Weighing in on Reference Managers

by kathleenljackson

When I was first introduced to Endnote I was blown away by how easy it was going to make my life (I believe “what is this sorcery” may have passed my lips). But I began to run into minor issues with library managing, Endnote communicating with Word and other standard teething problems and became quickly disillusioned. My fickle (and lazy) nature led me on a quest to locate a reference manager better suited to my nature.

I first sample Zotero. Zotero can be downloaded and become a part of your firefox browser. It politely offers to reference and add websites and other sources found online to your library. My issue with Zotero was the library. I find it less than ideal when you have large quantities of sources and, if I am being honest, it’s just really ugly.

Enter Mendeley.  It is easy to use (you can simply transfer your libraries from Endnote and Zotero) and pretty. But my absolute favourite parts of it are:

  1.  When you drag a document onto it, it will save the document and extract the details from it. Yes, sometimes the information is wrong but if you have the title it will look on Google scholar for the correct information (or at least a version of it).
  2. Internal search and highlighting – it has made research a thousand times easier to simply search for keywords and have Mendeley present a selection of papers.
  3. The app – I live, study and work in three different cities. The app allows me to have my library on my phone (which is permanently attached to me) so I always have my sources with me.

Basically, this was a blog simply to say Mendeley is the greatest and you should all get in on it.