Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Organize Your Research

One of my favorite categories of academic software is reference managers. Often it is only when writing their thesis that undergraduates see how helpful these programs can be in managing and organizing research. These programs specialize in helping you collect, tag and organize citations and PDFs for research materials, create bibliographies and in some cases share and collaborate with others. You can even collect materials such as website snapshots, images, video and more. Currently the most popular options are RefWorks (site licensed at L&C), Zotero, Mendeley, EndNote and Papers. Each has different advantages and in some cases you may find you use more than one.

At Lewis & Clark, RefWorks, Zotero and EndNote are the three most commonly used managers. RefWorks is a web app and available anywhere you have internet access. It's easy to use and get started, but doesn't have as many features as more robust programs. It's a good choice for someone new to reference management who wants to quickly get up to speed collecting online research and creating formatted bibliographies. 

Zotero is a good choice for those who need to collaborate and share references. The program runs on your computer, but with a Zotero.org account you can sync your library across devices. It's easy to create group folders and share references and tags. There's a bit of a learning curve, but once you are up and running, you'll love the automatic download of available PDFs and the ability to capture webpages and other media. 

EndNote excels at managing large reference libraries and creating complex formatted bibliographies and is used in L&C's Doctor of Education in Leadership program

No comments:

Post a Comment