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Family Medicine

This guide aims to provide Family Medicine faculty and residents with a selective list of tools and useful links.

Introduction

Citation managers (also known as citation management software, reference managers etc.),
are available to help you collect, organize, cite and share references.

"Many students struggle when citing sources in their research papers and have turned to web-based citation tools in increasing numbers" (Homol, 2014, p.552).

Benefits of Citation Managers

Manually formatting citations can be very time intensive! Familiarizing yourself with a citation manager early in your academic career can help keep you organized and can save you large amounts of time by obviating the need to manually format your citations.
 
In addition to being a great tool for academic writing, citation managers can also help you collect, organize and store information sources for other purposes. 
 

Citation managers allow you to:

  • Manage all of your sources in one place.
  • Upload and store full-text PDFs and other file types for your sources.
  • Generate formatted bibliographies in desired format.
  • Install plug-ins for word processors that allow you to insert citations from the reference manager as you write.
  • Organize your references into meaningful collection folders that may serve a variety of purposes.
  • Share collections with colleagues to collaborate in private or open groups.
  • Facilitate the removal of duplicate citations.

http://blogs.lib.utexas.edu/undergraduates/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/citations_comic.png
Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

How Citation Managers Work


Choosing a Citation Manager

Choosing a citation manager that's right for you largely depends on the intended purpose and may be different for undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty members.

You may find it useful to consult with your peers and faculty supervisors to get their advice on appropriate software.

There are more than two dozen different citation management programs available and many are free or free up until a certain storage capacity.

Three popular citation managers that offer a free version include: EndNoteMendeley and Zotero.

All 3 of these citation managers:

  • Offer Word processor integration so you can cite from the citation manager while you write in Word.
  • Generate bibliographies in a number of different citation styles including APA, Vancouver and CSE.
  • Are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.

 

Key questions for choosing a citation manager:

Ease of Use / Usability

  • Do I like the interface? Is it intuitive to me?
  • Do I easily find the functions I'm looking for?

Operating system

 

  • Which software can I use with my operating system (Linux, Mac, Windows)?
  • Which software offers an online version?
  • Which software offers a mobile version/app?

Help

 

  • Are there any training courses for beginners?
  • Are there any materials for self training (e.g. videos, manuals)?
  • Is there any support if I need help (library, company, IT hotline, forums etc.)?

Compatibility

 

  • What external programmes should my reference management software support (e.g. word processor)?

Costs

 

  • Does the software cost anything?
  • Is there a campus licence at my institution (university/company)?
  • Are there potentially additional costs (e.g. after leaving institution, need for more storage space)?

What features should my reference management software offer?

  • Searching for full text?
  • PDF editing?
  • Generating bibliographies?
  • Managing quotes / ideas?
  • Catalogue and database search from within the programme?
  • Indexing and structuring of content?
  • Online access?
  • Sharing and/or jointly editing references?
  • Task planning?
  • LaTeX support?

Where do I usually work?

 

  • Do I use always the same computer or do I switch sometimes?
  • Do I have permission to install software on the computer I use?
  • What reference management software do my colleagues/collaborators use?

Taken from Universitätsbibliothek der Technischen Universität München (2015). "Answers to many of the following questions can be found in the software comparison document. However, some question will be answered only by testing the programme yourself."

Comparison of Citation Managers

Detailed comparisons of citation managers can be found online and as published journal articles.

Bibliography

Bhargava, P., Patel, V. B., Iyer, R. S., Moshiri, M., Robinson, T. J., Lall, C., & Heller, M. T. (2015). Academic portfolio in the digital era: Organizing and maintaining a portfolio using reference managers. Journal of digital imaging, 28(1), 10-17.

Courraud, J. (2014). Zotero: A free and open-source reference manager. Medical Writing, 23(1), 46-48.

Homol, L. (2014). Web-based citation management tools: Comparing the accuracy of their electronic journal citations. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(6), 552-557.

Kali, A. (2016). Reference management: A critical element of scientific writing. Journal of advanced pharmaceutical technology & research, 7(1), 27.

Kratochvíl, J. (2017). Comparison of the accuracy of bibliographical references generated for medical citation styles by EndNote, Mendeley, RefWorks and Zotero. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 43(1), 57-66.

Lorenzetti, D. L., & Ghali, W. A. (2013). Reference management software for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: an exploration of usage and usability. BMC medical research methodology, 13(1), 141.
 
Nilashi, M., Dalvi, M., Ibrahim, O., Zamani, M., & Ramayah, T. (2016). An interpretive structural modelling of the features influencing researchers’ selection of reference management software. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 0961000616668961.
 
Salem, J., & Fehrmann, P. (2013). Bibliographic management software: a focus group study of the preferences and practices of undergraduate students. Public services quarterly, 9(2), 110-120.
 
Technische Universität München Library. (2015). Reference Management Software Comparison. 5th update. Available at: https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/doc/1274008/1274008.pdf (accessed 28 November 2016).