The British Library just saved me an age

If you have been wondering why I haven’t posted much this year you may get a feel for why in a minute.

Like many students I am always looking for a better way to reference things, and by better I mean less effort but still meeting the required standard of my institution (I chose that word deliberately). I have been using RefWorks which is amazing as long as the book or article in question is available through the library. Not all the sources I am using are in this as I also tend to beg, borrow, or even read books whilst standing in the shop. Referencing these badboys is like removing a wisdom tooth with a tooth pick.

You can tell I was getting desperate because I looked in the help section (does this invalidate my masculinity), and I found something saying that there is a filter for the British Library. My heart rate went up a notch and my skin went all clammy. This could be in as the BL has a catalogue of just about every bloody book imaginable. I’ll stop rambling and get to the point. It worked. I’ll go into the details below.

Open a browser, IE or Firefox for the add-on. I used FF.

First off you need to log into the RefWorks website (link above).

If you do not have the Ref Grab-it tool you need to get that. It is available from the Tools menu at the top of the RefWorks site.

Then visit the British Library catalogue.

Search for the book you want. Unless you searched for naked pics of Lady Thatcher you’ll probably see the book in question in a list.

Click on the details link to check it is the one you want.

Right click on the page and choose the Ref Grab-it  option. A box should appear with references in it. You may have to expand the other references to check the one you require.

Finally you click the import selected and hey presto.

I wish I’d known this two years ago. I hope it helps somebody else save some time.

Good luck.