Having spent the first few days, settling into the University Library and planning the timeline of my research, today I have started my research by identifying and compiling a database of current off- and on-line opportunities that assist early-career researchers in managing literature (information resources and particularly referencing tools). One of my aims is to assess the current usage rates of these different opportunities and identity particular advantages and disadvantages expressed by researchers who have used these different software options.
I decided to begin my search on Graduate Junction as I thought it would be a useful place to start. Part of my research will also be to look at the role of social/academic networks as not only a place to connect with others based on research interests, but as a place were researchers can share knowledge and experiences of more practical or generic skills, such as information searching and handling. Therefore this morning I was really excited to find an example of this on Graduate Junction in the form of a thread in the advice forums discussing managing literature . It’s provided a great starting point for my research as well as providing a great example about the role of networks in sharing experiences.
I personally used EndNote for my dissertation as this was already installed on my computer when I got it. I therefore didn’t really shop around at the time or evaluate the advantages or disadvantages of other opportunities. As it was also installed I didn’t think about the cost. I found it very intuitive to use but did find it a problem when I went to the university computing room or library and used other computers as I could obviously not access my library. I know that many universities provide researchers with a free EndNote, or sometimes Refworks, account attached to their university IT account. This has the advantage that you can log into any university computer and access your account, overcoming the problem I experienced. However, I am also under the impression that when you graduate and you lose your university IT account you also lose your subscription to this tool. Does anyone know whether you can then transfer your library to your own account or do you lose this?
I have also heard a lot about Zotero (open source) and I know that Dan Cohen of George Mason University, is coming to give the second Arcadia Lecture in Cambridge in April, which I am very much looking forward to.
It would be great if people could continue this discussion thread and share their personal experiences or thoughts.
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