There aren’t many people at Panera at 6:15 am, and the choices for hot egg souffles are outstanding. I am back to dissertation research this morning, locating and reviewing sources for my literature review. Here are a few web-based tools and digital technologies I’m using and learned about today.
EndNote Software is the client-side bibliographic management software program I used to write several of my latter research papers for my doctoral classes, and is THE best digital friend I’ve found yet for making the research process easier. It keeps a database of all bibliographic references and integrates directly with MS Word to create properly formatted citations. I wish I had been able to take an entire course on the use of EndNote. I am probably using 0.05% of the capability of the program currently, but I am confident it is an excellent program to “invest in” (time and effort wise) and utilize for my dissertation. I am still using version 9 for Mac OS X, I probably should upgrade to the latest version, but the one I have is working fine now. (I haven’t upgraded to Panther yet, but plan to soon.)
I learned about some cool features of Google Scholar this morning that I’m using to facilitate my research. I made two changes in Google Scholar’s preferences, so it would provide a direct link to import research references into EndNote, and also permit direct linking to full-text versions of articles on my university library’s network:
Both of these preference changes are quite handy.
I’m using the Firefox browser for research because it has better Java support for some advanced webpage functionalities. I had to define the EndNote application as the program which should handle EndNote citation files, so it would open the program each time:
I have had to re-locate my EndNote library each time I’ve added an entry, however, so I’m thinking I should point FireFox directly to my EndNote library file rather than the application itself to avoid this.
This Google Scholar – EndNote functionality worked GREAT in most cases, but sometimes EndNote prompted me to select a “filter:”
I’m not sure if that is because it needed more information from an online library with database hooks for EndNote to complete the reference, or what… In the cases where I was presented with this dialog, I couldn’t find a “filter” that worked and had to manually add EndNote entries. A small hassle, but certainly not as bad as having to manually enter all these citations.
I discovered a couple other things not directly related to EndNote but helpful for research this morning as well. ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) permits you to register for a free account and save references you find there in 10 different folders which you can customize:
It looks like I may still have to search in microfiche for some of the articles I’m wanting to read and use. Yikes. I was hoping I might be able to avoid that. The ERIC MicroFische Digitization Project is moving forward but is FAR from complete, apparently.
When looking for options for annotating electronic documents, I discovered the free Scrapbook extension for Firefox. It saves info on captured webpages to your local hard drive, and looks similar to Zotero. I also stumbled across Jump Knowledge and it’s free webpage annotation service, thanks to this post from LifeHacker. It looks useful but more for blogging, rather than dissertation research.
If you know of other helpful research tools (software or web-based) that you’ve actually used and think are great, I’d love to hear about them.
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