Survey Results: TRID and Reference Management Tools

In July 2013 Ken Winter (VDOT Research Library) and Bill McLeod (TRB Library) conducted a 10-question online survey to gather information on citation management tool usage and preferences by transportation information professionals.  The total survey population was approximately 300 members of the TRANLIB listserv.  There were 45 responses, a response rate of approximately 15%.  Of all respondents, 42% self identified as personnel at state DOT libraries.  Respondents reported they work primarily (40%) with “engineers or technical practitioners.”  Of all respondents, 62% said they had not used any citation management software in the last 12 months and 46% said they did not think their patrons had either.  Of respondents who thought their patrons had used citation management tools in the past 12 months, 56% reported they believe their patrons had used Endnote or Endnote Web, 31% said Refworks, and 22% said Zotero.  Two “other” references mentioned the tool Mendeley, which was also mentioned multiple times in open response options. When asked what they thought their patrons used “most often” the respondents said Endnote (33%), Refworks (26%), Endnote Web (6%) and Zotero (4%).  About 69% of respondents said the library where they work has not supported the use of such tools (either formally or informally) in the past 12 months.  When asked what citation management tool they would use as information professionals (if they could pick any tool), the majority (49%) said “other” and their open responses indicated that many respondents do not feel like they know enough to make an informed decision right now, but would like to learn more about their options.  Some respondents did express a preference for specific tools.  Top ranked was Endnote at 17% (N=8), then Zotero at 15% (N=7), then Refworks at 13% (N=6), then “I would not use any” at 11% (N=5), and finally Endnote Web at 7% (N=3).  Of the 36 respondents who answered the question: “Why would you select that citation management tool?”  47% said “because it is affordable or free.”  Final comments seemed enthusiastic about learning more on the topic and a few respondents expressed specific ideas about what they’d like to know more about.  Overall response for the general subject as the topic of a TRB Webinar seemed positive with the demographic surveyed.

To see the full survey results go here:

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