Wednesday 24 August 2011

In which I save my sanity...

As someone who has just written what feels like a hundred essays and is about to embark on a dissertation, referencing software is an absolute Godsend! You could cut me off from Facebook, Twitter and every other application that has been covered to far and I could learn to live without them, but cut my access to Endnote and I may have to kill you!

I use Endnote since I get free access to the web version from my university and it has been a while since I have explored any of the alternatives. I do take on board the point that it is always good to have an awareness of alternatives since the same thing won't suit everybody.

I've been experimenting a little with Zotero, which I have used a little before. I like the interface, which as it says in the video is very ITunes like. I'm not really keen on only being able to use it with Firefox though as I tend to stick with Internet Explorer and I have to remember to open the right browser to be able to use this software. I do like being able to access the full text of an article though - a real time saver.

Next I explored CiteULike since this is one I haven't used before. Since I have access at least three computers (I'm not rich - I just have multiple jobs) I like that it can be independent. I'm also quite keen on the group element but I might wait to explore this further since I'm having enough trouble focusing on the groups I'm currently a part of. I'm not sure I would use it for essays since it only produces a single bibliography but it could be useful for those times when I'm doing online research and find something I want to bookmark. I could then collate this into one easy list to come back to later.

I think that this sort of software will become the norm for referencing, if it hasn't already. This means that anyone who works with users, especially academic users, will need to have a good working knowledge of each of the tools in order to help others make the right choice for them.

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