As you research, you will want to keep track of all the information you are finding. One way to do this is to use a citation management program like Zotero or EndNote. Citation management programs let you store, retrieve and organize your citations. There are some free programs you may wish to try out before committing to an expensive software purchase:
Organizing Your Research
A useful way to organize your research is to use citation software.
Zotero is a free, open source tool that works with many of OSU Libraries' databases and will manage the citations you find in them. It is a Firefox browser add-on and also captures web pages Read the guide made by the Zotero developers. A good overview of Zotero functions is demonstrated in this video. Check out other youtube videos for more information.
- OSU LIbraries Zotero Guide
You will want to carry Zotero on a flash drive if you work on multiple computers and would like to build one Zotero research database.Another popular citation software is Endnote. This software is sold commercially, but you can an educational discount while at OSU. You can also try the web version for free while you're an OSU student because it is available through the Web of Science database. The library has instructions for using Endnote. Remember that you will lose free access when you are no longer affiliated with OSU.
- OSU Libraries EndNote Guide (with access to EndNote Web. Click on the link for EndNote Web and then go to EndNote Web login)
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There are certain basic things you need to cite just about any source, using just about any format:
- The AUTHOR (or creator) of the work. This may be one person, many people, or a group or organization.
- The TITLE OF THE WORK itself. For example, the article title, the book title, the chapter title, etc.
- The JOURNAL or the PUBLISHER. For an article, you include the name of the specific magazine or journal. For a book, the publishing house.
- The PUBLICATION DATE.
There are also certain things that must be included for specific types of works. For example, for an article or a book chapter, you would provide page numbers. For a website, you would provide the URL.
The moment when you are most likely to have easy access to all of this information? When you find it in the first place. Know then what you need to take note of to cite it effectively later.
Cite your sources using the MLA Handbook, 7th edition.
There is a copy of the MLA Handbook at the Information Desk in the Valley Library and there are copies in the colelction you can check out at LB2369 .G53 2009 (5th floor).
Many of the databases provide citation assistance. Take a look for the icon or link to "Cite this article" or "Choose a bibliographic style." These sometimes only show up when you go to print, save, or email the article, and different databases use different terminology.
Always check your references for accuracy! Database citation "machines," while a great help, often get the little things wrong, so review the citation before you add it to your bibliography.
There are some online sources to help you: