Archive for the ‘useful tools’ category

Bibliography referencing software- please bear my children

August 8, 2008

I love technology when it creates useful tools for me and bibliography referencing software is truly one of those gems. You only have to type in the important referencing information once (like author, journal, pages etc) and with one click of the mouse the software will reformat ALL of your citations to almost every reference style. As mentioned earlier, I am writing a dissertation and it has already saved me about a hundred hours. I am using EndNote X1 (through a university license) but there may be better options out there.

I am simply trying to bestow this newfound awesomeness to others as I remember a Classics professor made his class type up a bibliography, oh, and then an Archaeology professor did the same thing. They were to be completed in different citation styles and they were due around the same time. Clearly, I was in both classes and my apparent disrespectful misplacement of periods and commas, as I was unable to separate the two styles in my mind, cost me marks.

I know technology can solve many of humanities issues, however, I don’t think THIS problem is entirely necessary. Here is an anthropological solution for this problem. Why don’t we only have one reference style? Seriously, why are those damn many ways of presenting, essential, the same information? Say, why don’t we take the spokespersons from the most widely used reference style and have them battle it out. It can be an academic battle or one to the death, I know which one I’d rather watch. The winner of this battle royal would be the sole style used. Anyone caught using a rogue style would be forced to watch the “academic” version of the battle in the style of Clock Work Orange. I call it the “Universal citation style”. I imagine it written with the text used on Metallic album covers and drenched in the blood of its enemies. I don’t like to ring my own bell but seriously, I’ll make an awesome politician one day.