Thing 21: Managing Citations

The horror tip on this video did the trick to shock me into checking out citation tools.

Zotero, Mendeley, Endnote, there are quite a few different versions of this tool out there. Building up a library of citations would obviously take a while so whichever one you choose would stay with you all the way through your project. This obviously means knowing which preferred citation tool your department or chosen subject operates alongside is important at the outset – so DO ask your supervisor.

The one I chose, unsurprisingly, Zotero works away in the background, disabled when you’re searching the web and when you need it, just click the “Z” icon and it activates a menu at the foot of the screen and stores the page you were on. From this point on much like Pocket (which I explored a few weeks ago) clicking on the Zotero icon saves all pages to your “Zotero” Library with ALL THE METADATA!

Of course this requires you to be reading online data. Reading library books won’t cut it. The trick is finding a way of storing citations manually. Happily I’m ahead of the game…

1. Click on the green plus (+) icon in the center column. Select the type of item you want to create from the drop-down menu. You can view more item types at the bottom of the menu. If the options do not fit your item exactly, try to find the kind of item that would contain the same fields. Once you select an item type, an blank item of that type will appear in your center column.

2. Manually enter the bibliographic information into the right column. Click on any of the fields in the right column to begin entering your information. If you have additional authors you can click on the + next to the first author to add additional fields. To enter an editor or other contributor, click on the “Author” label to reveal a drop-down menu that will let you select other creator types.

3. When you have finished entering the metadata, you can drag in attachments. You can attach any kind of file to any item by simply dragging the file from your desktop onto a Zotero item. You can then double-click the item to launch the file. If Firefox supports the file format it will simply display it in your browser. If the file format is not supported by Firefox, Zotero will launch whatever application your computer uses by default to open the file.

Oh, and the tips included with this Thing’s video mentions ORCiD. This is an absolutely essential research THING so I’ve included the video link here too!



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