comments in a FreeMind mind map. Until today I’d been creating a content summary in Acrobat, highlighting, and then dragging and dropping each comment individually into the mind map.

Today, while doing this, I noticed that there’s an “Export comments to Data File” option in the Comments menu. “Hmm,” I thought, “I wonder how easy it would be to read this data file?” It turns out that it’s just some ASCII text with a bunch of (to me) useless information, and the highlighted comments in parseable “Contents([highlighted text here])” containers.

I wrote a quick and dirty Perl script that pulls the comments into a text file. I can then just copy and paste that file into FreeMind, and it creates all of the leaves for me. This will save me hours carpal-tunnel-syndrome-inducing mousing and frustration. The perl script, for your perusal (improvements welcome) is available here:

Kindly Let me know if you get any use out of this, and if you find any parsing bugs. It’s in the public domain.

Article Outline: Internal Cardiac Defibrillation Threshold: Effects of Acute Ischemia by Jones et al.

This was kind of interesting, but it doesn’t show very much. The main conclusion that I got from it was that large regions of coronary occlusion lead to death within 30 minutes, but I don’t think that’s really what they were trying to find or show.

The Cite-U-Like page is here. The rest is below the fold.

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Article Outline: Ischemic Ventricular Fibrillation: The Importance of Being Spontaneous by Ouyang et al.

I outline the bits of papers I find interesting for reference. I’m going to try posting some of these outlines in the hopes that someone finds them useful. It’s very easy for me to export them from FreeMind. The article is Ischemic Ventricular Fibrillation: The Importance of Being Spontaneous(Cite-U-Like) by Ouyang et al.

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Reading papers that contain equations

I realized something today that I wish I had known a long, long time ago.

When reading a technical paper containing equations, there will be text, and there will be equations. Usually the equations come somewhere in the middle. However, when you come to the equations, you must understand the equations thoroughly before proceeding to the rest of the text.

I used to think that I could still get something important out of the paper without putting the time into understanding the equations, but in my experience that is simply not true.

Be ye warned.