Early Career Researcher Series: Bibliographies

Today we are introducing the first in our six-part series: the Early Career Researcher.

Throughout the next few months, we will be providing tips to help beginner researchers excel in their early careers and beyond. This first entry concerns bibliographies and we specifically address ourselves to the many researchers who can make the mistake of treating their bibliographies as an afterthought.

Although your writing and conclusions are important, the original sources from which you’ve drawn your information provide a crucial foundation for your work. That makes bibliographies central to your credibility, so the process of recording sources needs to be done right.

Keeping track of sources from the beginning will make the bibliography process much easier down the road. Keep notes of all of the data needed for an entry for each of your sources.

The first thing to decide when writing your bibliography is which style to use. Each citation style has a slightly different format to emphasize different information. Every style is designed to address the needs of specific fields of study, so choose the appropriate one for your research.

Whatever you chose, be sure to consistently use the same style throughout your work. Follow citation guidelines carefully for both your references and bibliography page.

The next important step in creating a bibliography is to compile a list of all your sources. If you’ve been keeping notes, it will be easy to find the information from all your sources. Then, double-check the formatting guidelines. (Note: What you call your bibliography will change depending on the style. In Chicago and MLA styles, the bibliography is titled “works cited,” whereas in APA it is called “references.”)

With a bit of note-taking and attention to guidelines, creating the perfect bibliography is simple and effective. Learn how EndNote can help you create and manage your bibliographies.

Catch up on the rest of the posts in our Early Career Researcher series: 
Early Career Researcher Series: Tips for writing an effective research paper
An Interview with an Early Career Researcher Using EndNote
A Look at an Early Career Researcher Using Web of Science
How to optimize your CV with some help from EndNote