An Interview with an Early Career Researcher Using EndNote

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I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Bethany Skinner, an English Language and Linguistics major, and learned how EndNote helped her navigate the dissertation process.

Can you give our readers some background information about yourself: What are you studying, what university do you attend and what year are you?

I am studying English Language and Linguistics and have just completed my final year at King’s College in London.

How do you specifically use EndNote?

I used EndNote predominately when working on my final year dissertation. I used the online database a lot to find references and then transferred them directly to my EndNote library. I also utilized the group feature and created a dissertation group so I could separate my dissertation references from those of my other assignments. And I used EndNote to find the PDF versions of the references I would use if I needed to find the page number for quotes or anything.

Do you have a favorite EndNote feature?

I think the “find full text” feature is probably my favorite because a lot of the publications that I used for my dissertation, even though I get access through my institution, were hard to find as a full-text PDF version. So it was really useful to see a little paperclip and click on the ones that had access to the full text.

How did you learn about EndNote?

At the beginning of the year, my university ran a series of dissertation workshops, and one of them was specifically about things like referencing and finding research and publications. They recommended a number of tools to automate referencing and one of them was EndNote! They did a mini-workshop – I think it was a YouTube video, actually – and they showed us how to use it and I went home and just downloaded it!

Did you choose EndNote over other options presented during the workshop? Or did you see the video and like it and decide to go for it?

I have used other tools previously. I used to use RefMe, and I guess the reason I use EndNote over tools like that is because they don’t always format references correctly and the databases are not anywhere near as comprehensive as EndNote. It was mostly useless for me to search for publications because they pretty much never had the publications I was looking for in their databases. EndNote was also the main one recommended by the workshop.

You said you just wrapped up your final year at King’s College. Can you share with us your post-grad plans?

I am doing a program called Teach First; I think it is similar to Teach for America. It is a leadership-development program, so I teach for two years in a school and I am also undertaking a Masters in Education Leadership at UCL along side it.

That sounds great. We wish you all the best! Finally, do you have any tips for other early-career researchers?

Number one would be that it is really important to be passionate about your project. It will make the work a lot less tedious and a lot more interesting! Also, being organized about things like referencing and formatting is key because it saves you so much time when it comes to publishing your research.

Previously I have left things like referencing to the last minute, and it can be incredibly time consuming if you don’t do it as you go along or you don’t do it correctly the first time. Because then you have to format all your references at the end.

Finally, always make full use of your supervisor. I know a lot of people just want to crack on with their own work and not take advice from anyone else, but faculty have a wealth of knowledge and guidance to offer and I think it is really important to use that resource because they are experienced researchers with a keen eye and it can be really useful!


Did you miss the other posts in our Early Career Researcher Series? Catch up now:
Early Career Researcher Series: Tips for writing an effective research paper
A Look at an Early Career Researcher Using Web of Science
Early Career Researcher Series: Bibliographies
How to optimize your CV with some help from EndNote
Cite it Right!