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If you're looking to streamline the way you work with articles and citations, one of the best ways to do it is by automating the process with a Citation Manager. These tools are designed to help you collect your research together into one place, as well as create and format reference lists using various citation styles.
Zotero, for example, is a free browser add on that allows you to collect research articles as you find them, organize them into groups, and produce bibliographies.
Mendeley is another free tool that works great for scientific research. Mendeley's main focus is collaboration and sharing and allows for management of scholarly documents.
As a UAlbany student, you also have access to EndNote and Endnote Web. In addition, a host of Citation Generators are available on the web, as part of your favorite word processor, and in databases you use - these tools will produce formatted citations in various styles based on information you provide. Some of them require just a few pieces of information, while other require all the citation details.
For a full breakdown of the citation management and generator tools available at UAlbany and best practices for using them, the library has put together a comprehensive guide for you to explore.
Keep in Mind...
While citation managers can cut down on the time you spend keeping track of articles and producing a well formatted bibliography, it's important to note that these tools still require some oversight. Just as spellcheck can miss certain words or phrases, leaving you with trouble spots in your papers, citation managers and generators can sometimes produce wonky results that will need your personal attention and careful proofreading to notice and resolve. Be sure to include citations in your proofreading and editing process!
How to Get Help
Need a little help getting started? Want to dig into more advanced features of these tools? Workshops and personal assistance are available. Check out the schedule for iLearn Workshops on Zotero, or stop by or call the reference desk at (518) 442-3691 for assistance with all of the tools at your disposal.
Blog post by: Rebekah Jarvis-Girtler
Image sources: http://myendnoteweb.com, http://zotero.org, http://www.mendeley.com