Survey results: reference management tools

Thank you to everyone who participated in last Summer’s Library’s “Survey into the Use of Reference Management Tools by Postgraduates and Staff at the University of Bath”. These are a few of the key findings:

  • The most commonly used tool is EndNote (either the desktop or online version).  2 out of 3 respondents have used EndNote at some stage of their studies/research – and almost half of users have only ever used EndNote.  This is not surprising given that this is the only tool supported formally by the University.  Nonetheless, the findings underscore the importance of continuing support for EndNote users given the extent of use and the understandable concern amongst some users about allocating time to learning a new tool.
  • Nonetheless, just over half of EndNote-only users would be interested in learning about a new tool (there is, for example, significant interest in trying Mendeley).  The Library is exploring the implications of this interest; for example in relation to the online information that we provide to support reference management.
  • Amongst the other 17 reference management tools identified, Mendeley and BibTeX are the most commonly used.  BiBTeX is used by science/engineering researchers given its compatibility with LaTeX language.

We are also planning to gather feedback from undergraduates at some point.  In the mean time, all students and members of staff are very welcome to contact their Subject Librarian with any comments concerning reference management tools.

You may also be interested in the Library’s online support for EndNote users.

About Peter Bradley

Subject Librarian for Health and Social & Policy Sciences. University of Bath. The Library, Level 5: P.G.Bradley@bath.ac.uk
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