This is the kind of list or resources I would have liked to have at the beginning of my thesis, and not at the end. So for reference, or for future use by a fellow PhD student, here’s a brief description of each tool I used during my thesis, and why such tools were used.

My PhD thesis is about motivation to walk from an HCI point of view thus anchoring my research in computer science. I also developed an Android app and I conducted several field studies. All of those activities require tools to stay organized and productive at all times.

And because I am French and did my PhD thesis in France, a lot of the links are about tools in French or have a French-student-only purpose.

Research tools

  • Google Scholar is the reference of all research article, whether they are published, on draft, or another status. Free to use.
  • ResearchGate is a similar website, also free to use.
  • SurveyCircle helps you find participants for your experiments


Some resources are in French, but they should be translatable with Google Translate.



  • Synonyms on Thesaurus
  • Powerful translation with DeepL
  • LaTeX online editing with Overleaf. It’s nice for shorter articles and publications, but not at all enough for your manuscript. I prefered to compile locally.
  • Bibliography management with Mendeley


Even though I used all these tools during my PhD thesis, most or even all of them can be used for any purpose!

  • Android Studio for mobile developement for Android and its valuable documentation, even though the Java version is sometimes outdated. Kotlin is the new official language for Android (since 2019), so if you have to choose, the best is Kotlin.
  • For prototype design and wireframing, I used several tools: Adobe XD, Balsamiq and (formerly
  • Online Java compiler – to execute small chunks of code without needing to recompile the whole app
  • PHP online tester, for the very same prupose of testing without executing everything
  •, an online tool to create regular expression and learn how to use them
  • Tables Generator, especially useful for LaTeX tables, which are quite a pain to write
  • Shape Shifter, an online tool to create SVG / Vector Drawable files and vice versa, especially useful for Android drawable resources.
  • SVG path editor, to adjust the content of your SVG
  • quicktype – a JSON parser to any language
  • SVG to PNG – as the name suggests, an online tool to transform your SVG files to PNG files


  • ORCiD a tool to centralize your publications and communications with a unique ID
  •, a way to publish online content quickly, but beware: there’s no pair reviewing!
  • Scimago Journal Ranking, a tool to search and rank journals for publication

French administrative tasks

As the name suggests, most resources here are in French.

I may update this list if any tool comes to my mind later – but you can consider it as complete.

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