Thing 21: Managing Citations

Thing 21: Managing Citations

Slowly but surely I’ve got to Week 8! And we begin with a look at the horror that is managing citations…

First, I have to just say how much fun it was putting the horror film cold opening together for this video, I hope it gave a few viewers a surprise!

The horrifying situation described is one that’s all too familiar, and referencing/bibliographies have been the bane of my life as a student. Enter Zotero.

Where has this been all my life? After installing Zotero on my laptop (really easy, especially for Firefox which I use as my main browser), and adding a few different articles and types of content, I wish I had this when I was doing my studies.

While I have other tools, like Pocket, for simply saving stuff to read later, the joy of Zotero is that it also saves references and metadata for each article to your Zotero library. With the help of the Microsoft Word plug in which I also installed, and I’m happy to say is backwards-compatible with the 2007 version of Word on my machine (what? I like it and it’s vintage now!) you can insert citations and create a bibliography with incredible ease.

No more hours of physically searching through ALL THE THINGS! and then manually entering in citations (and getting confused over the differences between Harvard, Chicago and MLA referencing rules). Yay!

I will definitely make use of Zotero in my professional and personal work, and I can say it’s probably one of the most useful tools covered so far.

But what about adding books? You know, those things made out of sheets of dead tree? Well, Moorepheus at A Waterfall of Consciousness has you covered, with a very handy step-by-step guide to adding citations to Zotero manually. Thanks Moorepheus!

The second part of this Thing looks at ORCID. This is a unique identifier for researchers, academics, writers etc. that allows you to track your citations and manage your work (and intellectual property) without getting mixed up with a different researcher also called John Smith, for instance. I signed up for one, which takes about 30 seconds to do, and while I may not be publishing papers any time soon, it’s nice to have been able to grab an ORCID attached to my name and identity so that nobody else could muscle in on any work I may do. And of course it’s useful to know how ORCID works as the University is trying to persuade everyone to get one, and it’s good to be able to offer advice based on experience when people ask “what’s an ORCID? Do I need to water it?”

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