Thursday, January 19, 2006

New Refworks features

Refworks has added some interesting features in the January 2006 release. Citations imported from PubMed will now have options for linking to the PubMed citation, related articles, and an author search. PubMed is also included in the Search function. Click Search and select Online Catalog or Database. SCSU CONSULS is the default choice, but scroll all the way to the top and PubMed is the first option. Searching is very basic, but if you have a citation you are looking for, it makes importing very easy.

(As an aside, though we do have MEDLINE from EBSCO as a database, there are advantages to searching PubMed. You will get direct links to any free full text--this will soon be a part of our new Journal Locator, but it isn't working quite yet--and the Related Articles search is quite good. Just find a good article and click on Related Articles--Poof! lots more.)

Another new Search option is an RSS feed search. RSS feeds are the automated notification systems built into many blogs and news sources on the web. Many journals websites are now offering tables of contents via RSS feeds. When you find an RSS feed (on the web, Refworks doesn't have a search for this yet), just copy the feed URL, usually marked XML, RSS feed, Syndicate this Source, or something similar. In Refworks, go to Search, then RSS feed and enter the URL into the search box. A list of recent entries will appear, and you can import all or a selection.

You may have to edit the entry after importing. I imported the blog entry from which I read about these new features and it came through marked as a "print" "journal" (default settings). Once I changed that to "electronic" and "webpage", moved the URL from Alternate URL to URL (that's a little strange, but seems to be a recurring problem in Refworks), added a Retrieved date, and made the author name last, first, I was able to get a proper looking APA citation:

Varnum, K. (2006). Citing blogs with refworks. Retrieved Jan. 19, 2006 from

Not bad.

If you are familiar with Refworks, you might have caught my reference to "Print" vs. "Electronic". This is a new setting, which will activiate different required fields (like URL, and accessed date for electronic sources.) There are also some new options for importing and global editing the fields relating to electronic databases.

For more details, and the details of previous updates, go to the Refworks New Release Notes.


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