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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Lessons Learned

Okay, so I just figured out some more things that I should have done with my Endnote database when I first set it up.

For those that don't know, Endnote is a piece of bibliographic software that can be used in conjunction with MS Word (and I assume other word processors) to insert citations while you are writing and then build your bibliography for you based upon whichever citation method you want to use.

In any regard, tonight (yes, a Friday night, and I am posting this at 11:29pm) I took a paper that I wrote for this Social Studies Education class last summer and turned it into a manuscript for submission. Actually, that is a bit misleading, I had taken the paper and turned in into a manuscript months ago, but the journal that I am targetting uses University of Chicago style and the paper was originally written in APA format. So, tonight I spend over five hours converting it.

It may have haelped if I practice what I preach, as I tell all of our first year doctoral students to download a copy of Endnote (free to UGA students) and start their database as soon as they walk in the door. I didn't bother to start mine until I was working on my comprehensive exams last summer, and it is still very incomplete. I also encourage our first and second year doctoral students to attend one of the five Endnote Orientations sessions that our student association, of which I have been the President of for the past two year (and VP the year before that), but I haven't attended a full one myself yet.

The bottom line is that I have an incomplete database and I don't quite know how to use the "Cite While You Write" feature yet, so I haven't bothered with it. I keep thinking that I'll get the database updated to my liking before I finish my Ph.D., so at least when I start my first academic position I'll be able to use Endnote more effectively.

Granted, if I had my database up to date and had used Endnote to cite while writing the original paper, it wouldn't have helped me tonight anyway. When I entered the authors into my database, I only used their initials - which is all you ever need in APA. Well, you need to write out first names in University of Chicago and if my database was completed up to date, if I had entered all of the citations in correctly in the first place, and if I had used the "Cite While You Write" feature, all I would have had to do tonight was click my mouse a few times, switch the style guide from APA for University of Chicago and my manuscript would have been done.

But, you see all of the "if"s in that statement... None of which I did... So, tonight I spent more than five hours converting the paper from APA to a manuscript using University of Chicago. When will I learn?

Tags: Endnote, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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