Course Contents


We offer a two day course to introduce active researchers to ScholarWriter.

The purpose of the course is to take active researchers

  • From the first experience of slotting in a USB stick containing ScholarWriter
  • To using ScholarWriter fluently, including to successfully
    • Manage a bibliography
    • Cross-reference notes to the bibliography
    • Slot notes into the outline of a thesis or paper
    • Preview the outline
    • Move between ScholarWriter and Word for polishing text and final edits

We provide every participant with their own individual copy of

  • ScholarWriter on a USB stick for use on Windows computers
  • Full and detailed course notes which they can take away with them

We ask the engaging institution to provide, or ensure that participants have with them,

  • A Windows computer with a USB compatible port and access to the C:/ drive
  • Software to zip (compress) all the files in a folder

Day One: Basics of ScholarWriter

Session 1: Get in, get out & back up

  • Demonstration of ScholarWriter
  • Log in, log out, and most importantly, back up
  • Guided tour of the interface for the portable server and ScholarWriter

Session 2: Add your first content

  • Write a blog post and add it to an Outline
  • Explore how ScholarWriter indexes and finds content in your growing pile of research notes

Session 3:  Add a reference (or many)

  • Add a single reference
  • Add references in bulk
  • Attach .pdf files
  • Manage keywords
  • Search references
  • Print your bibliography
  • Add a reference to any section of an Outline to remind you of what is relevant when you come back to write up that section

Session 4: Add notes about an academic article

  • Make notes about an academic article and cross-reference to a reference in Biblio
  • Add your notes to any section of an Outline for later inclusion in the body of your thesis or paper when you come back to write up that section

Day Two: Be super-productive with the help of ScholarWriter

Session 5: Keep track of your work & write your first page

  • Get your bearings with the
    • Automatic lists of "What I have read" and "What I have yet to read"
    • To Do and Ta Da! lists
  • Write a page in Word, import it to ScholarWriter, and add it to an Outline so that later on, you can print out all the pages of your thesis or outline as one consolidated document

Session 6: Manage & develop Outlines

  • Inspect the Outlines provided with the vanilla version of ScholarWriter
  • Expand an Outline and break it down into smaller sections
  • Re-order the content that you slotted into your Outline so that it is ready to work on in Word
  • Export small sections of an Outline with all your attached notes, references and pages into Word for editing (mainly by deletion)
  • Re-import a compact, coherent page back from Word to ScholarWriter as a page (or paragraph) of your thesis or paper

Session 7: Insert Media and Footnotes and make To Do lists

  • Insert images and embed videos into notes, blog posts and pages
  • Insert footnotes into notes, blog post and pages (if required)
  • Select your bibliographic style
  • Manage your To Do and Ta Da! lists
  • Insert Dates into your Calendar
  • Use various forms of Search to find notes in your growing pile of references, notes and drafts

Session 8: Wrap up, back up, and get back up when needed

  • The user forum
  • User names & passwords
  • Privacy and basic protection of your work
  • Backing up
  • Final questions

Course Notes

We provide a 40 page booklet with the course notes in detail for each participant to use during the course and to take away with them.


The course instructor, Jo Jordan, is intimately familiar with ScholarWriter and has over 20 years' experience teaching and supervising research in universities and doing commissioned research work in the public and private sectors.  She is able to walk novice users of ScholarWriters through an orderly learning curve so they can work quickly and easily on their own.

We have built-in research hints for early-stage researchers who are still developing their personal approaches to productivity.  Jo is also able to consider and respond thoughtfully and knowledgeably to researchers who want to use ScholarWriter in novel ways.

USB Stick

Each participant receives a vanilla copy of ScholarWriter on a USB stick. 

ScholarWriter works directly onto the USB.  Alternatively, Scolarwrier can be copied onto a folder on a hard drive and run from there.

We deposit an additional vanilla copy with a designated person in the engaging institution so that it is possible to get a clean copy of the same version of ScholarWriter whenever you want one.

Because ScholarWriter is set up as a 'stand-alone' app, runnable from a USB stick or Windows folder, it can be backed up easily and in its entirety, and moved in seconds from one computer to another.

Back up, safety and security

Whether loss is due to our own carelessness and forgetfulness or whether the loss is due to computer failure or vandalism, it is extremely painful to lose work.  ScholarWriter puts backing up, safety, and security of our work at the heart of the work process.

  • First, ScholarWriter provides a single place to store all our work. 
  • Then ScholarWriter uses the powerful Outline and Views facilities in Drupal to act as an intelligent clerk, to find our work in our growing pile of research notes, and to display it so that we can see our progress. 
  • Most importantly, ScholarWriter makes it easy to back up all our work, to store it in three separate places, and to restore our work quickly and calmly should we ever need to.  We emphasise backing up throughout the two day course and hope to leave participants backing up as a habit while fully understanding what they are backing up and how to restore their work should they need to.