Research references: How to keep track of sources when using digital resources
Last Updated: Aug 02, 2022 Views: 33

If you are using online sources for your paper, it is a good idea to keep track of the important information as you research. This will make easier to find the resources again and cite them. Watch the video or read about some of these tools below.

You can use the tools built into the digital resource collections in order to keep track of your sources.

Copy information about the source into your notes

The detailed record (the search result page for the item) includes information about the article that you will need for your reference, including:

  • the authors
  • the journal
  • the date of publication
  • the digital object identifier (DOI)

You can copy this information into your notes to help you create your references.

Copy the URL/Permalink to return to the item without searching again.

The URL, otherwise known as the permalink or persistent link, is an unchanging link to the item. You can add this link to your notes to return easily return to the item. When saving this links, keep the following things in mind:

  • The URL in the address bar may not work. The correct link appears in different places for each digital resource collection. Look for a link on the result page for the resource. Visit the Library’s page on Working with Digital Resources for help finding the link in the various types of Library digital resource collections.
  • Check your link! Before you leave the page, verify that the link you copied actually works.

Generate a citation using the Cite tool

This tool will give you a full citation for the article in different citation styles, which you can copy for your notes. Caution: If you copy your citations from the Cite tool, make sure you verify that they are correct when you add them to you reference list.

Store your sources in folders

When signed in to the AC Library’s Page 1+ tool, you can ‘pin’ resources and add them to your favorites list.  

In many of the digital resource collections, you can also create folders of resources. You will need to create an account to be able to save and access folders, but these accounts are free and easy to create. You might want to create a folder for all of the digital resources that you find for a particular paper, so that you can keep them all in one place.

However you manage your sources, make sure you are saving them in some way so that you can find them again when you need to write your citations

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