beyond pen and paper: referencing software


To follow up on my last post on “the art of bibliography“, I have compiled a list of software to keep track of references and sources, based on the recommendations of professors and students in my programme.

I don’t know about you, but I am somewhat of a Luddite when it comes to taking notes and recording sources. In the past, I have just stuck to pen and paper, but now that I have to keep detailed records of hundreds of sources, I’ve started putting all my notes and references on my computer. I’m really glad that they’ve invented programmes to make tracking sources just as easy as downloading music and storing it in your multimedia player.

EndNote is the industry standard; EndNote is to academia, as Windows is to computers. It will cover most of your needs, but has a hefty price tag of $249.95 (however, you may be able to purchase it for a lot less if you check ebay). I haven’t really used EndNote, but friends have told me it can be buggy and unnecessarily complex. If you’d like to try it, you can download the 30-day trial.

Sente is a really great alternative to EndNote, but unfortunately, it’s only made for Macs. According to their homepage, “It’s like iTunes for academic literature. Only better.” I just downloaded a copy of Sente, it seems to be pretty intuitive and user-friendly. Plus, it’s only $89.95 if you’re student. You can also download the 30-day trial to see if you like it.

I re-blogged a post on Zotero in October, and still think it’s a wonderful piece of referencing software. Just in case you didn’t read the post, Zotero is a free, web browse extension of Firefox. If you use Firefox, I highly recommend you download Zotero.

If you know of any other academic referencing software, please let me know! Happy referencing.

Photo by flickr user svenwerk


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