23 Things: Thing 7 and 8

So been a bit behind on keeping up every week with a blog post for each Thing as a part of the 23 Things for Research. Balancing doctorate work, coursework and social events over Christmas and New Year have been incredibly busy and I can’t believe it’s January 2017! Safe to say I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did!! Finding the time for family and friends is definitely as important as giving your all to academic or work pursuits.

Anyway, this post focuses on the use of reference management software and creative commons licencing. Having completed a placement year and a master’s project already I’ve used referencing throughout project reports and dissertation. However, now I’ve got to the stage of a doctorate and the daunting prospect of 6 monthly reports and a final thesis in a couple of years, manually updating references in a literature review is both too time consuming and painstakingly boring!! Finally have to accept the use of proper software for reference management. I’ve never used them before but can understand the benefits; organisation, time saving and less room for mistakes. Despite the large variety of different software packages out there, I elected to download two of the free options (let’s be honest who wants to pay?!). Both RefWorks and Mendeley were recommended by academic lecturers on my course. Though I’ve not fully explored them yet due to not having actually written a literature review (I’ve started the process just in case my supervisors read this), both have an extensive amount of guidance online. Hopefully one of these will assist in my importing, organising and referencing in future work.

The second thing for this post was considering the potential for copyright and creative commons for our work. Though I doubt anyone is particularly inclined to reproduce my ramblings at this stage, it’s a useful concept to think about. As an exploration of this, I’ve added a creative commons licence to my page – this was really easy to obtain a link on the creative commons website! In research I think it’s particularly important that there is open access to other’s work. The best way to improve and expand on ideas is to see what others have been doing and use that in assistance of our own work. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding a paper you think would be incredible relevant and not being able to access it due to copyright. After all, sharing is caring!

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