SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Genres & Age Categories => Non-Fiction (NF) => Topic started by: BeccaB on December 17, 2016, 04:30 PM

Title: Reference Manager
Post by: BeccaB on December 17, 2016, 04:30 PM
Hello Blueboarders!  Just wondering what reference managers you use, and if you have a (preferably *free*) one you recommend.  I'm using Zotero, and it's working for right now.  But, I miss the bells and whistles of Ref Works that I used back in my office/lab job.  I'd love to hear what works for you!
Title: Re: Reference Manager
Post by: Lill on December 17, 2016, 06:51 PM
 I do not know what a reference manager is, so i guess i'm not using one  :drinking2
Title: Re: Reference Manager
Post by: lauriew on December 19, 2016, 05:19 AM
I used Zotero all through grad school, and it worked well for me.
Title: Re: Reference Manager
Post by: Schriscoe on December 19, 2016, 05:27 AM
I'm with you, Lill.  :drinking2

Although now I am curious and would love to know what one is to see if I am missing out on something cool.  ;D
Title: Re: Reference Manager
Post by: BeccaB on December 19, 2016, 05:54 AM
ooo, Lill and Schriscoe - I thought my reference manager was life-changing when I first used one!!  It's a database (can be online or on your computer) that you fill with references as you come across them. 

If I found an interesting book that I wanted to use on a project, I'd enter in all the citation information (title, author, etc.), and that information would be saved in the database.  Then, when I need  to footnote something in, say, Microsoft Word, I use an add-in (think toolbar button in Word) to link to the citation in the database.  The Word document then knows what source I'm using and formats the footnote according to whatever citation format I've chosen (e.g. Chicago, MLA).  It also automatically populates a bibliography of all the linked citations, too.  It's somewhat intelligent, too (depending on what program you use), so that if I remove a footnote and no longer need a certain source, the bibliography is updated with that source removed as well.

Many reference managers have a button that you can add to your internet toolbar that automatically adds a citation to your database from google scholar or google books.  If I find a book at the library that I want to use, I just look it up on google books and add it that way, rather than adding in all the citation information by hand.

The other cool thing is that I can add tags to my citations.  For example, if I ever wanted to look up all the sources I've read about grasshoppers, the database makes that really easy to do.

That's a bit long-winded, but reference managers have saved me so much time!  Hope this can help you, too!

And Lauriew - thanks for the input!  I agree that Zotero is working.  I was just hoping there was something a bit more polished for free. (ha, "free" gets in the way a lot ;-) )
Title: Re: Reference Manager
Post by: dkshumaker on December 19, 2016, 08:37 AM
I use the free version of EasyBib. It doesn't sound quite as robust as yours, though. And the free version gets a lot of pop-up ads, which can slow it down at times. . . .