Part 4 – handling references/citations

Since I started the Painting 1 course in September 2013 I have been struggling a bit with the Harvard Referencing System for collecting bibliographic and citation information for my research. I had been wanting to find some kind of Apple Mac software that would let me manage the whole process easily without resorting to making my own database. I have tried out several sources such as:

‘End Note’
‘Sente 6’

and online generators like ‘Cite this for me’
and ‘Harvard Generator’

All of these offer varying degrees of powerful information and data management abilities, but come with a bit of a learning curve to fully maximise their capabilities – in essence quite a bit of overload, although if I find time I might look at Sente 6 again as it seems to allow customisation of bibliographic/citation input/output. The other thing I have discovered is that while some of the above packages offer Harvard Referencing capacity as one of many referencing options, they are all slightly different. In fact, it seems to me that there are as many versions or styles of Harvard Referencing as there are academic institutions out there.

OCA has its own Harvard Reference style guide and so I have been trying to follow that. My research so far has tried to match this, but I fear there are gaps in my interpretation. If I’m honest, while I know that it is essential to properly reference source material, I’d rather be spending my time in painting practice.

Thus my desire for a simple bit of software that helps me keep track of the source material I have consulted, whether that be in print, online, exhibition or whatever.

In trying to get to this point I also signed up for and attended a ‘Visual Arts Data Skills for Researchers Workshop’ (VADS4R Project – at Glasgow School of Art on 16th June 2014 organised by the University of the Creative Arts, Centre for Digital Scholarship; in conjunction with GSA, and the Digital Curation Centre at Glasgow University. This was a very informative, if higher academic level, workshop on the data management lifecycle: including the need for your own (institution’s – in my case personal) Data Management Plan (DMP); how to select and create research data; legal and ethical requirements; organising the data; and storing and preserving.

What I didn’t really get from the workshop was any real practical advice on how to manage my own research data, other than, ‘do what suits you best to manage your stuff’.

So, on return from Glasgow I spent a happy day trolling the ‘interweb’ trying to find something more basic and more suitable to my research needs – and particularly something that was ‘dead easy’ to use.

In the end, I came across a wonderful (not perfect by any means) wee app for both the Mac desktop (£2.49) and iPad (£1.49) – ‘Easy Harvard Referencing’:

Azum, A. (2014) Easy Harvard Referencing. Version 1.2. [Mac OX X 10.9 or later] AyClassapps. Available at the Mac App Store [Accessed 21 June 2014].

The iPad app lets you  create references by type of material, save the results and then you can e-mail these to ‘wherever’.

The desktop app has the same functionality, but allows you to save the entries to a .rtf file, which can then be edited to suit fine-tuning of the references and exported to a word processor application or a .pdf file. Here are some screen shots to show the basics:

Easy Harvard Referencing - main screen

Easy Harvard Referencing – main screen

'Book' entry screen - (click image to enlarge)

‘Book’ entry screen – (click image to enlarge)













'Image' entry screen - (click image to enlarge)

‘Image’ entry screen – (click image to enlarge)

'Website' entry screen - (click image to enlarge)

‘Website’ entry screen – (click image to enlarge)







'pdf' entry screen - (click image to enlarge)

‘pdf’ entry screen – (click image to enlarge)










From ‘book’ entry, through generate reference to save is a quick and easy process, any tweaking can be done here or in the .rtf file output prior to any further exporting to other word processing formats and/or .pdf format:

'Book' entry, generate & save screen shots - (click image to enlarge)

‘Book’ entry, generate & save screen shots – (click image to enlarge)









Easy Harvard Referencing - 'saved' screen ready to export

Easy Harvard Referencing – ‘saved’ screen ready to export













And here is my latest version of my OCA Painting 1 Bibliography:

Stuart’s OCA Painting 1 Bibliography ← click the link to download a .pdf version of this page

I would be really happy to hear if any OCR student has an alternative solution to managing references as easily as possible.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319

22 June, 2014