Storing bibliographic information

Bibliographic information is descriptive information about a piece of work, for example, the author, title, date of publication etc. You should ensure that you record all of this type of information for all the material you find and use when you are doing research.

Some of your lecturers may have been unfortunate enough to have to keep records of this kind of information handwritten on pieces of paper, or on note-cards. This option is still open to you, but we would highly recommend using reference management (bibliographic) software to keep a record of what you use.

This type of software will allow you to do a number of activities:

  1. Record reference information
  2. Make notes about where you found a particular item
  3. Directly import reference information from SFX, the library catalogue and many database
  4. Directly import reference information from Google Scholar
  5. Store full-text documents
  6. Record SFX links, so you have immediate access to full-text articles (when available via the library)
  7. Share your references with your classmates, lecturers, project group, etc.
  8. Search for items your reference database
  9. And last but not least, this software will insert in-text citations, and produce a fully-formatted reference list and/or bibliography

You can use software packages that have to be installed on your PC or laptop, such as EndNote, but we would advise using RefWorks whilst you’re studying. It’s web-based, and you can access your personal database of references if you’re on- or offline. You may already be using another piece of software, such as BibTeX, or Zotero – if you would like help deciding on what is best for you, contact your liaison librarian or principal library assistant.

Your liaison librarian or principal library assistant may have organised a RefWorks training session as part of your information literacy course. If not, they can set up a session for your and your colleagues, or you can arrange a one-to-one training session. There are tutorials available at the library website, and further help at the RefWorks site.

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