Monday, February 27, 2017

Ease citation woes with RefWorks

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Term paper and research project season is here; and with it comes all of the headaches of gathering resources and figuring out how to properly cite them. Fortunately, members of the of UAlberta community have free access to the citation manager RefWorks.

Citation managers, like RefWorks, can help eliminate much of the confusion involved in creating properly formatted in-text citations and bibliographies and offer a place to save and share reference data (title, authors and publication information that would be included in an information resource’s reference). RefWorks is accessible anywhere there is a network connection and it is easy to import reference information from a number of databases available through UAlberta Libraries. Using this imported information, RefWorks can configure in-text citations and bibliographies according to the rules of many common style guides (APA, MLA, Chicago, to name a few), allowing users to focus on the content of their projects rather than the nitpicky business of composing citations.

Students, faculty and staff at the U of A can sign up for a free RefWorks account by following the instructions on the RefWorks subject guide (make sure to choose the New RefWorks option, as Legacy is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2018). This guide provides instructions on how to get reference data into RefWorks and how to use it to create in-text citations and bibliographies. It also provides information on how to utilize add-ons like Write-n-Cite to link a RefWorks account to Microsoft Word or Google Docs and insert in-text citations directly into documents as they are being written.

For those who are fans of video tutorials, there are several YouTube videos that explain how to use RefWorks. New users may find this 20 minute tutorial particularly helpful. And as always, our intrepid library staff is more than happy to help with questions relating to RefWorks.

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