I’m just starting to work on a shared project with other members of staff, and am therefore looking quite carefully at the way in which we (and I in future) can store references.
A bit of history!

When I first started working at the University, I used ProCite. I didn’t have any choice, but I discovered that I quite liked it – the fact that it had the ability to import data from a Webpage (as long as the browser was Netscape 4) was useful. Autoprinting Inter Library Loan requests was handy too!
Over the years, my use of it has varied; the pile of papers to be added varies from minimal to a rather large box.
However, I’ve also started using Web 2.0 tools far more; I’ve been using iKeepbookmarks for some time now, as a way of having access to all my bookmarks regardless of machine/ browser I’m using. When del.icio.us started becoming more popular, I was not particularly enthusiastic, I’d got used to iKeepbookmarks, and I wasn’t sure about the benefits of tagging. While I can see that it can be useful to see others’ bookmark lists, I was more worried that I’d mistype a tag I’d previously used, so be unable to relate them (a problem I’d had in the past with ProCite). Putting things into folders (as in iKeepbookmarks) was more me, (though I often ended up wondering why on earth I’d classified a particular reference in the way that I had!)
On other fronts, the University started moving towards EndNote.
Current Choices

  • Del.icio.us Pros: Many users; can find related information. Cons: A lot of users aren’t academic – so a lot of references that aren’t going to be immediately useful.
  • CiteULike Pros: Designed for use by academics; thus has links to journals, assorted options for export (including to EndNote)etc. Cons. Haven’t used it enough to know – other than the fact that it’s online – so have to be online to use it.
  • EndNote Web Only found it today – so don’t really know, but it has links to a great many resources (not Portsmouth University Library, unfortunately), compatibility with EndNote etc. Very fussy about the password that you use though, has to have at least 8 characters, of which one is a number & one something that’s not a letter or a number. It’s not exactly a bank account!
  • Zotero. Not quite the same as the others, as it is a Firefox 2.0 extension. Saves information (including screenshots of Webpages, which can be handy). Can export to Endnote (It also seems to be possible to import from Endnote, though I’ve not tried). Can be used off line.
  • Academic Live. Again, not quite the same as the other tools, but can export references in a format for import to EndNote -and also links to the “Full Text @ Portsmouth” service.

I’ve definitely decided to make the move from Procite to EndNote – and also to start using Zotero more. However, it’s the online aspects that I’m still not sure about; I think though I have many references in iKeepbookmarks – and will maintain it – especially for non-work related sites. However, for work & shared projects, I’m definitely in two minds as to whether CiteUlike or MyEndNoteWeb is the better of the two…

7 thoughts on “Collating References etc!

  1. I use Endnote extensively on the Mac and find it a perfect solution especially as a synchronize the database between machines. I had looked at Endnote web a while ago but I believe it was not available outside of the US at that point, will need to look again soon.

  2. EndNote web has quite a few UK Universities listed, though not Portsmouth at present. I’m not sure where you are, Ady, but I saw Edinburgh, Hull, Reading & North Wales in a quick scan.

  3. Google scholar:
    Though I have this on my Google Personal page, I hadn’t mentioned it, as I wasn’t sure that you could export from it in EndNote format … but you can.
    Looking at the preferences page, I thought that Google Scholar was automatically linking into FullText@Portsmouth, but I now realise that I must have added it at some point in the past.

  4. As a former Endnote user, I think Zotero is a better, and free, long term solution. While it works in a browser, it is not exclusively designed for that. Likewise, they will have server-based functionality is the mid-term, which will allow syncing of data across computers and such.

  5. I’d recommend that you have a look at RefWorks. Far more powerful (and mature) than EndNote Web, and at use at hundreds of universities. It has some great collaborative features that enable you to share data within and outside your institution. It’s free if they have it at your institution, or available for an annual fee if you don’t. I believe you can get a free trial at their web site (www.refworks.com).

  6. Hi Nick
    I’ve had a look at Connotea – I like it, though not entirely sure what it has that CiteUlike doesn’t – and as I’ve now started using CiteUlike, I’ll probably stick to it.
    I also tried to import an Endnote library to Connotea – and it didn’t seem to like it, though it said that it imported them.

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