[Eril-l] Citation Managers - RefWorks

Krista Jacobson kjacobson at nwhealth.edu
Thu May 2 13:51:51 PDT 2019


We used to subscribe to RefWorks until we took a good look at who was using it and how they were using it.  Luckily, we’re small so it was an easy thing to do.

What we found was that most of the current and/or regular users were faculty working on a specific project or an additional degree.  They stopped using it when they were done. Faculty involved in heavy research all had their own preferred systems, usually EndNote, and would work with their departments if a subscription was required.  Our students users would register in waves, likely due to them being introduced to the system in a library instruction class.  That initial registration was also the last time any of them logged into the system about 99.9% of the time.

As a result, we decided to drop RefWorks and promoted the free version of Mendeley.  Very few of our users had needs beyond what Mendeley offered and I thought it was one of the easier tools to use.  Anecdotally, ever since the switch, it feels like I’ve had more interest in learning Mendeley than I ever did with RefWorks. That’s the only tool I will support but I do find myself reminding faculty that they shouldn’t require one specific tool.  Everyone has their own preferred method of citation, even if it’s by hand.

So for us, it was the right move.  It was a rarely used tool which could mostly be replaced at no cost.

Krista Jacobson
Public Services Librarian
Northwestern Health Sciences University
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