I envisioned Research Assistant as an aid to the "reading up" and "writing down" part of research. In the first phase one typically does a search for literature, reads from various books and papers, finds interesting tidbits of information that may give rise to some exciting experiment that one wants to do. Then 6 months or a year (or two) later one has results and one wants to write it all up and submit it to some journal or give an illuminating talk to one's colleagues. In this second phase there is much joy and frustration. For me the frustration comes from the fact that I can often recall a fact, but not where I read it. Or I can remember a crucial experiment, but not which way the result went, or where to look it up. Written notes are great, but there is an indexing problem. Hence Research Assistant.
RA is released under the GNU/GPL. One relevant part of the license reminds up that
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.I of course, welcome all bug reports and feature requests.
Windows binaries are released in the downloads page and the source code is available via CVS. RA uses QT from trolltech as the GUI library. QT for *nix systems is GPLd, but its status under windows is ambiguous. They don't release the source for the windows version, but allow you to use the "noncommercial" version for GPLd code.