Grammar Check in SciFlow

I have mentioned SciFlow, an exciting platform for collaborative academic writing. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a grammar checker? Head over to LanguageTool and install the bowser add-on of choice. Once you’ve done that, you can check any text in SciFlow (or anywhere on the web where you type):

Here we have a red wiggly line from the browser, indicating a typo. How about potential grammar problems? Click on that small blue circle at the end, and let LanguageTool do its magic.

(Here I used part of the demo text from LanguageTool, so obviously they have smuggled in many issues.) One thing I found less convenient is that when I simply click on the blue circle, the entire document is checked. This tends to bring up many potential issues, especially since author names are typically not in the dictionary. As a result, I find it difficult to be sure which section of the document an error refers to. The workaround is to select a paragraph (or section) a time, and then click that blue circle. Now we only have the selected text checked.

If you are uncomfortable having your text sent over the web (see their privacy rules here), you can install LanguageTool locally, and have the browser add-on use that one instead.

Mousetracking in Qualtrics

Qualtrics is a widely used web service for surveys. It’s got plenty of useful features, one of which is the ability to include JavaScript. Jackson Walters has very kindly put up full instructions of how this can be used to track the respondents’ mouse in a particular question, following up a post on Stack Overflow. If you ever looked for mouse tracking in a self-administered web survey, look no further (assuming that you or your institute has a subscription with Qualtrics, of course).