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Human Information Behavior (17:610:510)

Library research guide for Human Information Behavior (17:610:510).

Using Citation Managers


  • An investment of an hour or so now in researching, choosing, installing, and learning a citation manager can save you untold hours of work and hassle every single semester. If you are planning an academic career and expecting to research and write professionally, you will need this. At the most basic level, it’s software that helps you keep track of all the resources you use. Think of it as a digital filing cabinet.
  • A citation manager helps you keep track of the resources you find, tag them with searchable descriptors, and create citations and bibliographies. Most have ways to capture full bibliographic citations from databases and the Internet. Most also have ways to support group work and share your databases.
  • Even if you do nothing else with a citation manager, it’s useful for organizing and storing bibliographic information about your sources and PDFs of sources themselves. It's essentially a searchable database of the research you've collected.
  • If you have a diary assignment about your own information-seeking behavior, this is a good way to collect the notes about what led you to each article, such as what search terms you used, what database you found it in, whether you had to request it through ILL, and so on.
  • At a higher level, you can use citation managers to format the citations for your works cited page in the style you choose. The simplest way is to just copy and paste the information from the preview screen to your paper. But many have plug-ins for Word that will let you format the in-text or footnote citation, automatically generate the bibliography, and then change formats with a click of a button if you need to. For example, there may be times when you need to change your MLA formatted citations to APA style or vice versa.
  • Zotero, Mendeley, and the basic online version of EndNote are free and can get you started; and for most of these, you can transfer citations from one platform to another if you change your mind. You can also get the full versions of EndNote and RefWorks free as a Rutgers student. Visit the Citation Management page for more information.

Citation Formatting and Management Tools


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