Knowledge and its application are important for international competiveness (Richardson et al, 2012) and Australian universities are judged on their research performance (Keller, 2015). However, academic research is under constant threat of funding cuts and so time has become a valuable commodity to the researcher, with a need to perform the research as efficiently as possible (Mamtora, 2013). Reference management tools, when used effectively have the power to increase the efficiency of the research process.
Endnote is a reference management service provided by QUT library aimed at researchers and post-graduate students. I downloaded it earlier in the semester following a lecturer’s recommendation, but after transferring the pdfs of the class readings that were in my document folder, it sat on my desktop gathering dust.
Following program reviews submitted by my peers, I decided I should make Endnote my friend. I first watched a video linked from the QUT library site How to use Endnote in 7 minutes, which was good, but left me wanting to learn more. When I found I had an unexpected Tuesday off work, I registered for the class.
The class was fully interactive and although it was 2 hours long, it sped by. It was aimed at Windows users, which suited me, as that’s my platform of choice. However there was a Mac user at the class and although the teacher tried to help, she admitted she had limited knowledge of Mac. As the world seems to be divided between Windows and Mac users and Apple appears to be rapidly taking over the world, I feel that holding separate classes for Mac users would be beneficial.
Despite not feeling confident with Mac the librarian teaching the class was knowledgeable about Endnote, which is important as the field of research and its management is evolving continually (Richardson et al, 2012) and librarians need to be up-to date with this (Mamtora, 2013). Academic librarians must see themselves as partners in the research process (Keller, 2015), ensuring that the researcher is information-literate and able to perform effective literature searches and management (Mamtora, 2013). By providing Endnote, teaching its use and providing ongoing support, QUT librarians are demonstrating their willingness to be participants in this partnership.
E-research is becoming increasingly common (Richardson et al, 2012), with an increasing number of students studying online. Therefore, access to research needs to be available off campus (Mamtora, 2013) and QUT does provide links to online resources on its Endnotes FAQ page. Although I feel that it does not replace the class and maybe they could teach online simultaneously using Collaberate or have a recording of a class available. The fact that the class is only available on a Tuesday can be a problem, if like myself Tuesday is normal working day.
Following the class, I now feel confident in utilising Endnote for managing my references and have even gone as far as deleting the duplicates in my document file. It is very user friendly and the cheat sheets provided in the class will be invaluable in the future. I would definitely recommend my peers utilising this excellent service provided by QUT library.
Keller, A. (2015). Research Support in Australian University Libraries: An Outsider View. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 1-13.http://www-tandfonline-com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/doi/abs/10.1080/00048623.2015.1009528#.VhciIDuhfIU
Mamtora, J. (2013). Transforming library research services: towards a collaborative partnership. Library Management, 34(4/5), 352-371.http://search.proquest.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/docview/1365708635
Richardson, J., Nolan-Brown, T., Loria, Pat & Bradbury, S.J. (2012). Library research support in Queensland: a survey. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 43(4), 258-277. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/57384/
(Created for student blog: Semester 2, 2015)