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  2. Transcript - Reference management tools - an introduction

Transcript - Reference management tools - an introduction

PROFESSOR: So this session is about using or storing and managing your references in reference management tools. And we actually won't be looking at any of the individual tools. We're more interested in how they work with library resources.  

So by the end of this session, you should have an overview of how reference management tools work, the benefits and risks of using these tools, and how the tools work with library resources.  

OK, so here's some ways of managing references. You could be storing your articles and books that you've read for your assignments in a card file. I did that myself many years ago when I was studying. You could be using a Word document. You might be using an Excel spreadsheet, or you can use a reference management tool. And that's basically what we're going to be looking at. So I'd just like you to pop in the text chat, how are you managing your references at the moment?  

So Tracy is using a card file. That's what I did, too. Word document, spreadsheets. Someone's using Mendeley. Stephen's doing it badly.  

And yes, quite a lot of people are using Word or an Excel spreadsheet. So one of the things I'd just like to emphasise is that there's no one way that's best for managing your references. It's whatever works for you. However, if you are going to be using more than a few references for your assignments, or you're going to be searching for lots of different kinds of information, you might want to consider using a tool specifically for managing references.  

So in this session, we're going to look at the tools which manage your references online. These are usually called reference or bibliographic management tools. And it can take an hour or two to really get used to using one, so you need to invest a bit of time to get to know one properly.  

So what do the tools do? You can collect all your references you were using or have considered using in one place. Some tools also store the PDFs of articles and allow you to annotate them. So storage is one of the key things about a tool.  

You can manage your references by collecting them into folders. So for example, you could have one for TMA 1. Or you can tag them with keywords so you can see which ones may relate to others, and you can add notes and good quotes. And then some tools also work with Word, so you can use them to insert in-text citations and reference lists or create instant bibliographies. So they do lots of things, really.  

So I've just got a quick poll here to ask you if you've heard of any of these-- Mendeley, Zotero, Endnote Basic, Cite This for Me, or none of them.  

OK, so we've got a fairly even split here, actually. Lots of people have heard of Mendeley, Zotero, and Endnote, and even Cite This for Me. And then about a third of you haven't heard of these. Well, that's fine. These are just the names of some of the main tools that can be used for managing references. And we're going to talk a little bit about what they do in this session, so don't worry if you haven't heard of them.  

So these are just some of the freely available reference management tools that you can download from the web. And probably the most well-known ones are Zotero, Mendeley, and Endnote. And there are two versions of Endnote.  

There's Endnote Web, which is freely available, and then there is an Endnote Desktop, which you have to purchase. Endnote Desktop, you can get a discount if you're a student, but it's really considered the Rolls-Royce of these kind of tools. So it's really suitable for PhD students and academics engaged in research. So it's not really suitable for undergraduate or even masters students.  

And Papers is software that's available from Apple. So again, it needs to be bought. And it can be used on Mac type computers. You might find a web-based tool. For example, Endnote Web is very much web-based, and might work best for you if you have trouble downloading one of the others.  

And then I'm just going to say a little bit about some things which are called citation generators. Cite This for Me and MyBib-- so that's that one, Cite This for Me-- can store your references and generate in-text citations and reference lists, but they don't work with Word. They're not quite so complicated as tools like Zotero and Mendeley, so they might be a good solution if you want something a bit simpler.  

This here shows MyBib finding the information from the DOI of an article. And the DOI is a unique number for each article. So if you've got one, then it's very easy for the reference management tools to find all the details about that particular article.  

And you can see that MyBib is actually generating this reference for me. And it's doing it's in the Cite Them Right referencing style. So this is an example of a Mendeley library. It's my Mendeley library. And it's showing folders on the left-hand side here. So these are folders which I've made in my Mendeley library.  

And there's also a list of resources and details in the middle here, which is the authors, the titles, and some other bits of information. And then this highlighted one here has all the details. So there's the-- it says that it's a journal article. That's the title of the article, the author, the journal it's in, the date, and the abstract.  

And these are all details which are needed for generating a reference. So year, volume, issue, page numbers. So the Mendeley library has all this information, which I can then use to generate references or keep information about the article if I like. And you can see that it's got a section here called Notes. And all the tools have a similar thing, where you can actually annotate your references and put information about how useful it was or add good quotes, for example.  

I'm just going to make a word of caution here. If you've invested a lot of time in your reference management tool, you should think of taking a backup every now and then. The main tools allow you to do this. And they're all from very large organisations, so they're unlikely to disappear overnight, but it's better to be safe if you've put hours and hours into collecting your references together.  

Citation generators are more likely to come and go. So again, I wouldn't recommend keeping your references just in a citation generator, like MyBib or Cite This for Me, just in case they get taken over by somebody else or they disappear, which has happened in the past. So we're now going to see how you can get references into your reference management tool.  

And so there are various ways of adding references. You can do it manually. All the tools have a form that you can just fill in with all the details. And many people never get beyond just typing the details of articles, books, and websites into their library. And it does have the advantage that you can be really careful to get all the details right.  

However, if you are finding a lot of resources, it might be better to use one of the automated ways of importing references. So you can have something called a browser extension, you can import a PDF file, and you can also do something called a RIS file, which you can create from one of the databases, and import into a tool. And we're going to look at these in a little bit more detail now. So I'm just going to share my screen now.  

Hopefully, you can now see the library website. And I'm just going to point out a few things that you might find useful. So the third tab along here is the Help and Support tab. And then under Referencing Guidelines, you'll see a link to a page called Bibliographic Management.  

And there's lots of information here about the different tools, and some information about choosing them. So there's actually an activity on selecting a reference management tool here, if you haven't got around to doing that yet. And then there's support for reference management tools, and there's videos about each of them and links to the websites for each of these.  

We don't actually support any one of these particular tools because there's just too many, really. So the best way to get information about the tools is actually from the suppliers themselves. And these links will take you there.  

So I'm now going to show you how to get information from Library Search into one of the tools. So for example, I can do a search for something. Perhaps I might be interested in the Bronte sisters in Yorkshire.  

And one of the first things I should do here is sign in so that Library Search knows who I am. And you can see the sign-in link on this yellow bar just above the results.  

And you can see in the top right-hand corner that it now knows I'm Durham, Fiona. And it will be the if you do that, if you sign into Library Search. And now that Library Search knows who I am, it means that when I save things using the pin, then it will collect them all for me and I can find them again later.  

So I might just be interested in this review. So I just click on the pin icon here, and it floats happily up into the big pin at the top of the page. And that will collect all my results. So perhaps I might be interested in the Cambridge companion to the Brontes. And "We Are Three Sisters-- Self and Family in the Writing of the Brontes." So I've just collected those three items from Library Search that I found that I thought might be useful. And then I can just maybe choose one of these. Maybe this one here, the article.  

If you click on the title of the article, or book or whatever it is, then it will take you to page with some information about it, rather than to the full text. And this is what we're looking for. And you can see here that one of the links is Export RIS. And this makes this article into a file, the details of the article into a file, which I can then save on my desktop, or wherever I save things, and then import into Mendeley or Zotero or EndNote. So I'm just going to do that now. So I'm saving "Wainwright's West Yorkshire."  

Ignore Encoding, and just click on Download. And you can see that it's now asking me to save a Primo Export RIS file, which I'm going to stick on my desktop because that's where I can find things easily. Just going to save that. So all I've done there is I've just saved the details of that article onto my desktop. And then I can get that into a tool.  

However, that's probably a bit too much for just one article, but I may be looking for lots and lots of articles about a particular subject. So if I go to the big pin at the top, above the blue bar here, next to my name, and you'll see I've got lots and lots of things I've saved over the years, the first four items here are the ones that I've just saved.  

And when I'm doing this, I usually tag everything so that I can keep them in folders. And you can see here on the right I've got folders for Arabic, heritage, language, earthquake, engineering, electric car batteries, whale song, all sorts of different things. So I could add a tag to this. Perhaps I would call it Bronte.  

And I can do the same for the other things that I've just saved in Library Search. If I go to one of the things that I've saved here, like whale song, for example, I've got eight items here. And in order to export them all to one of the tools, I click on the tick here and just tick that so they're all ticked. And then I need to go to these three little dots up here, just below the blue bar. And again, I click on Export RIS, and then Download. And that's now made a new RIS file for me. And that will have all eight items in it. And again, I'm going to save that to my desktop.  

So I'm now going to go to one of the tools. So let's choose Zotero, for example. And all the tools work in a very similar way. You usually go to something like File, Import. So I've got File, Import here. I want to bring in a RIS file.  

I go to my desktop and find my RIS file, which is called Primo RIS. The first one is just one article, and I could just import that. And the second one was the eight articles. So I'm just going to click on that one, Open.  

And you can see that Zotero is importing all those articles for me. And it's brought all the details in. And if I click on the title here on the right-hand side, you can see that it's also brought in all the details about that article-- the title, who the authors were, the dates, and everything I need for a reference. And in some cases, it also brings the abstract in, as well, if there's one  

So that's a look on searching Library Search and bringing things in from Library Search into one of the tools. And they all work in a very similar way, so it's really just a question of which one you're using. And you could do the same with any of them.  

Another thing that the tools do that allows them then-- this is quite a quick way of bringing things into a tool, you can just have the details of an article up. So for example, here we've got one which is called "Subarctic Singers-- Humpback Whale Song Structure and Progression." So I want to add this to my Zotero or EndNote to Mendeley library.  

And once you download one of these tools, you'll be asked if you want to put something called a browser extension into your browser. And in this particular one, which is Chrome, here in the top right-hand corner, you see I've got Save to Zotero browser extension and a Save to Mendeley. So if I just click on one of these, either one would work fine. It's asked me which file I want to put it in. So I'm going to put it in the one that I've just imported.  

And you can see that I've actually brought it in twice, actually. So I've imported it from the browser extension. It's also come in from the RIS file, as well. So that's two ways of doing that. And then the last way, which I just want to show you, which is quite a neat thing that Mendeley does, you can just pull a PDF of an article, for example, and it will read the details of the article, and then put it in.  

Just have to emphasise that it only does this if it's got all the information it needs. So you can see I've got a PDF here by Hashem 2018. And I just pull it into Mendeley. And it automatically puts it in, and it's brought in all the details-- the title, the author, the abstract, the journal, issue, etcetera. And in this case, it's also even brought the PDF in so that the full text of the PDF is also available there.  

So we've now looked at various ways of bringing references into a tool. So it's possible to just fill in a form, or you can go to the library website, or a database, as well. Most of the databases allow you to export details in RIS format, and then import them into the tool the same way that we did with Library Search. You can use a browser extension, as we did with the humpback whale one, and you can also import the PDF file into Mendeley, which is quite a neat way of doing it, too.  

So one of the things I need to emphasise that doing it this way is the database and the tool will do their best, but sometimes the information isn't completely accurate.  

So this is an example of a record for an article in Library Search which I found some time ago. And you can see here that it's "Global Voices of Science-- Science in the Arab World." And the first part of the article title is in capitals. To send the article to your reference management tool, you need to click on Export, as we did before, Export RIS, and then Download.  

However, this particular article has a slight problem because the first part of the title is in capitals. And this will be carried over into the reference management tool. So that would be wrong. It's not a part of either the OU Harvard or the Cite Them Write style to have capitals in the title. So this is why it's important to check that you have all the details correct when you have imported an item, however you do it.  

So this is what a RIS file actually looks like. Normally, you won't see this as it glides seamlessly from the database into your reference management tool, we hope. The capital letters on the left-hand side here are codes which the tool can read, so it knows the type is a journal, for example, and the author is Maziak.  

But you can see here where it says title that it's actually bringing the capital letters from the title into the tool. So that's something that would have to be changed when you look at the reference in your reference management tool. So it's just something you will need to correct. And this just happens because sometimes the data for an article may not be quite right, or something may be missing.  

So if you want to use your reference management tool with Word, then you need to be aware that there are many different referencing styles.  

At the OU, the main style used is OU Harvard, which is gradually being replaced by Cite Them Right Harvard. OU Harvard is not a standard style, so there's no official style in any of the tools for it. You could use a similar style, like APA or CTR Harvard, and then tweak the output. Cite Them Right Harvard it is a standard style available in the tools. However, you should still check that all the details are correct when you're doing the assignments because of the reasons I told you before, of sometimes the data gets pulled across and it is not right.  

OSCOLA is used by law students. And as it would involve using two different styles for your reference list, we wouldn't recommend using OSCOLA with a tool. And then there are actually thousands of different styles out there. It sometimes seems to me that every science journal has got its own style. So make sure you choose the right one if you're using them in a tool. And your module websites will contain details of which style you should be using, which is usually under Assessment.  

So if you are using one of the tools, just make sure that you're using, say, Cite Them Right, or if you are using a different style, like MHRA, that you've just chosen the right one. So I'm just going to ask you to look at this, which has been imported into Mendeley. And so what mistakes can you spot from these Mendeley citations? And just to make it easier, I put the correct reference below.  

Yeah, no page references or volume issues. That's right. And we're actually also missing the title of the journal, as well. Yeah, excellent, no journal name. In actual fact, in Cite Them Right, we don't need the access date, although we do in OU Harvard.  

Yeah, so for this particular item, which was imported into my Mendeley, it's missing the journal title. It's also missing the volume and the issue number and the page number. So that's quite a lot of information which it should have, and hasn't.  

And just very quickly, we'll have a look at another one. And one of the first things that you can spot from this is that the authors have been brought in in capital letters, which, again, is a mistake in both Cite Them Right and also in OU Harvard. It's also brought in some other information which isn't needed, such as Oxford University Press USA. And the DOI is wrong. It should be DOI, not Available At.  

So these are all mistakes which happen when you automatically bring things into the reference management tool. It doesn't happen all the time, but it's something that you need to keep an eye on when you're producing your reference lists and your in-text citations, just to make sure that it's correct. So what I'm saying is that the tools are not silver bullets. They're not 100% accurate, and it's still up to you to check that the output is correct.  

So you might just want to use the reference management tool for storing and notating your references, but you can also use them with Word software. So we're just going to have a quick look at how that works.  

So what happens with Mendeley, Zotero, and Endnote is they put an add-on into your Word programme which allows you to link to the library you have and insert in-text citations into your assignment. And they automatically create reference lists. And you can also do instant bibliographies, as well, if that's what you want to do.  

Now, I just see somebody's asked what a DOI is. It stands for Digital Object Identifier, and it's a unique number for that particular article. And it's quite a useful thing because the databases use them and the reference management tools use them, and it means they can instantly get all the information about a particular article if it has this unique number, the DOI.  

So this is from my Word programme on my computer. And it looks a bit mad, actually, because I have three different reference management tools. I have Zotero, so I have a Zotero toolbar. I also have Endnote, so that's also on my toolbar, as well, and I also have Mendeley. So that's also in my toolbar, as well. So I recommend just choosing one tool and sticking to it, rather than having lots as I do.  

Zotero and Endnote have their own tabs, and Mendeley appears in the References section in Word. Word also has an inbuilt reference management tool, as well, which you can see here. And you can see that I can actually choose Cite Them Right as a style in Mendeley. That's also true for Endnote and Zotero, as well.  

So this is an example of my Zotero toolbar. And you can see that there's a thing called Add/Edit Citation, which, when I click on it, I can choose the name of the author I want to cite, and it will automatically put it in in the correct format here, which is Killick, Nurse, and Clough, 2018.  

And then it will automatically also, at the same time, start a reference list at the bottom of the TMA, which will have the full details of the article, which is the names of the authors, the dates, and all the rest of it, like the title and the fact that it's a conference proceeding. I'm just having a quick look at the questions. Yes, MHRA will be in Mendeley because it's a standard style, Samuel.  

Chris says, should that not be Killick, et al? This is actually in the Cite Them Right style, and Cite Them Right has four authors or more should have et al. So this is correct in the Cite Them Right style.  

APA is quite similar to OU Harvard. And so is Cite Them Right, if you're still using OU Harvard. There are also some unofficial OU Harvard styles floating around which students have created in the past. They usually work quite well for journal articles, but they may not be quite so accurate with other types of resources, such as conference proceedings, for example, or newspaper articles. So it's a question of if you want to use a tool with OU Harvard, then use a similar style and then tweak the results so that it comes out correctly.  

MHRA will also be available in Zotero and Endnote, as well as Mendeley, because as I say, it's a standard style. And I suppose I ought to just point out, as well, that there are lots of different Harvard styles. So there's Cite Them Right Harvard, there's OU Harvard, but there's also lots of different Harvard styles.  

Quite a few universities have their own styles. So for example, my son and daughter went to Northampton University, and that has its own Northampton Harvard style. So as I say, you need to be a bit careful to make sure that you're using either the Cite Them Right Harvard style or, if you're using a different style, that it conforms to the style you're expected to use.  

So we're almost at the end of this session. And I'll just have a quick look at any questions which should have been answered. So I'm just going to ask you now, how do you plan to manage your references in future? So are you going to try one of the tools, stick with what you're using now, or not decided yet?  

So it looks like lots of you are keen to try one of the tools. As I say, it takes a little while to get used to using them, but it can be a really good way of managing, especially if you've got a lot of references. But don't forget to keep backups and check that the style that you're using is the correct one. All right, so thanks for that.  

So in this session, we've covered how reference management tools work, the benefits and risks of using them, and how the tools work with library resources. For further information, see the Bibliographic Management page on the library website, as it's got lots of information about the different tools and selecting the one that works best for you. So if you've still got some more questions, then please-- 

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