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1) Plan Your Research: Keeping Track of Sources

A University of Lethbridge Library guide to planning your research paper.

Research Log

Use this research log to keep track of your research process. Every time you find something useful, record how and where you found the item.

Available in .pdf or .doc format.

Keeping Track of Sources

Why should I keep track of my research?

A research project may take many hours of searching. Keeping track of your search history can help you do a more thorough and systematic search and help you avoid duplicating your research efforts! And when it's time to write your paper, thorough research notes will save you a lot of time and energy.

What's the easiest way to keep track of my research, organize my notes, and format my bibliography?

There are several citation management programs that can help you organize your research:

  • EndNote – EndNote is a feature-rich citation management program that allows you to organize your references in a searchable database. EndNote is recommended for those heavily engaged in research.
Program features:
      • Import and re-format references from online databases
      • Automatically enter citations
      • Build reference lists in Microsoft Word (Windows and Macintosh), Pages09 (Macintosh), and OpenOffice (version 3)
      • Format references according to hundreds of bibliographic citation styles, including journal-specific formats

The current version of EndNote in use at the University of Lethbridge is EndNote X4. U of L students, faculty, and staff can download the program here.

  • EndNote Web  EndNote Web is a web-based counterpart to EndNote, the desktop application. When you save references to EndNote Web, you are saving them to servers located "in the cloud" (i.e., NOT locally at the University of Lethbridge). This makes it easy to collaborate and share your library with others. It also means you can get to your EndNote Web library from anywhere you have Internet access. EndNote Web is recommended for use by undergraduate students.

You can set up a free EndNoteWeb account by registering at:

  • Zotero – Zotero is a free Firefox addon that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's easy to use, lives in your web browser where you do your work, and best of all it's free. Zotero allows you to attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations, organize them into collections for different projects, and create bibliographies. 
  • Mendeley – Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.

Library Help

Research Help Desk

During the Research Help Desk open hours, you can Ask Us a question via IM, email, or text message.

Instant Message: Click Here
Email: Click Here
Phone: 403-329-2265
Text: 780-666-4622

Library Hours