Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Awhile ago I emailed the philos mailing list with a few tips on being a more efficient academic. This post is regarding one of my favourite websites, www.citeulike.org. This is a free online citation manager with one click integration into your browser, so you can gather citations literally while you read.

Its a powerful tool especially when combined with using rss feeds to keep track of your favourite journal's table of contents. Basically this is an online citation manager website as they say:

“CiteULike is a free service to help academics to share, store, and organise the academic papers they are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library. CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details, so there's no need to type them in yourself. It all works from within your web browser. There's no need to install any special software.”

We are no doubt all familiar with citation managers like Endnote. But personally I find these too much hard work, they don’t tend to work the same way I do. I tend to do a fair amount of reading online, particular from RSS feeds of the latest published papers. This means that when I find something I like if I was using endnote I would have to start it up, then cut and paste the details across a laborious enough task to put me off. But because CiteUlike is now part of my web browser and it is literally two clicks to store the citation, I now keep a much better track of what I read, which when I come around to writing makes things much easier, I just go to CiteULike and find the relevant references. Likewise if I want to re-read something finding it from CiteUlike is a synch because it keeps track of the weblink for the paper as well, it even keeps the abstract for you.

Finally it has a social aspect to it, as you post things to your library you add tags to help you sort things, these tags and the associated papers can be searched by anyone on the site giving you another way of finding interesting papers.

Their website is here: http://www.citeulike.org/

Hope you enjoy using it as much as I do.

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