Keeping track of what you find
Keeping your research up to date
If you are doing a piece of research over a period of weeks or maybe months, you will be aware that new developments will be taking place all the time. It is possible to keep up to date by setting up ‘alerts’ that will notify you anything new appears. This could be when a key author in your subject publishes new work, the next issue of a journal is published or simply when more appears on your topic.
Most databases, including Google Scholar allow you to set alerts. Look out for the words Search Alerts, or Create Alert and follow the instructions.
You can also use an alerts service such as:
• Zetoc Alert (Falmouth)
• Zetoc Alert (Exeter)
Zetoc links into the British Library’s collection of journals and conference proceedings. The big advantage is that all your alerts come via one service, which only requires one password!
As you start researching you will begin to accumulate lots of references to authors, book titles, journal articles and webpages that you will want to remember and go back to. It can be really easy to lose track of these, so it’s a good idea to have a system in place to organise them.
There are several ways you can do this. If you use a lot of web based material and want to capture something of interest quickly, try:
These free apps offer a quick way to capture webpages, images, video clips or articles. Pocket can link into Evernote, so many people capture things in Pocket, review them and then if they want to keep them, they file them into Evernote. Remember that these are free services and with any free service, there is a danger you may lose access to material.
You can also use referencing software to store the articles, websites and chapters that you want to use in your research.
• RefWorks (Falmouth)
• Endnote (Exeter)
The advantage of referencing software is that not only does it give you a place to store and organise information, but it can also be used to format citations and generate reference lists. Both pieces of software are supported by IT and the Library services, so we can offer help if you get stuck.