Citation managers make everything easier.
Research suggests that 90% of the world's data in 2013 had been generated in the previous two years. That's absolutely staggering. Even when I focus only on issues I truly care about, it's hard to not feel overwhelmed by all the information I come across on a daily basis. Yet while there's more to learn than ever, we're better equipped to manage information than ever before.
Here's an example: I'm pursuing a career as a research scientist in the United States, which is often dependent on government funding. If the current presidential administration announces plans to cut the budget of the National Institutes of Health by 20% or diminish funding for graduate students in the sciences, that's something I would like to know. And if Congress rejects these budget proposals, I should keep tabs that, too.
Another example: I really like tofu. About once a month I hear someone repeat a popular pseudoscience myth: soy disrupts men's hormones. That's a myth! In fact, two studies have shown that soy does not affect men's hormones, and is associated with reduction of prostate cancer risk, as well as reduced breast cancer risk in women. I'm always ready to fight some fake science.
I never have to crawl through the internet looking for something obscure I read a few months ago. By tracking sources, you can save some serious time.
If you're talking about something that's really important, 'trust me' is something you should never have to say or hear. Providing sources and builds a stronger and smarter community.
There are many platforms that help you manage information, such as Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote. Personally, I like Zotero because it is both free and open source. (Note: I am not affiliated with or endorsed by Zotero.)
Save as you go. With software built into my web-browser, I'm only a click away form saving something important. Once a source is saved, it's easy to add notes.
Take a look at my "soy and hormones" folder, which I used earlier in this post to debunk a common myth:
With citations saved, you can create a bibliography in seconds using any citation style. I use APA because it's what my own field of research uses. For example, here's where I found all the info I referenced in this post:
18 september 2017. cross-posted on steemit and my site. filed under education.