Hello, I'm a new student in the graduate Communication program. I'm doing research and trying to figure out a way to save articles/citations in one folder that's easily accessible so that I can go back to it quickly when I need to look at the articles that I might use. The problem is that I'm searching in various databases and when I go to save citations, they all ask me to sign in. Will I have to create a sign in for each database and then save the citations for each database separately? Thanks for any help!
Thank you for your question about saving articles/citations. We have a couple of options for you.
The first is Refworks. Refworks is a web-based software that is fairly intuitive to use. Most databases and our library catalog allow you to export records directly to your Refworks account. Refworks will generate your bibliography in a variety of citation styles, and also has a Write-n-Cite plug in that can save you a lot of time as you write your paper by automatically generating your works cited as you go. The biggest disadvantage is that you will lose your access to Refworks when you graduate, so you would need to back-up your work if you think you may need them later.
The other product we have is Endnote. Endnote is software that is installed on your computer. Therefore, you can take it with you even when you leave Villanova. This is a more advanced tool than Refworks, although most find it more cumbersome to use. Generally, Endnote is more popular with faculty and some graduate students. Endnote also works for automatic export from most databases.
There are also similar citation management tools that are freely available on the web.
In addition to setting up a citation management tool, I would also strongly recommend that you do set up the personal log-in in the databases you use most often. For databases that are available through big vendors, such as Ebsco and ProQuest, you will only have to set up the database with the vendor once, and it will work across all the databases that are available on that platform. If you do decide to go with Refworks, be aware that Proquest owns Refworks, and their MyResearch feature actually works in conjunction with Refworks.
While Refworks or Endnote is certainly the better citation management tool, a personal log-in for the database will allow you to save your search history, create alerts, and other useful features.
For more information on keeping your research organized, please see this blog post from the beginning of this year: