Originally Posted by catsittingstill
Ooo, citing from memory--living dangerously there, dmaul! Either that or you have a much better memory than I do.
It helps that your filing system has to please only yourself :-)
The file-by-topic unorganized system would have been tough for me, as a paper could be about protein 1's a) structure and b)biochemistry but also the first reference for method Z, so I would be wondering where to file it. Hence the one big box sorted by name method.
Well, by cite from memory I mean general sites for broad findings, theories etc. I do have a great memory for those things. Made the Ph D comp exams much easier! If I need a quote, or a specific quantitative finding etc. I pull the article out of the cabinet (usually have the folders of articles related to what I'm working on out and stacked on my desk anyway. Or I'll just quickly pull up the PDF on my PC.
As for organization, like I said my fields probably easier to categorize. Easy to put stuff in folders for say types of policing, particular criminological theories etc. That isn't going to apply in more complex fields like yours.
The downside, alas, is when you lose university status, you can't access anything anymore, whereas you used to be able to look at the paper journals the same as before; you just couldn't check anything out.
Unless you retire as a full professor with emeritus status, then you keep your access. But I'm decades away from thinking about that!