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Managing your reading

Reference management

You might think that the sole purpose of reference management software is to produce perfect citations with the dots and commas in the right place. But that's not their primary use. The clue is in the name: reference management!

Reference management programs let you categorise and organise the reading you find, and some (Mendeley for instance) even have built-in PDF annotation tools.

Take a look at our Reference management Skills Guide for advice on how to get started:

Working with digital documents

A lot of the materials you'll come across will be electronic texts. To save needlessly printing these out, you will need to develop your skills of reading from a screen. You've probably been reading from a screen most of your life, but there are still some principles worth considering:

  • Go full-screen (take up as much screen as you can)
  • Take breaks
  • Reduce brightness
  • Keep an archive (give your PDFs useful names)
  • Make notes on/in your documents
  • Sit comfortably
  • Get the computer to read to you
  • Adjust tint and font

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