By Raul Andrei Dimitriu
The Rhodes University Library will train students to use a new bibliographic software management tool that significantly accelerates tedious student essay referencing. RefWorks, an online research tool, is designed to help gather and manage information as well as generate citations and bibliographies. “Not only does it allow you to organise references but it also formats them for you in the style you need,” said Eileen Shepherd, senior librarian in the Information Services section at the Rhodes Library. Using the Write-N-Cite Application on
MSWord, RefWorks inserts in-text references at the click of a key and alphabetises the references at the end of the text. Shepherd says there has been an overwhelmingly positive response from students thus far. “The first time they see a list of references automatically formatted with a couple of mouse-clicks – they can’t believe their eyes!” she said. “When we first started teaching post-grad classes how to use RefWorks one of their immediate reactions was ‘don’t show the first years how to use this – they must battle with referencing as we did’.” There are currently 8-10 universities in southern Africa using RefWorks. Rhodes has had access to RefWorks since August 2006 but this is the first time that the library has undertaken to mount it on the webpage and train users. The library is organising workshops throughout the year in the Library Information Literacy Lab. The first workshops run on February 25, 26, 29; March 3; April 2 and May 7. These will run between 1:10 and 2:15. To book a place in a workshop visit http://ruconnected.ru.ac.zacourse/view.php?id=813.