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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Learning to Research, Part 2 Citation Management

Ok lets get started:

Setting up Citation Software, (yes you really need to do this first).

UCF students currently have the benefit to choose between EndNote and RefWorks citation management software. What is the difference? Personality preference is everything when it comes to choosing. My personality was such that I have accounts with both.

Choose EndNote if:
- You like to use one computer for all of your needs (tablets and smart phones do not count as computers in this instance)
- You like to back up your own references so you know you will not lose it if someone elses server crashes
- You write/read papers when you don't have access to the internet sometimes.
- You use Microsoft Word to Write your papers and don’t want to wait for the latest RefWorks updates to play nice with Microsoft. In my opinion it currently takes too many steps to get your references into your document and have it automatically update.

Choose RefWorks if:
-You continually switch between computers when you are doing research. By doing research I mean searching the web for papers to read, reading e-books, etc or writing your own paper.
-You want someone else to back up your sources
-Sometimes you even use a smartphone or tablet to do database searches and read papers.
-You don’t mind having to do a few extra steps when writing your final paper
-You are working with a group on a project, references are shareable easier than through EndNote.

Choose both if you like aspects of both lists above and want the best of both worlds. It turns out EndNote and RefWorks play well together. So choose both if:
-When you are on the go you do searches on multiple devices, use RefWorks to log those citations
-You want a seamless experience adding references to your papers use EndNote.
-You want an internet and home back up of your references.

But remember to always always always transfer your RefWorks References to EndNote and vice versa to make sure you have all of your resources available.

For this initial stage of research we will be using RefWorks only until you pick a topic. But feel free to set up both accounts.

Get started:

  1. Create a RefWorks account, you will need to use the links above and use your library login to create the account. Use the quick start guide if it gets confusing. Call/email me if it is still confusing.
  2. Learn how to add folders
  3. Learn how to import references
  4. Set up your default citation settings to IEEE format.
  5. Always double check references before logging out, make sure all info that you need is entered.
  6. Every time you start a new topic of research create a new folder and add your papers to this folder
  7. It is also a good idea to have sub-folders in each topic area that are something along the lines of:
    1. Read an Liked it
    2. Read and Hated it
    3. Gray Area
    4. Unread
  8. In the beginning, all of the papers and sources you have will be in the unread folder and as you go through them sort them accordingly.
  9. The Gray Area is important because you do not always know if the resource is useful or not until you become a subject matter expert so don’t hesitate to use this subfolder.

Ok, I'm going to leave this here and there will probably be another part on this later once it is time to write a paper or dissertation.... but for now on to the next topic.

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