Monday, 7 November 2011

Zotero, Mendeley, CiteULike - Referencing

Thing 14, Zotero, Mendeley, CiteULike

Long long ago, in a country far far north of here, I used to write essays which came out similar to this:

Thank you Chinaman88 for allowing use of this item.

My essays were much, much more illegible, and in addition had more scorings out, deletions, and thick gooey lumps of Tippex!  One Computer would fill half a large room (and we didn't have access to them anyhow) and I did not have access to a typewriter (not a problem as I couldn't type either..)  Pity the poor lecturers!

Anyway, back to the present day and the point in hand.  From a document looking very similar to that above, all of us students had to show what references we had used, and then create a bibliography manually. The result was almost invariably a mess.  My aren't you young-uns lucky to have all these referencing tools to work with! And yes, I am a sad old git....

Before going into my largely unwanted opinions of the tools being introduced here, I need to point out I have played around with Refworks and Endnote Web already, so am not a total novice, more like a toddler really. Also I personally do not really have any reason for using referencing tools as I no longer write essays, am no longer studying, however in my current post I need to help others using Endnote Web.  

Zotero looks well worth using.  It looks easy to use, more intuitive than Endnote, has lots of handy functions, and is free!  In fact, I do not see any particular reason to be using Endnote rather than Zotero, except of course many have been using the former for years and are happy using it.  Found an interesting article on a comparison between the two; link below.

Now for Mendeley.  Fraid I don't like the look of it at all, do not think it gives anything extra which I would want to use, though willing to be corrected here of course.

Now for CiteULike. Like the way you can upload PDFs (though haven't yet taken the time to look at it fully), but the lack of 'cite while you write' seems to me to make it not a serious contender in this category, though may well be worth looking at in the context of other Things covered in the programme.

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