Research Skills: My use of Google Scholar & Mendeley

I’ve been asked to present at our Staff-Student Digital Literacies (LearnIT) event this week on the theme of Digital Research. I don’t consider myself particularly good in this area but happy to share my experience.

There are many workflows and programmes out there and lots of people will disagree on what works best for them. So this just happens to be what works well for me.

mendeley Logo

I’ve recorded a short screencast on this, but essentially it’s made up of using Google Scholar to identify articles – sometimes by the metrics option but also by general searches and viewing academic profiles for published work (the video only covers metrics though). Then I’ll either use the Mendeley import tool or just download the article, drag and drop into Mendeley and annotate away. It’s a god-send that Mendeley automatically recognises the journal citation details (author, date, volume, etc) – well 99% of the time it does anyway.

Then in Word I’ll use the Mendeley plugin to insert citations and add my bibliography. It works super easy which is why I like it so much and as long as you use Mendeley for all your articles, you literally can’t go wrong. I love it and use it for any writing project I’m working on. I suspect this will be my best friend as I’m embarking on PhD studies.

There are lots of other features of both Scholar and Mendeley that I haven’t mentioned – the Mendeley groups for example, can be a good way to learn more about work in specific areas. Oh, and the iPad app works like a charm if you want to do your reading/annotating that way.

Anyway, take a peek at my video below and/or head over to Mendeley to grab it for free yourself. Oh, and I’d love to see how other people manage similar processes so why not blog your own workflows or just leave a comment below.

Mendeley video (link to streaming server)



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The Reed Diaries by Peter Reed is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License


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