Organising your Sources

Why is it important to keep a record of the sources you use during your research?

Keeping accurate records makes it easy for you to find a source again. You may not realise how valuable a source is until a later stage in the research. If you have kept a record of your sources, it will be easy to locate and refer back them.
When you come to write up your research keeping a record of your sources saves you valuable time, particularly when citing your references and writing your bibliography.

It helps you to avoid plagiarism. If you do not acknowledge where you got a particular idea or quotation from, you may forget that it was not your original idea when you come to write up the work.

The Safari tutorial developed by the Open University has a section on Organising Information. Parts 1-4 contain useful information about the importance of keeping records.

As a distance learning student you will be using a lot of online resources. On the next page we will look at ways of keeping track of websites and articles from databases.