See you later, citation software!

Since #libchat has moved to Thursday this week, I thought I’d try to squeeze in another CPD23 post this week.

This will be a quick one, as I can’t currently think of a use for the free reference management software (Zotero, Mendeley, and Citeulike) introduced in Thing 14. Much like Lauren, I’m not usually one for randomly signing up for accounts and testing tools that don’t apply to a current need. I love technology that will help me solve a problem, and right now, keeping track of references isn’t much of a problem. I’ve been done with graduate school for about nine months now, and there isn’t any serious research or publication coming up in my near future (even if maybe there should be).

I have previously tried to use citation managers like EndNote and Zotero, and couldn’t quite figure out how to integrate either of them into my workflow. I understood how they worked, but there always seemed to be enough glitches to make me go back to my old-fashioned process. My basic strategy for writing papers and organizing references is a trusty remnant from my elementary school days. As silly as that may sound, this foundation in basic writing and research has served me quite well through college and grad school.

My process isn't *quite* this old-school.

Image credit: Reeding Lessons

While these tools haven’t worked for me so far, I can see the benefits for academics and others interested in publishing, as they could keep an ongoing record of references that may be used in multiple papers or articles. It’s kind of like maintaining your own personal database of resources on a topic of interest, and I like the sound of that. Right now, though, it’s just not something I need. I’m OK with leaving these tools on the shelf for now, but if I ever go back to school or get the urge to publish, I’m sure I’ll give them a second chance. In the meantime, I’ll spread the word if I think they can help someone else.

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One Comment on “See you later, citation software!”

  1. Erin says:

    Kind of glad to hear that someone else has found these sorts of programs more trouble than they are worth for the amount of referencing I actually do on a regular basis.


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