Category Archives: Citing Sources

Wrangle your resources

Distorted Clockface
Get wise: citation managers are time-savers!

“I read an article about that a while ago. No – wait. I cited it in a paper… What was the title again? The author’s name started with a J, I think.”

Perkins-Bostock Library offers a series of workshops for Zotero, RefWorks and EndNote.  If you’d like to sign up, please do so here. Some of the benefits of these citation managers include storage of .pdfs or links to .pdfs, organization of citations and exporting bibliographies according to a variety of styles. Each of these programs also allows you to cite your references while you compose your research papers.

If you are trying to decide which workshop to take, ask your favorite professor what she or he uses to manage their citations. (In general, Zotero is used by researchers in the humanities, and EndNote is preferred by scientists and social scientists.) Keeping your research organized is smart and will be beneficial to you when it comes time to write your senior thesis, study abroad or write your graduate school applications.

Zotero 2.0

A while ago, Library Hacks blogged about Zotero, an open source research organizer/citation management system developed at George Mason University.  One of their tag lines is “Good bye 3×5 cards, hello Zotero.” (Yes, we know that many of you don’t even remember taking notes and saving references on 3×5 cards…).

A lot has happened since those blog posts, including the release of Zotero 2.0.  The new version has features that enhance collaboration and information sharing, one of Zotero’s four key functions (collecting, organizing, citing and collaborating).  Your Zotero collection can now be synced between multiple computers, and you can backup your files on Zotero’s web server.  If you want to collaborate with others to compile material in Zotero, you can now create a group, access material in real time, and move materials among group members.  Groups can be public (here’s a list of public Zotero groups that you can join or view) or private (for a course assignment, research or work-related project).

What are some advantages of using Zotero?  It’s fairly easy to learn to use it, it works with a wide variety of materials, the collaborative features are great, and it’s free.

NYU Libraries created a great site that compares Zotero, RefWorks and EndNote.  Interested in migrating from EndNote to Zotero?  Check out the useful migration instructions prepared by George Mason University.

More information about Zotero 2.0 can be found here.  The Libraries are looking at how we can support Zotero at Duke.  Stay tuned.

What *really* matters when citing sources?

You may know that two major style manuals — APA and MLA — have released new editions in the last six or so months. And if you’re aware of that fact, you undoubtedly know that both editions contain inconsistencies in their examples and enough errors to require APA to post an 8-page list of corrections and then replace its first run copies with a second printing.

The new rules have driven confused and frustrated researchers to sources such as APA’s blog, which provides examples and attempts to explain the more complicated rules (check out the DOI/URL flowchart — yes, this rule requires a flowchart), or Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL), which hosts APA and MLA resources that received 3.5 million and 2.5 million hits, respectively, during September and October alone, according to the coordinator of OWL.

It is evident from these stats alone that librarians and faculty have spent countless hours supporting the researchers and students who have spent even more time formatting manuscripts to meet the unbending rules of CSE, APA, MLA and enumerable others.

As Barbara Fister posits in her ACRLog post, is this time well spent? Is research somehow made more valid when its footnotes are perfectly formatted, its works cited page spaced just so? Have we spent so much time agonizing over comma placement and tracking down database names that we’ve lost sight of the whole point of citing sources in the first place? Do our budding scholars realize that citing sources is not merely an academic hazing ritual of sorts, causing them hours of extra labor after their papers are written?

It would seem that the newest editions of APA and MLA are only muddying the waters, making it harder for researchers — especially novice ones — to achieve the true goal of citing sources: to give credit to the scholars their research builds upon and to make it as easy as possible for their readers to learn more about that work.

And if we can agree on that primary goal, how do we get back to emphasizing it rather than the arcane rules?

Term papers by the numbers…

dali-clock-500x500

Ready to start that term paper?  Not sure how to start?  The University of Minnesota Libraries have created an assignment calculator to help students organize their time to meet their research needs.  Start with today’s date, enter the date assignment is due, a timeline is provided, with research milestones.  Use Duke Library links for local, on-site research assistance.  For example, How do I begin my research? or  Find a Librarian in my subject area? or ask for help are just a few of the services available to you through the Duke Libraries.

Timesaver=Lifesaver

It’s the one little line in your assignment that can lead to hours of work:

Format your paper in APA (or MLA, or Chicago, or Turabian…)

Inserting correct citations and a properly formatted bibliography used to involve complicated manuals, memorization of arcane facts about space placement after a period, and a lot of hair pulling. Kudos to those who want to keep citing by hand…but for those who don’t, it’s….

REFWORKS to the RESCUE!

We’re kicking off a whole week of RefWorks training, which will run between March 30th to April 3rd, to introduce you to your new best citation friend.

What is RefWorks? It’s a web-based program that collects all your research and references in one handy spot, search and select them, and automatically generates citations and bibliography in whatever style your Professor is asking for.

In other words, RefWorks is a Lifesaver!

Drop by and learn more all week:

Mon. March 30: Bryan Center 12-2 pm

Tue. March 31: Lilly Library 1-3 pm

Wed. April 1st: Perkins Library 1-3 pm

Thu. April 2nd: East Campus Marketplace 12-2

Fri. April 3rd: Bryan Center Plaza 12-2 pm

Written by Kyla Sweet-Chavez

Ultimate Citing: EndNote VS. RefWorks

In the competitive world of Ultimate Citing, two kingpins rule the ring…RefWorks and EndNote, the academic world’s leading bibliographic management tools. Lucky for you, Duke has a subscription to both, so the choice is yours!

RefWorks EndNote
Registration Register for your free account here Download for free here
Access Web-based (Any computer w/ Internet access) Not web-based. Access through any computer(s) in which you’ve installed EndNote
Most Useful for… Collaborative projects, term papers, coursework Complex research projects, dissertations, lengthy tomes
# of Bibliographic styles 3000+ 800+
Classes Register here Register here
PC and Mac Compatability Web-based, so will work on any computer w/ internet Versions available for both MAC and PC

Neither RefWorks or EndNote have figured out how to write your papers for you, but both are excellent tools for managing and formatting citations. Learn more about RefWorks here and EndNote here

Written by Hannah Rozear

Make citations in Facebook

In further Facebook takes over the universe (at least the parts not already claimed by Google) news, there’s a new application in Facebook called CiteMe. You enter the title of the book you want to cite, click go, and the app spits out a formatted citation in one of five styles (APA, Chicago, Harvard. MLA, or Turabian).

It uses the WorldCat library catalog to find books, so it won’t be helpful for citing journal articles. If you’re working with journal articles, you can check our Citing Sources pages for examples and do them by hand, or get started with RefWorks or EndNote, the two citation managers Duke has site licenses for, or Zotero, a free online citation manager. Lots of choices, but CiteMe is a nice little addition to the mix!

Written by Phoebe Acheson

RefWorks is here!

Some of you avid fans of RefWorks will be happy to hear that you may now access this online research management system FREE through Duke’s OIT.

For those of you who haven’t yet been wowed by RefWorks’ user-friendly interface and robust functionality (think Works Cited pages in seconds; in-text citations in a couple of clicks; unlimited storage space for citations and notes), take a few minutes to create a free account:

  1. Go to www.refworks.com/refworks from any computer on campus
  2. Click on Sign Up for an Individual Account
  3. Enter your information and click Register

You’ll find that RefWorks is fairly intuitive, but it’s worth taking a look at the Quick Start Guide or the step-by-step RefWorks tutorials when learning how to format bibliographies and import citations from databases to your account.

And if you’re off-campus, never fear: Just enter Duke’s group code RWDukeUniv.

Questions about RefWorks? Contact Emily Daly. And let us know your thoughts about Duke’s latest time-saving tool for researchers!

Connotea — another look

In Ted’s recent comments on connotea, he said he enjoyed it, but found that connotea was not such a great citation manager; it doesn’t always gather the metadata needed. On the connotea site, it explains that it is “specially designed for scientists and clinicians,” so it gathers bibliographic data better for some sites than others.

I agree, connotea is no substitute for a bibliographic reference manager like Endnote (to which Duke subscribes) or Refworks. I also agree that it’s “downright fun!” As a librarian, I use it as an academic networking tool, to find, track and tag resources as I come across them. It’s very handy for retrieving items on a particular topic, and for creating feeds for specific classes–I tag resources with the course name.

Ted was also concerned about messy tags. The “related tags” on the right belong to other users, who may create them however they’d like.

That’s both the beauty and the chaos of a Web 2.0 tool–everyone gets to play, and you can follow their leads, or not.

So, the short answer is: the value of connotea depends on your purpose. For a free web-based citation manager, you might like to try zotero (from an earlier LibraryHacks post):

The open-source Zotero (part 1 / part 2) is [a] Firefox extension that allows you to store, retrieve and organize your reference sources for a more streamlined citation process.

Has anyone out there done more than a first foray into zotero? Please send us your comments.

Save time! Learn EndNote!

Start your summer research with a bang by learning to use EndNote, a reference management tool that is sure to save you time and frustration. Duke faculty, students and staff may download EndNote to personal or work computers, free of charge.

Perkins Library is offering a free introductory EndNote session on Tuesday, May 27 from 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM in Bostock Library, Room 023. We’ll provide an orientation to the software, show you how to set up your personal EndNote library and then teach you to format a bibliography in a couple of keystrokes.

Interested? Register today! And stay tuned for more Intro and Advanced EndNote sessions this summer!

How do I cite sources?

There is a citation help guide available through the library website.

The section on the left explains how to cite sources within your paper. The section on the right explains how to compile a list of references at the end of your paper. Styles covered in this guide include: MLA, APA, Turabian, Chicago, and CSE. If this source does not include what you are looking for – try a Google search. Many libraries create similar citation guides, and one of them just might have what you need. Complete style manuals can also be borrowed from the library. Check the online catalog for availability.

For keeping track of citations and managing your references, be sure to consider some of the bibliographic software options available to Duke students:

  • EndNote, for example, will import references into a document as you write, and papers can be automatically formatted according to many different bibliographic styles.
  • The open-source Zotero (part 1 / part 2) is also an exciting new Firefox extension that allows you to store, retrieve and organize your reference sources for a more streamlined citation process.

Any of these can be fabulous time-saving options, and worth taking the effort to learn and explore!

Written by Kathi Matsura

Lectures on Academic Citation

The Citing Sources pages are some of the most popular on the library web site (Google “citing sources” and you’ll know why!).

If you’re addicted to citing sources, or wondering about the deeper relationships between MLA style and scholarly discourse, come to two lectures featuring David Kellogg, the Director of Advanced Writing in the Disciplines at Northeastern University, on Wednesday February 20:

10:15-11:30 ART 116
“Citationality across the Disciplines”
Differences in citation practices across fields reflect different intellectual and rhetorical commitments. Understanding these differences has ramifications for teaching academic writing.

4:15-5:30 Lilly Library Training Room
“Following the Citation Thread: Citation-Based Literature Searching”
Students are traditionally taught to find sources for research projects through keyword or subject searching. But research databases increasingly provide links to cited and citing articles. Compared with keyword or subject searches, citation-based search strategies identify a narrower and more relevant set of sources and more effectively model the practices of
working researchers.

Written by Phoebe Acheson

Introducing Zotero (part 2)

(Since my first post introducing the research tool Zotero, its development continues apace. Several new features have been added, and over 60 institutions, according to the Zotero blog, now recommend Zotero, including MIT and Rice University–both having published their own tutorials on using it.)

Zotero Tour ThumbnailIn my initial post I promised to explain why I thought Zotero was something worth writing home about, not just yet-another-piece-of-software. In case you’re still wondering if Zotero is worth the hype, I’ll make good on the promise. First, since Zotero is an open-source extension to the Firefox browser, anyone can modify it to support their needs—for example, by adding new citation styles or integration with word processors like OpenOffice.org. Of course, being open-source software, Zotero doesn’t cost a dime, making it an even more attractive alternative to expensive proprietary options like EndNote. Second, Zotero makes use of the evolving Firefox extension platform (also open-source) which will, I think, become ever more useful and functional development platform, as software proliferates that lives in the space between the internet and your computer. Lastly, Zotero is a modest coup for open access. As Zotero not only creates a citation to the material you’re reading in your browser—a journal article from PLOS Biology, for example—but also a copy (Zotero calls it a “snapshot”), when you need to refer or share the material later, you’ll be able to provide not only the citation but also the content itself. No trip back to the database or journal’s website is required (“Research, not re-search” is among Zotero’s mottos). Imagine thousands of researchers making use of this feature and you can imagine how this might constitute a modest push toward faster, easier access to research material for those who need it.

If any of this interests you and you’re not already a user, the Zotero folks have a short video introducing the extention.

Plagiarism Prevention Tips

Plagiarism is in the news again, most recently when a romance novel writer was found to have copied from an article on (no kidding) endangered black-footed ferrets. Here’s Paul Tolme, the freelance wildlife journalist, on being plagiarized:

In the Internet age, every freelance writer fears that his or her words will be appropriated without compensation. First I was angry. Then I had to laugh. To see my textbook descriptions of ferrets in a bodice-ripper, as dialogue between a hunky American Indian and a lustful pioneer woman who several pages later have sex on a mossy riverbank, is the height of absurdity.

The romance novelist is claiming ignorance as a cause of her plagiarism. Unfortunately, ignorance is no excuse. Most students who plagiarize didn’t mean to: they either are careless in cutting and pasting from multiple sources and forget to attribute their sources, are genuinely confused about whether or how to cite something, or are working at the last minute and get desperate and sloppy.

How can you avoid plagiarism? The library has a tutorial that helps explain the dangers, sets out the rules of appropriate citation, and sends you to writing tutors or counselors if you need more help. A sample:

Chances are that you understand the difference between creating incomplete citations and passing off someone else’s work as your own. Still, you … may occasionally find yourself in confusing situations. Do Internet sources need to be cited the same way as books? How do you cite something from the Web if there’s no indication who wrote it? What if you rewrite someone else’s ideas, putting them all into your own words — do you still need to cite? If you are in doubt, you run the risk of unintentionally plagiarizing.

In the end, it all worked out for the ferrets. The romance novel reader’s community that broke the story has donated $5,000 to protect the black-footed ferret.

Written by Phoebe Acheson

Webcast on Zotero: Online Citation Manager

Innovate, Journal of Online Education, is hosting a webcast that looks like a good introduction to Zotero, the free online citation management system that Allen raved about here. It’s Thursday Jan. 10 at 2:00 pm EST. [edited to correct date: Thanks, Brandi!]

It looks like you have to register for the webcast, but it’s free. A good way to get your feet wet if you’ve been thinking about Zotero. And how often do you get to hear from an official Technology Evangelist?

Written by Phoebe Acheson

Introducing Zotero (part one)

zotero logo smallZotero describes itself as a Firefox extension that helps you “collect, manage, and cite your research sources.” Since I’m as technologically trail-weary as the next person, I’ll try to make clear what it is about Zotero that should rouse you out of bed and why I’ve been an enthusiastic user for the last six months.

At its most basic, Zotero streamlines the process of creating citations. Instead of making an extra trip back to the library catalog or a book’s front matter when you need to fill in the required fields (publication year, editor, etc.) in your bibliographic software (EndNote, BibTex), you let Zotero do it for you the first time, when you’re looking at the book’s record in your browser (in Duke’s catalog, Worldcat, Amazon, Google Books, etc.). It’ll grab the relevant details and more from the catalog record at the click of an icon (see image below). Zotero gets much sweeter if you’re viewing the item-to-be-cited itself in your browser, rather than its catalog entry–for example, an article on Le Monde or the New York Times. Not only will Zotero pull out all the information you’ll need to cite the article later, it will make a local copy of the page you’re looking at, so if you or the article is ever off-line, you’ll still have a copy. Once the item is saved, creating a citation or a bibliography in whatever style you’d like (MLA, APA, Chicago) is easy.

using zotero with nytimes

If you’re already using Firefox, treat yourself to Zotero. It’ll save you typing and time. The extension is open-source as well, over a year in development by a crack team at George Mason University. Still have doubts? Zotero recently won an award for best instructional technology software from the American Political Science Association.

All this said, I’ve hardly touched on the features of Zotero that make it well-nigh revolutionary as a piece of software. I’ll save that for part two.

[update 2007-10-12: If you’re eager to read more about Zotero, I recommend Scott Mclemee’s review from a few weeks ago on Inside Higher Ed.]

Give RefWorks a try

RefWorks is web-based bibliographic management software. Does that make sense? I didn’t think so. So here’s what it really is: an online program that allows you to upload, save, and format article and book citations. Like EndNote (which you can get for free through Duke), RefWorks also formats your bibliography for you.

Right now, Duke has a trial subscription to RefWorks. Through June 30, 2007, any Duke user can use RefWorks for free.

To create an account, follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.refworks.com/refworks from any computer at Duke.
  2. Click on Sign Up for an Individual Account.
  3. Enter the appropriate information and click on Register.

Like instructions? Check out the RefWorks Quick Start Guide or the RefWorks tutorials.

You can use RefWorks off-campus: just enter Duke’s group code RWDukeUniv.

If you have any questions regarding the trial, or feedback on RefWorks, please contact me, Joan Petit.

Written by Joan Petit

Thing I like: Chicago Manual of Style Online

The Chicago Manual of Style – that little red book that’s the bible of citing sources – is testing an online version. Right now they’re offering free 30-day trials, and it’s worth a look. There’s also some stuff that doesn’t require any sign-in – my favorite is the Chicago Style Q&A, where someone with a sense of humor answers nit-picky questions only a grammar nerd (or a professional editor) could love. For example:

Q. Is it prework or pre-work (for work that is to be done before a meeting)?

A. Prework is a pretty silly concept, if you think about it. I mean, is it work or not? It would be like preeating. How about calling it “preparation”?

Written by Phoebe Acheson