Google Drive

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Try Google Drive or other file-syncing sites such as SugarSync or Dropbox, SkyDrive, Box and Amazon Cloud
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Last Update

  • Updated.jpg This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, February 2018


See also Cloud computing | Collaboration in the Workplace via Social Media | Project management | Software-as-a-service

Google Drive is a free-to-use file storage system (see cloud computing) and service released in 2012 and now considered the home for Google Docs. As a collaborative writing tool it has been described as "...a suite of productivity applications offering collaborative editing on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more". Google Drive is an ideal platform for document creation for writers and researchers wanting to co-create papers and manuscripts. "Drive" is not a public space so users can keep their work completely private and yet "in the cloud" if they so desire. This separates Drive from other collaborative writing tools such as wikis. Google has incorporated new features into Drive to help writers find and insert citations into manuscripts; see the citation feature on the right-hand side of Google Drive in a simple window pane. The tool asks to search for a citation through a simple "all-purpose" search or search for quotations from websites such as Bartlett's. Google calls this a "research tool" but it is simple a fast search and scrape of metadata.

One of the benefits of storing and sharing files with a group for collaborative editing is that you can be certain that all changes are included in the latest version. In other words, storing files in the cloud allows multiple authors and editors to work on a file simultaneously. The other benefit for Google Drive users is the embedding features; when you want to embed content on another website (e.g., a table or graph) it is easy to update and the embed code can be applied easily.

Note: according to Lardinois (2012), Google Docs users were upgraded to Google Drive automatically.

Pros & cons of Google Drive

  • Academics can store their files in the cloud (generous free storage) and incorporate research (citations) into their workflow
  • You can export Google documents to standardized files formats such as Word .doc, .rtf, .ppt, .pdf
  • Citation integration makes it possible to include citations and cite sources
  • the citation tool doesn’t eliminate browser tabs needed but there are shortcuts; there’s only one citation style, footnoting, and it's not in any accepted citation style such as APA or MLA
  • Google has developed its own citation style with title, creation date, access date and URL data; metadata detail is insufficient
  • As with other Google products, the "research tool" is easy to use, but it does not have the bells and whistles most academics need
  • At this stage, users can only insert footnotes (not endnotes); don't abandon your RefWorks account quite yet
  • The functionality of Google Drive has improved; users can access pre-formatted headings and subheadings in Google Docs also
  • Google provides a way to create a table of contents in your documents
  • One hopes the citation feature will improve, and that APA and Vancouver Styles are among the first to be included
  • Sometimes transferring data from Google Drive to Microsoft Word poses formatting problems
  • there are concerns about Drive with respect to privacy and IP ownership; the collaborative features can put your face online if you aren't careful, but it's easy to manage via privacy settings

You can also use more than one file-syncing service such as SugarSync or Dropbox, SkyDrive, Box and Amazon Cloud See also NNLM Super Searcher: Enhancing Your Online Search Super Powers

File formats that can be formatted into Google Drive

  • For documents: .doc, .docx, .html, plain text (.txt), .rtf
  • For spreadsheets: .xls, .xlsx, .ods, .csv, .tsv, .txt, .tab
  • For presentations: .ppt, .pps, .pptx
  • For drawings: .wmf
  • For OCR: .jpg, .gif, .png, .pdf

Google Docs to Google Drive (0:55 secs)


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