Find @ BU

New Button

New Button

You may have noticed a new feature that has just been added to RefWorks: Find @ BU.  This feature allows you to quickly find the fulltext of a referenced article from within RefWorks.

When you are viewing a list of references or an individual reference, you will now see the “Find @ BU” button next to each reference.  If you click on this button, the system will attempt to find an online copy of the article in one of Boston University Library’s many databases.

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Moving References Between RefWorks Accounts

There are a lot of ways to get references into RefWorks, but what if the references you want are already in RefWorks, only not in the right account? This situation can arise when a professor has created a RefWorks account with references for a class, and the students want to add the references to their own accounts. Or perhaps a group of students are collaborating on a project, and want to copy some reference from their individual accounts into a group account.

There are a couple of ways of copying references between accounts. One way is to export the references from one account, and import then into the other. The other way is to share the references from one account (so even people who don’t have access to the account can view them), and then do a direct import into the other account.

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Importing References from the BU Catalog, Improved

An earlier post described a relatively simple method of getting citations from the BU catalog into RefWorks. It has been pointed out that there are a couple of serious drawbacks with this simple method. The first drawback is that the method does not import a book’s call number and location into RefWorks; the call number is the alphanumeric code that allows you to find a book on the library shelves.  While the call number is not needed to create a citation or bibliography, many researchers prefer to have it in RefWorks so they can easily find the book in the library.

A more serious drawback with the simple method is that it imports the publication information (publisher, place of publication, and year) in “Free form” (all mushed together in one field), and RefWorks is unable to create properly formatted citations using it. 

We are working on implementing an “Export to RefWorks” button in the catalog that will send correctly formatted records from the catalog to RefWorks with the click of a button.  Until that happens, this post describes how to avoid these problems by using a slightly more complicated method of getting citations from the catalog into RefWorks.  In this method, you download the data from the catalog into a file on your computer, and then upload the file into RefWorks.

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Organizing Your Full Text Files

If you are doing a lot of research, you’ve probably downloaded scores of full text articles from various library databases and other sources.  Organizing them on your computer so you can find them again can be chore, and if you downloaded an article onto one computer you won’t be able to access it when you are working on a different computer.

There are various ways to solve the problem of organizing your full text files, but if you are already using RefWorks to organize your references, one good solution is to use it to organize your full text files as well.  The idea is to add the full text file as an attachment to the RefWorks reference; you can then access the file anywhere you can log into RefWorks.  

The process for doing this isn’t automatic, but it only requires adding one more step to your routine when you important a reference to RefWorks and download an article. 

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Creating an Annotated Bibliography: Custom Output Styles

A previous post gave a quick and easy approach to creating an annotated bibliography with RefWorks.  But if you want full control over you bibliography, you’re going to want to check out custom output styles.

Output styles tell RefWorks how to format citations and bibliographies.  You’ve probably already encountered some of the standard output styles that RefWorks provides, such as “APA – American Psychological Association, 5th Edition” or “MLA 6th Edition.”  But for complete control over the appearance of a bibliography (such as adding an annotation following each citation), you can create your own style, either starting from scratch or (more usually) creating your own variation on an existing style.

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Importing References from the BU Catalog

Edit: It has been discovered that there are serious drawbacks with the method described in this post.  Please ignore it, and instead see the new post on this subject.

Many library databases allow you to directly import references into RefWorks with just a few mouse clicks.  Unfortunately, the BU Library Catalog is not one of these databases.  Work is underway to add direct RefWorks import to the catalog, but until that happens, here is one way to get references from the BU catalog into RefWorks with just a little extra work.

Save Record Button

Start in the catalog, and “save” the records you want to import into RefWorks.  If you are viewing an individual record, you can save it by clicking on the Save Record button at the top of the screen.  If you are viewing the results of a search, select the records you want by clicking on the check boxes to the left of the titles, and then click on the small Save Marked Records button on the top left of the list. Continue reading

Creating an Annotated Bibliography: Quick & Easy

A common question is how to use RefWorks to create an annotated bibliography.  This post describes a simple way to create one.  While this approach has some drawbacks, it has the advantage of being quick and easy.  A later post will describe a more complex method for power users that avoids these drawbacks.

In this approach, you use RefWorks to create a bibliography in a Microsoft Word document, and then use Word (or you favorite word processor that can import Word documents) to add the annotations. Continue reading