How to Organize and Save Your Research
It’s happened to all of us. You read the perfect article for your research, but now you can’t find it! Step one, get in touch with the Ashford Library, and we’ll help you find what you’re looking for. Step two, read on to learn how to organize and save your research for easy retrieval.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do: Download, e-mail, and save your research to your database accounts, and use citation management tools like RefWorks to keep your research organized.
Don’t: Save links, create bookmarks, or use folders without signing in. URL links, permalinks, and bookmarks will all fail. If you save something to your folder without signing in first, it will be cleared from your folder when you close your browser window or your session times out.
Downloading Articles and Ebooks
To download a PDF, hover your cursor near the top right corner of the file. You should see a download button. It will look like an arrow pointing down. Click the icon to download.
For articles with Full-Text HTML, use the print tool to save the article as a PDF.
Due to copyright restrictions, some library ebooks cannot be downloaded completely. However, you can usually get all you need by downloading chapters or sections of an ebook.
When saving research from an ebook, look for the download icon next to chapter titles in the table of contents. You will also see options such as “Save Pages” or “Download Chapter PDF” in the tools section.
Our Ebook Central database provides free software you can use to download entire ebooks for up to 108 days. Click on the “Download Book” button and follow the guided steps.
Another option for saving articles is to e-mail them to yourself. Look for an e-mail tool or icon. It will usually look like an envelope.
Saving Research in Your Database Account
Some databases allow articles and books to be saved in the database for easy access later. [email protected], EBSCOhost, ProQuest, and Ebook Central all have this capability.
Each database comes from a different company, so it’s necessary to create accounts for each one. To make it easy to remember the login information for each one, past students recommend using their Ashford student number and password as the login and password when creating an EBSCOhost, ProQuest, or Ebook Central account.
Be sure to log in to each database each time you want to save an article or book or retrieve the articles or books you previously saved.
How to Save Articles in EBSCOhost or [email protected]
Open the database and click on the Sign In link near the top right corner of your screen. If you haven’t already set up an account, click on Create a New Account. If you have already created an account and are signed in, click on Folder to access previously saved material.
To add contents to your folder, sign in first, and then click on the folder icon at the end of each article title.
How to Save Materials in ProQuest
Open the database and click on My Research icon in the top right corner of your screen. If you haven't already set up an account, click on Create a My Research Account.
How to Add an Item to My Research
First, sign in. Then, click on the All Options button located at the top of the page where the article information is.
Select Save to My Research from the popup window that appears.
How to Save Materials in Ebook Central
If you have not created one already, create an account in Ebook Central by clicking on the Sign In link.
If you do not have an account, click on the Create Account button located in the middle of the page to create an account.
From there, follow the directions in the database for how to download or save ebooks.
Once you’ve set up accounts in the databases, make sure to log in every time you want to view or save more of your research.
To take your research organization to the next level, try RefWorks. This citation management tool can be used to save citations and Full-Text HTML articles, organize your resources, create bibliographies, and much more. Check out this tip sheet to learn how to set up your account.
A majority of the library’s databases will allow you to save citations directly to your RefWorks account. Just use the citation export tool and select RefWorks.
Now you can keep track of your research without losing it, but if you ever need help staying organized, get in touch! Visit the library homepage to request assistance via text chat, phone, or e-mail.
Written by Anna Uribe, Lead Instruction Librarian, Ashford University