David: I have articles from JSTOR, articles I've requested through ILL, articles my professor told me to look for, book chapters, books, and web sites that list more web sites. How do I keep it all straight?
Now that you've found promising sources, you need to be able to keep track of what you've found and where you've found it. This will save you time as you read through them and when you create your bibliography.
How would you like to keep track of your sources?
I'd like to:
- keep track of where I've looked and what I've found using a personalized research log (Word document format)
- organize my citations using RefWorks or Zotero (more about these)
- save links to websites I've found using Delicious, Connotea, or CiteULike (more about social tagging sites)
RefWorks is a software that the Grinnell College Library subscribes to. It allows you to create lists of citations and generate bibliographies from them. Once you have set up an account, you can log into it from any computer, anywhere. See our RefWorks users' guide for more information about what it does and how to use it.
Zotero is a free, web-based software for tracking citations. The advantage to learning to use it now is that you will have access to it even after you leave Grinnell. Play the tutorial on its homepage for more information about how to set it up and use it.
When you do research on the Web, you're going to want to be able to get back to the Web sites you've found. Creating bookmarks will work if you are using your own computer, but you'll only be able use them at that computer. Using a social tagging site allows you to save your bookmarks online so you can find them again from any computer, any time.
There are many ways to tag Web sites online. There are even some sites that are dedicated to tagging scholarly resources.
Here are three sites that may work well for tracking your Web research:
- A popular social tagging site created for general users.
- Geared toward the tagging of scholarly resources.
- Geared toward the tagging of scholarly resources, especially in the sciences.
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