I have a rather critical and massive research project in front of me.
I am working with several documents, each is over 1000 pages.
The docs have references to about a dozen topics that I want to match, correlate, compare, contrast… and it’s not straightforward, which is why I need to do it, meaning, it’s VERY convoluted, very inconsistent and conflicting. That is a large part of why I need to pull it all together, to make very clear how very UNclear and unreliable the information is.
But because it’s such a mess… I’m really strugging with ways to manage it on two separate levels: first, just for ME, just so I can get clear on it, then for the presentation of it to others, which must adhere to certain rules and formats.
But I’d like to start just with getting it together for my own purposes. If I had the time, the patience, the paper and the ink, what I would personally find very useful would be printing it out a dozen times and separately marking each copy just as it relates to a single topic.
But that’s crazy.
Another stumble is the fact that in many cases a sentence or paragraph is an issue under several categories.
Okay, fine, I was avoiding explaining this (see below) but I think I should to help you understand what I need to do.
It’s testimony, both transcripts of oral testimony and declarations under penalty of perjury. The testimony was submitted in the various forms over 18 months, regarding events that occurred starting in 2005 and right up to last year.
It is a nightmare tangle of inconsistencies and impossibilities which I understand and see perfectly, having read every single word of it all many many times…but distilling those conflicts and inconsistencies into something that is clear to new eyes is my challenge.
Another wish/idea I had about one way to do some of it was to find a way to “tag” items in the PDF. If I could create a tag for topic A, then go through and drop a tag on every passage that refers to topic A, then hit a button that produces all the references clustered together to be seen at once! That would be HEAVEN… Kind of a cross between highlighting, bookmarking, and indexing.
In the final presentation (to the appeals court) I intend to include, if I can master it, an electronic version of my brief and the record with links, but even that is still not what I want most, because it means linking around too many times… I want a way to bring it all together.
So. Any masters at this sort of thing? All tips, ideas and suggestions for any aspect of it are very welcome.
(And I’m capable and prepared to export the PDF pages to another format to be picked up by a different program. _ MAC ONLY!- Circus Ponies Notebook is actually close to what I need, in that it can import RTF pages and when it does it indexes them, so I can look for the WORD, but that still just leaves me with hits on a word, which isn’t enough. Or rather, too much!)
- Before anyone says anything that sounds remotely like “get a lawyer” be aware that I have done that boogie here on the dope at length, AFTER saying I didn’t want to do it. So if you feel the need to say it, or anything like it, please don’t. And if you do, expect to be ignored so completely it will be as if you never existed. Thanks.