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Managing your research project


Keeping records

Keep records of your research process and make notes as you go along. Keeping records is an essential skill in conducting research and good practice for any future research you may undertake.

You should devise your own personal management information system and decide where and how you will keep the information you gather. This will include such details as:

  • Notes taken from books and other sources.
  • Quotes from books and other sources to be used in the written piece of work.
  • Details of the different sources consulted.
  • Notes on the research process itself, e.g. observation notes, completed questionnaires.

Referencing software

These are many referencing software packages designed to help researchers keep lists of references and use them in the documents they are writing.

Some available packages are:

  • EndNote
  • RefME
  • ProCite
  • Zotero

[See also referencing software in Harvard referencing]

Index of information sources and quotes

You may want to create an index which contains all the information you are likely to need for drawing up a list of references and a bibliography in your research project. What else you record is entirely up to you. You may include a short summary of what a particular book, article or other resource was about, or you may have a more extensive list of contents, chapter summaries and indicative quotes with page references.