Research for Thesis & Dissertation Literature Reviews: Citation Managers & Info Organization

Citation Management Tools

The following tools allow you to collect book and article citations from the library catalog and databases and (using a plugin for MS Word) insert those citations into your paper in the appropriate format. Some of the tools make it easier to import citations from the catalog and databases than others.

The library has created a detailed guide on how to choose and how to use each of these tools. We offer workshops and support for Zotero. 

Tracking Searches and Resources

Tracking the existing literature and identifying themes and gaps can be made easier by using a "reading grid"/spreadsheet. 

Organizing Research for Writing

There are numerous ways to organize the material in a lit. review. For example, one might organize the selected readings by

  • different theoretical approaches
  • specific concepts or issues
  • different methodologies employed
  • level of support or otherwise that they lend to one’s own hypothesis/theory.

Such methods are generally better than organizing chronologically or by author. 

(From Writing a Literature Review Phase 5: Organizing the Review, Boston College Libraries)