Part of any successful research is pulling together the strands. That means organizing citations and documents and staying on top of new research. That`s where reference management tools come in. Mostly free to download and use, you can organize, create, connect and share work with other researchers across the world.
Opening up access to scientific research is at the heart of Research4Life’s mission (R4L). One way it’s doing this is by helping researchers get the most out of their work by providing training courses on three of the best known reference management tools: Mendeley, Zotero and EndNote Basic (previously known as EndNote Web - the web based version of EndNote.)
The modules, which you can download for free on R4L’s training portal, cover the basics of using each software tool, including registering and installing the package, searching, citing, managing references, and creating bibliographies.
Beyond that training courses are pretty comprehensive, going into some depth about the specifications of the individual software - useful if you’re looking to decide which reference management tool is the right one for you.
Zotero, Mendeley and EndNote do a lot of the same things.
All three systems let you manage your references and documents, create bibliographies and share. Zotero is the only tool that automatically senses content in your web browser, allowing you to add it with one click. EndNote’s manuscript matcher is a good way to identify the right publisher for your research, whereas, Mendeley is a type of complete academic social network - we blogged about its collaboration with Research4Life, recently.
All three are free to download.
We’d be interested to hear which platform gets your vote and why. Tell us too what you think of Research4Life’s training modules – were they useful and straightforward?