Howto create structured research documents with 'Books'
A 'book' in Drupalish, the Drupal slang, is a content type which allows you to create static pages which are linked to each other through a hierarchical navigation system. On a book page you can use all the things that you can use in a Research Journal Entry (which is called 'blog' page in Drupalish). The content type book is useful for longer texts where you want to split content into different pages. As the navigation control is created by Drupal, this comes in very handy.
This howto explains how to use Books but also integrate this with 'footnotes' and 'biblio' the Drupal module for bibliographic references. Together, thos em modules allow nicely formatted text with links to footnotes and references, so that TNL can be used for 'serious' text production.
In the left sidebar, in the navigation menu under your name, go to create content -- book page http://www.thenextlayer.org/node/add/book
You can create a new book page either on the top level of navigation or under some existing second layer such as 'Documentation' or 'Readers' or 'Waves and Code' which are at the time of writing the three top level links for books.
A book page is nothing else than a static page which is linked in a hierarchical structure to other static pages. You give it a title, select one of the categories and / or create a new one under the 'topic' vocabulary and then put your actual content in the body of the book page. Here take care to select the right Input format. For a beginning, filtered html will just do fine.
If it is your first page, the 'weight' pop-up menu can be kept at 0. Later this will take on a crucial function.
If you want to add an image or a 'related link' then just do so. You can also ignore those menu options. scroll to the bottom, the only menu option you should look at is 'publishing options'. Here you can decide if your book page should be published on the front page or not. If you are certain that you want to share your page with the wider public, then go ahead. Otherwise un-tick the 'published to front page' option. Then choose preview or submit and here you go, you have created a book page.
Once you have created your first page, you can scroll to the bottom of it and simply click on 'add child page'. You will get a menu which is exactly the same as the one you got via create content -- add book page. If you add now a second page, this page will automatically show up in a navigation menu below the first page.
However, if you have a more complex structure with nested hierarchies between pages, you will have to consider the weighting. by selecting a weight from -15 to +15 you select where the page shows up in the navigation. if you have a lot of pages which need organising this will probably take some trial and error. However, in principle this is easy and you cant break anything which cant be repaired equally quickly.
So far we have just used the built in book function. Part of the fun is that you can invite other people to edit your book pages for collaborative writing projects. If you make significant edits to a page, either your own page or the page of somebody else, select 'create new revision' at the bottom menu under 'publishing options'. This will later allow you two things: to move backward in time through revisions of the page, and to 'diff' revisions. Diff means that you can compare changes between the last two versions, which comes in handy if you do some collaborative text editing.