June 20th, 2012

Managing Your Reference Citations, Part 2: Internet Options

Last week, I wrote about all the cool things you can do with your free RefWorks account through the Capella library. I hope that you had the chance to explore your account and all its functions. Remember: RefWorks allows you to attach PDFs to the citation records that you create. However, if you do have dozens of PDFs already saved on your hard drive, the below tools could be useful to help you organize them.

Here are brief summaries of a few of the more popular ones:

Mendeley: Allows you to store up to 500 MB of information for free. Create a Mendeley account in just a few seconds, download the software, drop your articles into it, and it will extract most of the citation information (author, article title, journal name, etc.) directly from the PDF. It’s not perfect, but it worked most of the time when I gave it a test run. Mendeley states on its website that it not only helps you manage your reference citations, but it serves as an “academic social network”. You can share and search the article holdings of others in your network. See the Mendeley tutorial page for more information.

Qiqqa: Has the same features as Mendeley, and some additional features as well such as optical character recognition of most PDFs. The downsides: It doesn’t have a Mac version and it only allows you to store up to 200 MB of information for free.

Zotero: Zotero is a completely free web-based citation system that allows you to “collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.” Once you’ve downloaded the plug-in, to paraphrase their website, Zotero will be able to automatically sense content so that you can “add it to your personal library with a single click.”

Qiqqa ran a comparison of its tool against the others, and so it’s no surprise that it came out looking the best on their website. Still, some of the comparison information is useful if you pay attention to only the features that you really need. Check it out here.


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