Online references management

Another to-do is to get a decent academic references database sorted out, since I’m going to be doing a lot more papers and bids in the immediate future.

Years ago I had a system that worked beautifully and Got It Right (BibTeX) … but that doesn’t play well if you’re not writing La/TeX documents.  EndNote with Word plug-in was the only game after that and was so appallingly annoying that it’s easier and quicker (IMO) to do it all by hand.

But I think I need something better now, and the field has changed profoundly.  So – I’m in the market for a new system.  Planning to explore RefWorks, Zotero, CiteULike, Connotea, HotReference, and anything else I can find quickly.  RefWorks gains a lot of points out of the gate for being supported by the OU Library, with handy linkages from their search results pages.

Any other suggestions?  Recommendations?

Author: dougclow

Experienced project leader, data scientist, researcher, analyst, teacher, developer, educational technologist and manager. I particularly enjoy rapidly appraising new-to-me contexts, and mediating between highly technical specialisms and others, from ordinary users to senior management. After 20 years at the OU as an academic, I am now a self-employed consultant, building on my skills and experience in working with people, technology, data science, and artificial intelligence, in the education field and beyond.

One thought on “Online references management”

  1. I’m just getting to grips with this for the first time. I’ve been told by several people: ‘If you learn nothing else this year, learn to reference and begin to build your bibiography.’

    I made a request for guidance on a JISC mailing list, but I headed for the OU-supported stuff first.

    EndNote X – Gah ghastly. Complicated, gets it wrong, and I can only use it on my mahine at the OU, unless I want to pay for a license.

    RefWorks – Good. Lots of useful functionality like looking everything up from an ISBN on a web page. Searches web pages for bibiographic info. Web based, so I can use it anywhere, and can export refs to a file for use in more local systems. Occasionally Gets it Wrong, but usually only because fields are over-populated, so info gets repeated. Easily caught and cleaned.

    I might not go on to try the Open Source ware, at least not while OU is paying my RefWorks license.

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