At the end of your document you have a list of references. Should you call it a bibliography or a reference list? What is the difference? This page on Massey University’s Online Writing and Learning Link explains.
In some referencing systems you need to provide the DOI or digital object identifier. Often when you download a citation into Endnote, the DOI will download as well. Most journal websites also have them listed with the abstract. However if you need to find DOIs for several references, going to each journal site can be very time consuming. Instead, use the Crossref website. Just copy and paste the reference, or part of it into the search box at the top of the page and Crossref will find the reference and its DOI.
It’s not often we directly quote other authors in scientific writing, but when we do, it is important to know how to properly quote the material. This page has advice about when to use quotation marks and when to indent the quote, as well as how to cite the author and page number.
There are two main systems of citations and referencing. One uses the author’s name and the date of publication in the sentence where you are citing the source and lists the full references in alphabetical order in the reference list. The other uses a number as the citation (often superscripted) to indicate the number of the reference in the reference list. The reference list is arranged in the order in which references appear in the text.
Many people prefer the numbered system as they find the author names and dates difficult to read around. However, this is because they are trying to read around them when they shouldn’t be. Instead they should be reading them too because they contain valuable information. Author names and dates let you see instantly, as you read the sentence, where the information is coming from and when the research was done. When you are reading several papers on the same topic, a lot of the sources will be the same and you will start to recognise them by name and year. This is difficult in a numbered system because in one paper Smith (2002) might be number 16 and in the other it might be number 27. Hard to tell these are the same reference unless you keep flipping to the back. The numbered system is therefore actually slower.
The numbered system also makes it difficult to find references in a paper as they are not in alphabetical order. You can’t quickly see if a paper you have picked up has reviewed a particular source. Luckily with electronic versions you can get around this easily with a search, but it’s still an extra step.
Knowing the authorship of papers as you read them, and read reviews of them, is an important part of coming to grips with a body of literature. It’s the who’s who of the subject. So is knowing the history – the dates things were published – as it helps build the picture of discovery and can help you interpret older literature (published before some other things were known) and newer literature (published after some other things were known). Also it helps you to become part of the research community you are working in. You need to know who else is in that community and its history. You want to recognise other researcher’s names when you see they are speaking at a conference and you want to know which is their work when you meet them.
As you become more familiar with reading and writing with author-date systems it becomes easier. What at first might seem like clutter becomes useful information that helps you link the information to other information you already know. While journals often use a numbered system for space-saving reasons, you should always write using an author-date system. If the journal requires a numbered system you can always change over easily when you are done writing. That’s easy with reference management software like EndNote.
When you are writing it is sometimes useful to refer to the authors of a paper in the sentence, rather than just including the citation at the end of the sentence. This means you can use more active language rather than the passive voice, and it can make your writing clearer and more concise.
For example you may want to say that
“Smith (2001) found that 6 of 8 dogs treated with…..”
When you insert the reference though with Endnote it will first appear as
“(Smith, 2001) found that 6 of 8 dogs treated with…..”
which is not correctly formatted.
To change the formatting of the citation, select it by clicking on it and then go to Edit and Manage Citation(s) on the Endnote ribbon.
Under Formatting choose Display as: Author (Year) from the drop down menu and then select OK.
Your reference will now be correctly formatted.
Plagiarism means presenting the words or ideas of someone else in a way that makes them seems as if they are your own words or ideas. This is easy to say, but sometimes hard t put into practice! It can help to take a step back and think about what the story you are telling is. Imaging explaining what you are writing about to another person – what would you say? Explaining it verbally to your cat can also help!
This 3 minute video from Bainbridge State College gives some really helpful examples of some of the less obvious types of plagiarism and how to avoid them.
A really nice feature of Endnote that you might not have noticed is that it provides an automatic group of the references you have cited in a document.. The group is labelled with the document name and the group appears at the top of the left hand pane.
To make the group appear, you need to update the library in the document on the Endnote ribbon using the Update Citations and Bibliography button.
Using this group is a really easy way to look at the references you are citing, and open the pdfs from it.
It’s also perfect for going through the references you have actually used in a document and fixing up formatting issues so that they are correct in your reference list. Instead of searching for and finding each one separately you can just advance through the list in Endnote.
I also use this feature to collect groups of references when I am drafting documents. I find it easier that forming Endnote groups because I can include more information about the reference within the word document. For example, I can list the search terms I used to find these references or information on which ones I still need to read, or get hold of. I can make notes about each reference in the word document as I look at it.
Every time I open the document, Endnote lists the group of references in it for me, labelled with the name of the document. And not just one document. Endnote forms a group for all the documents you have open. Really helpful! Just remember that you might have to Update Citations and Bibliography to see each one.
If you are doing any academic writing you will need to acknowledge your sources. Endnote is a reference management tool which helps you to store references, find them, and automatically create citations and reference lists that are correctly formatted. You can change the reference formatting at the touch of a button.
For example you may prefer to write using an author-date style of citation. This style includes the names of the authors you are citing in brackets within the text. I recommend you use this method when writing because it allows you to become more familiar with who is who in the world in which you are writing. You will start to recognise key works by their authors names. But the journal you are writing for may require you to use a numbered citation formatting. Endnote can switch between these easily. It will reorganise the reference list appropriately switching it from alphabetical order to the order citations appear all by itself.
Endnote allows you to store references, search the full text and annotate them. No more lost references in the piles on the study floor. You can also download citations ad the full text of references directly from the library databases while searching.
You will save uncountable hours of work if you use Endnote right from the start, when you first start reading for writing. The following introduction to Endnote will help you get around the software and start using it.