Reference Management on the Move

Alison McNab opening this session on ‘mobile library services’ talking about Reference Management and mobile devices/services.

Quick look back over the history of reference management – and noting move from simply ‘reference management’ to ‘pdf’ (or I guess more generally ‘document’?) management.

Also changing environment – increasingly scholars are ‘mobile’; plagiarism and information literacy higher on the agenda; library budgets continue to shrink.

Questions when looking for reference management packages:
Subscription or free/open-source
Web based or client based
Central support or peer-support

Move towards ‘portable’ solutions. References being stored ‘in the cloud’; access to references on handheld devices; easy to share references.

Some software packages support multiple modes of use – Mendeley mentioned particularly.
Tools for sharing go beyond traditional reference management – collaborative research; social bookmarking; continued access after graduating or moving away from institution.

On latter point, could be advantage of free/open-source solutions (I’d say ‘personal’ really – if you buy EndNote client, it’s yours), but subscription packages increasingly allow some access after you’ve left institution but either for limited time, or other with restrictions.

Range of s/w options
Storage in the cloud – need good backup
Working with “expert users” of non-standard/non-approved s/w

Anecdotal evidence suggests that so far users will use both apps and mobile web interfaces for reference management packages but only for browsing references, not reading papers. However, larger mobile devices – i.e. tablets – are changing this.

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