2.3 Citation and Research Managers


The third type of organisation preparation you should consider doing before starting your research in earnest is looking at using a Citation or Research Manager. Citation managers will store all of your references and often can generate in-text citations and bibliographies with very little effort. A Research Manager on the other hand is able to provide a references database, a citation/bibliography generator and a central workspace for your literature reading and note-taking.

There are a number of Citation and Research Managers, but we'll look at RefWorks as a Citation Manager and Mendeley as a Research Manager.


RefWorks (provided by the University of Bedfordshire and many other Universities as the recommended Citation Manager) acts as central repository for your references and allows for very straightforward bibliography creation.

Creating a bibliography manually for Dissertation-length work can often takes a considerable amount of time, it is recommended that you set aside a day or so for this task if you plan on assembling and checking your references yourself.

If you choose to use RefWorks then logging (either through www.refworks.com or through your University's portal) will allow you to create seperate lists of references and export them as a formatted bibliography. You must, however, remember to change the citation style to the one required by your University (Harvard, AMA, Chicago, etc.)

References can be entered manually into RefWorks but there are also additional options that will speed up the process. While RefWorks cannot scan PDFs like Mendeley, most University portals (such as DISCOVER) provide one-click import of references into RefWorks, meaning you can add sources as you conduct your research itself. In addition, external portals such as Google Scholar also provide the same functionality, you simply need to click on the "cite" link underneath the source as seen below to view the link to import into Refworks and other similar Reference Managers.






Further Reading

Refworks Quick-Start Guide (PDF)

University of Virginia Citation Managers Comparison

Mendeley User Guide (PDF)

Alliant Mendeley Video Tutorials

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