Keeping your work and notes organized for planned and ongoing research projects can be difficult. Trying to keep this information organized for—and accessible to—an entire team can pose even greater challenges. At Journal Prep, our team members have found that one of the easiest and most efficient ways to archive and share data is through the use of Dropbox—a free and simple cloud storage service that can be synced across all of your electronic devices. For researchers, organized collaboration is a key element of success. Read on to learn how Dropbox can make you more productive and organized inside the lab and on the go.
In a matter of minutes, you can create your free Dropbox account and start syncing files across your home and office computers, smartphone, and tablet. Dropbox helps you collaborate with the rest of your research team by enabling you to share files that you are working on together. Each team member can edit and save changes to shared files in one designated place—your Dropbox folder. That’s right. No more back-and-forth emailing of different manuscript versions. The same features can be leveraged to build and instantly update a team presentation or lecture. The basic service offers users 2GB of free storage, with up to 18GB through the Dropbox referral program.
For those who need more…
If the basic Dropbox experience doesn’t quite cut it, several additional options are available to allow you to email files directly to the shared folder, sync your email attachments, and upgrade to the “Dropbox for Teams” version.
If you are looking to cut out a few steps in the syncing process, try Maildrop or SendToDropbox.com. These two services each provide an easy way to sync your files directly from your email with your cloud storage.
A valuable add-on to Dropbox for any research group is “Dropbox for Teams”. Although generally designed for use by businesses, this feature can be readily adapted to meet the needs of research teams. The add-on isn’t free, but it allows for enhanced sharing options and makes it easier to keep up to date from anywhere. You can keep selected files private and viewable only by certain individuals, send files via Dropbox to people who do not use the service, and access your research data from all of your mobile devices. Simply put, this option allows for closer collaboration and great flexibility from remote working locations.
Dropbox eliminates the need for an entire research team to work in the same geographic location, enables individuals and teams to access data and presentations on the go, and allows for multi-user access to research manuscripts, grant applications, and any other document type typically shared by team members.
Already use Dropbox for your research? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below or email us at email@example.com!