Storing Information

You have a basic choice here: to store things manually or to use some software to make things a little easier for you.

Bibliographic software is software that allows you to store the information about a source that you collect and then to output that information in one of a number of different formats, depending upon your needs.

Your choices are:

  1. You can do it manually, i.e. create a reference for the source you have read and want to cite in your bibliography or paper and then copy and paste it as you need. This method can produce errors and you can't be guaranteed that all of thw work that you cite has been referenced as is the case if you use bibliographic software.
  2. You can use bibliographic software1. You can, if you manage it carefully, also use EndNote to record the physical location of the source you are using on your computer. You can also record a physical location of the file if you have a hard copy2. The library has a number of handy support materials for the use of EndNote should you opt to use it. The key points about such software are that for any reference you use, you will only ever need to type it once and, if you use EndNote with your word processing software you are guaranteed that every reference will be there and properly formatted. It is also the case that it is easy for you to share EndNote libraries with colleagues.
  3. You can use an online bibliographic facility like Zotero. Zotero is a product of the Centre for History and New Media at George Mason University in the US. Zotero does most of the things EndNote does. It is an add on for your web browser and as you come across references/pages you simply tell it to add it to your collection. Zotero has very recently released a standalone piece of software. It is only in the alpha (i.e. read likely to fall over often) stage of development. I'd suggest you use the web plugin which works well. Zotero also supports sharing of data in groups.

There are a couple of screen casts that walk you through using EndNote and the library. I'll keep adding to these as requests are made. These files are now available in the 'Other Resources' section of the course on L@G.

1. Using EndNote to search for and collect book references from Libraries.
2. Using EndNote to store citation information from journal articles via the Library.

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