Monday, September 14, 2009

Use RefWorks as storage for documents, images, etc.

The library provides RefWorks (, an online tool for gathering and organizing bibliographic information. It inserts into your paper in perfectly formatted footnotes (or endnotes or in-text citations) in whatever citation style you like - APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.

What's less well known is how RefWorks can function as online storage and organization for your files. This includes documents, spreadsheets, images, and audiovideo files. For example, you might store a draft of the paper you're writing, some maps and graphs that you'll include in the paper, and a recorded interview that you're using as a primary source. Any kind of file at all can be attached to a record and stored in a folder.* RefWorks' system of folders lets you keep your research materials organized by course or project.

If you are going to use RefWorks for content storage, first you should learn how to create a RefWorks record and put it in a folder. You will find these tutorials helpful:

You can attach files to a record for an actual research resource, or you can create a dummy record like, "Maps for my American History Paper." Select the desired record, and click the "View" link next to it. Click the "Edit" button at the top left of the page. The "Attachments" option will become visible. Click the "Browse" button next to it, and find the file you wish to attach on your computer. Double-click that item, and click the "Add Attachment" button. You can add as many attachments as you like to a record.

Files that you store this way will not be lost if you have a power surge that harms your computer, lose your thumb drive, or simply forget to bring it. You can access them from any computer that has an Internet connection. You can use RefWorks to keep them safe and accessible, and also insert them into your documents as needed.

* It's legal to have a copy of a copyrighted work for personal educational use, but it's illegal to put it where someone might access it. Never share RefWorks folders that include attached copyrighted files.
Questions? Ask a Librarian

No comments: