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Citation and Research Management Tools

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In a world overcome by information overload, finding information is never a problem. The question is, what can a 1st grader do with that information? If all we ask is for the child to list 5 facts about gorillas, we have missed out on a huge opportunity. Why did the child first want to look up information about gorillas? What were they hoping to find? When students have a goal in mind, they are more likely to be able to find meaning in the information they find and use it in ways that require critical thinking and creative applications.

But if we browse for too long then we lose a sense of what we were looking for in the first place. Once students have found some answers to their questions which may have required them to revise their questions along the way , what will they do with the information that they have found? Here is where the role of the teacher becomes vital. A teacher can help set a goal for the research process as well as a plan for synthesizing the information students uncover.

In the second statement, it is obvious that the student has not only memorized a fact, but is able to apply it to a situation. We no longer live in a time when information is hard to get our hands on. Anderson is a recognized expert in using social media in education. Steven regularly consults with schools and districts around the country on how they can use social media to break down barriers and extend learning beyond the classroom walls.

In his home district he works with school administrators, helping them to build their capacity for change and leadership with technology. Steven resides in North Carolina with his wife Melissa and their daughter Reaghan. I do a whole lot of research. Whether I am preparing a workshop or writing a keynote I am constantly looking up information and trying to figure out the best ways to organize it all so I can not only recall what I am saving but to make sure I have it, no matter where I am working.

Hands down, my favorite app for organizing. Not only do I have it installed on every computer I have but on my mobile devices as well. With it I can organize everything I am doing into notebooks and notes. On the web I have the Clipper installed so I can snip quotes, references or parts of blog posts that I want to come back to.

All the annotations come with it so it makes the citation later much easier. From my phone I can add to or edit my notes, insert photos or audio. No matter where I am or what I come across I can add it to my notes and notebooks in Evernote.

I wrote some posts recently about how I am using and ways others are using it as well. You can see them here and here. Believe it or not I do a lot of my researching on Twitter. Either following a hashtag or asking people to send me stuff. With this browser extension I can, with the click of a button mark the site as something to read later. I can search by tag or key word and since I have it installed on my mobile devices I can read my saves when I have a moment or save something to my list when I am out and about.

This is another place I save web resources. Again with a browser extension I can take the items I am ready to permanently save and add them to my Diigo list. Oh and I can use the various tools there to annotate and mark up the pages and add any notes. I add tags to organize them and I can share all my saves with a link or two. If you are an educator you get even more perks like the ability to create accounts for your students, sharing lists of sites easily and creating groups so students can share resources.

Of course there are lots of other ways to curate content. Even using something simple like a Google Form or Doc could work. I believe the thing to consider when curating content is how are you going to have access to it. I like to be able to access my content anywhere and from any type of device, easily. In the Student Section this week we have some new Topics Guides on popular subjects, so students can get ideas about starting their research. We also are releasing the fourth part of our Writing Guide — Proofread and Revise: Proofreading and revising your paper are key steps that improve your writing.

The best proofreading is done with a pair of fresh eyes. If you can, have someone else edit your paper. Ideally, this other person would be a teacher, adult, or peer who is a good editor. You want your own eyes to be as fresh as possible. Rather than devoting so much time to developing a single research project, students should be given the opportunity to conduct research multiple times during the school year covering subjects of genuine interest. Students keep their research muscle flexed and eliminate research anxiety by becoming familiar with the process.

Outlining is a helpful step in the writing process. It will force you to think about how separate ideas in your research fit together so that you can write a cohesive paper. By requiring a research paper in every class subject, the library media specialist develops writing skills in every subject. But we live in the 21st century now and there are a myriad of great tech tools that can help you be more organized and efficient.

Taking notes with pen and paper? Good luck formatting your citations too. Using online tools, however, you can effortlessly keep track of bibliographic data and links. You will know where your data comes from, and will avoid plagiarism. Easily transfer information from notes, to outline, to paper. From the outline to the paper, you often re-write much of the information from your notes. Moreover, with EasyBib, you can associate notes with your outline, and link your notes and outline to a paper in Google docs.

Easy editing, formatting, and linking. You can always go back and easily delete or add things, insert formatting, and even stylize your text. Traditional note taking requires paper. By taking notes online, you not only save costs on paper and pens, but by lowering the demand for such resources, you help improve our environment.

Taking virtual notes means being green! Access your notes from anywhere. Luckily for you, your pals over at EasyBib have their very own Notebook tool. Check it out, because it can do some pretty cool stuff. Associate your notes with sources you cited, quote, paraphrase, tag, group, color code, create outlines… Woah.

Sign up to our educator newsletter for information literacy trends. Use the chart below to determine which popular application would work best for your research and then the tabs across the top to learn more about each citation management tool.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of citation managers, but rather a list of suggested applications. Try a few out to see which suits you best! Zotero , RefWorks, Mendeley. Data synced on the desktop client is automatically backed up to the cloud. Use Zotero Groups to easily share your resources with others either privately or publicly. Mendeley offers group functionality as well: RefShare by RefWorks allows researchers and scholars the ability to collaborate across institutions.

Each of these tools Mendeley , Qiqqa , and Zotero allows you to organize your PDF collection as well as index them for easy searching and citing. Note that Qiqqa is currently only available for Windows PC. Web-based applications BibMe and EasyBib can quickly format a citation for you online which you can then copy and paste into your document, export to Microsoft Word, or save online for later.

Using Zotero ' s Quick Copy function, you can drag and drop a citation from your Zotero library into any text field word processing document, Google doc, email, blog post, etc. With Zotero , you can reference your Zotero library directly from your word processing document in order to add an in-text citation using a word processor integration plugin.

Using Qiqqa 's new Qiqqa InCite feature, you can create bibliographies and format your references using Microsoft Word. All of these tools are freely available for you to download Zotero , Mendeley , Qiqqa or start using online BibMe , EasyBib at any time.

Zotero comes standard with about 16 citation styles but you can view an extensive list of all available styles at their website which you can download and install into your Zotero instance. Given that Zotero is open source, if you don't see the specific citation style that you need, you can contact Zotero and they can work on its development. You can even create your own citation style. RefWorks Mobile allows you to login to your RefWorks account on your mobile device in order to access your references and citations.

Android and iOS App developers have been hard at work creating a variety of Zotero mobile applications. Qiqqa now has an Android Version in beta and the Web Library is available from any mobile browser.

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Research Once you’ve chosen a topic, gotten a sense of the scope of your paper, and poked around a bit on the internet, the next step is to take a deep dive into research. There is a lot of information out there.

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EasyBib is a citation generator tool which can also allow users to create a personal database of bibliographic references and automatically format a bibliography with citations in . And if you use EasyBib, it will automatically format your citations and associate them with your notes 😉 4. Easily transfer information from notes, to outline, to paper.

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EasyBib is an automatic bibliography and citation maker. Many students are familiar with the free version of EasyBib, but you can now access the premium content and create your citations and bibliographies in MLA, APA, Chicago and many more styles (the free edition of EasyBib only allows MLA). EasyBib is a lot like BibMe in that both are free, easy to use, web-based citation management tools that make use of the Autocite/Auto-fill input mode which searches WorldCat and populates the necessary citation metadata for you. BibMe is great for generating a quick citation online.