Tools: Citation Management Software

Learn how to use citation management software. Do so when you are writing a class paper or as you are writing your dissertation proposal. These are programs such as EndNote, RefMan, Zotero, and others that are specialized databases that serve to organize your digital library and also work together with writing programs (e.g. MS Word) to format your references to fit a particular journal’s requirements. Pick one used by your advisor, fellow students, or the one supported by your university. Some cost money and some are free. They are web-enabled and allow collaborative use. I have had great luck with the program called Zotero. (They are non-profit and do not know that I am mentioning their product here). See if your university library offers a course to get you started.

Allow yourself a big smile the first time you are searching in google scholar or pubmed and with one click bring both the citation and pdf into your own digital library.

Sigh gently when you digitally insert the correct citation into your excellent prose.

Laugh out loud when your entire bibliography is built with one click.

(Bang your head against the wall when you realize that your collaborative grant document has been corrupted because of competes between track changes and your citation management software. But then realize that fixing it still saves time because inserting hundreds of citations and correctly formatting the bibliography just isn’t how you want to spend your weekend). 