Research – getting started

So now my research journey truly begins. My coursework has started, actually we are almost half-way in, I’ve had my first couple of meetings with my supervisors, and I’ve started the researching process.

After the push from the supervisors I looked into EndNote. I had previously used it in undergraduate with small collections (for essays), but found the interface quite ugly, and not very user-friendly. Thus far I have been using Mendeley to log all of the papers and items I had been collecting. Which had been suggested to my by a Colleague. Mendeley has the extra bonus of a free iPad App. This has meant I have convenient access to my whole collection of research while I’m on the go. I’ll be honest that iPad goes with me pretty much everywhere. I cracked open EndNote and started plugging in all of the references I had used in my submitted Masters Research Proposal. Looking at both programs, they both meet my needs – they store reference information, can store actual PDF items, output to something close to Harvard Reference style, and has some integration with MS word for in-text referencing. So now I’m stuck. I have a Mendeley library which is now very full having provided a dumping ground for collected items for the past 6 – 8 months, yet EndNote is nice a clean and has quality detailed references in it.

Mendeley_lib

My Mendeley Library

EndNote_lib

My EndNote Library

Now I guess it’s down to a choice. I’m quite attached to the library I have built up in Mendeley, which it is available to me on my iPad. Though I also really value the quality notes I’ve been adding to the entries in EndNote. UOW currently only supports EndNote, so naturally I’m leaning towards EndNote. I think long term when I’m stressing about submission the relieved pressure if I need it may come in handy.

Naturally, the Thesis Whisperer has written about her experiences with reference software. She concludes that its  personal choice. I guess the next few months as I read more and more about the Gamaification field I can really test out both, and hopefully come to a final decision.

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