How to select a reference management program

It’s not easy to find just one pair of shoes that’s right for every occasion. The same is true for reference management software – one size does not fit all. To help, we've compiled a list of nine questions you can ask yourself to find the best possible software for your needs.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 7/2/2019
Tags: Good to know Reference management

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Three studying tips

Want to stop pulling all-nighters right before your exam? In our latest blog post, we share three tips for how you can study more effectively throughout the semester, remember information better long-term, and be less stressed going into your test.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 6/4/2019
Tags: Beginning students Task management Good to know

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Predatory publishers and journals

It's every new academic's dream: an offer to have their work published as a book or journal article. However, some offers are too good to be true. Our latest blog post takes an in-depth look at predatory publishers and their tactics.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 5/7/2019
Tags: Good to know

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The open access premise

The open access publication model promises a piece of the pie for everyone. But how does this differ from the traditional academic publication process? And what's behind some of the recent publisher boycotts by large university systems? Read our latest blog post to find out.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 4/9/2019

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Bibliography hacking

Do you often feel like you’re searching for sources in the all the wrong places? Or maybe you’ve been able to locate one or two relevant sources but are struggling to find additional ones? If so, give the bibliography hacking method a try! 

Created by: Jennifer Schultz – Published on: 3/26/2019
Tags: Finding sources Graduate students

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Head in the cloud?

Online tools let you work on your own projects and collaborate with others anywhere there's an internet connection. To help you get a better feel for what's out there, we've described some of the different categories of tools in our latest post. We've gathered up some old favorites and fresh faces, so take a look and see if there's a cloud tool that might help your workflow.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 3/12/2019
Tags: Workflow

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What's a peer-reviewed journal article?

Did you just get assigned your very first research paper and are wondering about the requirement to use “peer-reviewed” journal articles? Learn what peer-reviewed journal articles are and where to find them in our latest blog post.

Created by: Jennifer Schultz – Published on: 2/26/2019
Tags: Beginning students

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Focus, please!

Find it hard to focus on your academic work when your phone is on your desk? You're not alone! Our latest blog post looks at how smartphones can distract you and offers some tips on how to concentrate when performing tasks in your reference management software.

Created by: Jennifer Schultz – Published on: 1/29/2019
Tags: Time management Task management

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What type of source is this anyway?!

It can sometimes be difficult to determine what type of source you have and how to enter it in your reference management program. Read on for our tips for recognizing, adding, and citing different source types in Citavi.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 1/15/2019
Tags: Citation

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Get it from the source

We all know how our words can get taken out of context when what we say is told to someone else. Just like you don't want to spread gossip in your personal life, you also don't want to misrepresent the ideas in the sources you cite. Usually, you can double check your source to make sure that you have accurately written about the author’s ideas. But what do you do if you don’t have the original source but just a quotation from another author?

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 1/18/2022

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Get the Gist

Summarizing is a skill we do intuitively all the time in daily life – just think how often you've told someone about an entire vacation in only a few sentences.

So, why can it seem so difficult when you’re forced to do it in an academic context? Our latest blog post examines the summary in more detail and offers tips for how you can use summarizing techniques to better understand difficult texts.

Created by: Jennifer Schultz – Published on: 11/6/2018
Tags: Writing tips Workflow

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Getting Your Papers under Control

Are your stacks of papers and books growing at such an alarming rate that you're worried about being buried alive by them if they ever topple over? Find out what's causing this to happen and (finally!) de-clutter your desk.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 10/17/2018
Tags: Time management Workflow

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Saving Webpages Long-Term

Website content can change frequently, but what if you need to cite online sources in your thesis? How can you be sure the information will still be available five months from now? In this blog post we offer some tips for keeping the contents of the webpages you check secure so that you'll always be able to refer back to the source for your citations.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 10/9/2018
Tags: Beginning students Citation

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Help for Hoarders

When you start a project, it's easy to go nuts and squirrel away every potentially useful source in your reference management program. To avoid getting overwhelmed, we recommend three steps for gaining control of your stockpile: collect, select, and inspect.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 9/25/2018
Tags: Workflow Beginning students Reference management

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The Final Polish

If you want your thesis to really shine, it's a good idea to have another person proofread or copyedit it. But what's the difference between proofreading and copyediting, anyway? Should you hire a freelancer or agency? And, is it academically dishonest to use a copyeditor?

Our latest blog post looks at all these questions and more.

Created by: – Published on: 9/10/2018
Tags: Graduate students Writing tips

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From Master's Thesis to New Job

Want to work on a thesis with a company but scared to contact them and not sure where to start? Our support team member Jana shares her experiences writing a thesis for a company and how it continues to help her in her job today.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 8/13/2018
Tags: Writing

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The One-Inch Picture Frame

Large writing projects can often be overwhelming. If you sometimes feel paralyzed by how much you have to do, take a look at the simple but effective tip from novelist Anne Lamott in our latest blog post.

Created by: Jennifer Schultz – Published on: 7/30/2018
Tags: Writing tips

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Work Effectively, Wherever You Are

Summer, sunshine, vacation... as soon as you finish up that one thesis chapter, that is! Sometimes you can't avoid having to take work along with you. When that happens, our ten tips can help you finish by the time you reach your destination.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 7/17/2018
Tags: Time management Workflow

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Odyssey of a Journal Article

From our help desk:

How can I find the journal article my professor mentioned? 

My professor recommended a journal article for my research paper... but he didn't mention the exact title, author, or journal name. Now how on Earth can I find it?


Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 7/3/2018
Tags: Finding sources From our support team

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How to use Reference Management Software to Create Bibliographies Automatically

Citation style rules can be frustrating. What if there were a way you could automatically format all the citations and your bibliography instead of tediously having to type all the punctuation marks by hand? Although it almost sounds too good to be true, this is exactly what reference management programs are designed to do.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 4/4/2018
Tags: Citation Beginning students

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Three Ways to Read Better on a Computer, Tablet, or Phone

Do you do a lot of academic reading on your computer screen? If so, the information you read might be harder for you to recall later on than if you would read on paper. Our latest blog post looks at some study findings and offers suggestions for what you can do.

Created by: Jennifer Schultz – Published on: 4/4/2018

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Elephants Never Forget - But How About You?

You’ve got a pretty good memory, don’t you? You know exactly what you ate for breakfast this morning, what happened yesterday in your favorite Netflix series, and the findings of the main researchers in your field. Or do you...?

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 3/27/2018
Tags: Knowledge organization

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5 Things You Should Always Do When Starting a New Paper

Setting Up a Paper-Writing Workflow

Large writing projects can seem overwhelming. There’s so much to do that it can be hard to know where to begin.

One thing that can help is setting up a workflow for yourself. Whether you’re writing your first research paper or already have many behind you, it always pays to take a look at your process and see if there are any areas you can improve.


Created by: Jennifer Schultz – Published on: 3/13/2018
Tags: Workflow Beginning students Graduate students

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The Perfect Fit: 5 Steps for Finding Academic Sources without Frustration

The Perfect Fit: 5 Steps for Finding Academic Sources without Frustration

Can't find any good sources for your paper? Feel like you're searching for a needle in a haystack? Then our first blog post was written for you! Follow our five easy steps to stop inefficient searches and start finding high-quality scholarly journal articles on your topic.

Created by: Jana Behrendt – Published on: 2/27/2018
Tags: From our support team Finding sources

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Welcome to Planned Accidents

Planned Accidents is written by the team behind Citavi and reflects a basic premise of our software: better organization leads to better research. If you have your sources and processes in order, you can free your mind for making connections and generating new ideas. Join us every other week for helpful tips, workflows, and strategies that can help anyone who does academic research, at any level.

Created by: Jennifer Schultz – Published on: 2/20/2018

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