Referencing on the go.

Reading, referencing and recording whose ideas fit where is a major part of my focus at the moment.  All budding PhD students are recommended by their supervisors to get into a system for referencing and filing references as early in their study as possible.

Diligently I have been reading articles and noting down important points in my ‘evernote’ notebooks. Equally as diligently I went to an ‘endnote’ training sessions at my uni library and hoped that this system of recording references would be for me.

While at the training session it all seemed to make sense, I was able to find articles and import them into ‘endnote’ and then reference them in my word document. The only thing that didn’t really ‘mesh’ for me was the need to copy the database to a thumb drive for back up and to update other places the database was stored (the session leader recommended this). Of course I asked about the option of cloud backup, but it seems this has not been reliable for this software in the past. The session leader thought I may be interested in ‘refworks’ for cloud backup.

A couple of weeks later a colleague of mine sent me an invitation to try ‘Mendeley’. I waited a bit to look at it, but when I did look I was very pleased with what I found. It is far more intuitive than ‘endnote’ seems to me, within minutes I was clipping web logs and articles to it, and it was filing them away. It is like ‘evernote’ in that the version you download on your device/desktop syncs with an online, cloud based account. You are able to share and annotate files. It works with ‘endnote’ too, as you can import your ‘endnote’ database to ‘Mendeley’.  ‘Mendeley’ also works with MSOffice, and open office when you are writing.

I am sure ‘endnote’ has many great features, but I am not sure I have the patience to find out. ‘Mendeley’ seems to be intuitive to use and has the cloud based backup that gives me piece of mind. It also means I can write and access my references where ever I am in the world, on whichever device I am using.  I think I have found my preferred filing system…now back to reading 😀

Fiona T




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