"Naturally, the role that software of any type plays in
academic research varies greatly with the field of study. Software
itself is at the center of computer science and physics simulation
research, for example, while it plays more auxiliary roles such as
data mining and statistical reporting in the social sciences.
Literary criticism and history depends heavily on library work,
where open source can provide important infrastructure.
"Regardless of the field, however, collecting, studying, and
tracking the work of predecessors and contemporaries is always
critical, as evidenced by the large number of open source projects
designed to help track sources and manage bibliographical
resources. The simplest applications, such as I, Librarian, help
the researcher collect, organize, and annotate reference material.
Most such applications allow full-text and metadata searching of
collected resources, and can be used to directly search online
catalogs from publishers such as PubMed and arXiv, and major online
reference sites like JSTOR and ARTstor, or Google Book Search and