Citation managers are software programs that help scholars, researchers, and students keep track of their sources and organize their citations. They are particularly useful for academics, lawyers and students who need to cite a large number of sources in a consistent and accurate way.
Citation Managers and the Bluebook
One of the main challenges with citation managers is that they do not work well with The Bluebook citation style, which is commonly used in law schools. This style is known for its complex rules and formatting requirements, and many citation managers are not equipped to handle it. This can make it difficult for law students to properly cite their sources and can lead to errors in their work.
A popular citation manager is PowerNotes, which is particularly useful for students and researchers who need to take notes and organize their research. PowerNotes allows users to create notes and organize them by project, topic, or source. It also has a built-in citation tool that can automatically format citations in multiple styles, including MLA and APA. Additionally, PowerNotes has a feature that allows users to collaborate with others on their research. Getting started with PowerNotes for legal research can be done quickly with the 6 minute video located in our PowerNotes LibGuide:
Another popular citation manager among academics and researchers is Mendeley. It allows users to organize and store their references, create bibliographies and citations, and share their research with others. It also has a built-in PDF reader, making it easy to annotate and organize PDFs. Additionally, Mendeley has a social aspect that allows users to connect with others in their field and discover new research.
Comparing the Two
When comparing Mendeley and PowerNotes, it is important to note that Mendeley is more geared towards academics and researchers, while PowerNotes is more focused on students and researchers who need to take notes and organize their research. Mendeley has more features for organizing and sharing research, while PowerNotes is more focused on note-taking and citation formatting. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on the specific needs of the user.
In conclusion, citation managers are an essential tool for scholars, researchers, and students to keep track of their sources and organize their citations. However, it is important to keep in mind that they may not work well with The Bluebook citation style. Mendeley and PowerNotes are both popular citation managers, each with their own strengths and features. Ultimately, it is important to consider your specific needs and choose the citation manager that best suits them.
If you’d like help using a citation manager, or strategizing a research project, don’t hesitate to reach out to a law librarian and we can get you moving in the right direction.