What Reference Software Should I Use?

The answer is simple: the one that works best for you.

This blog arose from speaking to some PhD students and ECRs who, when asked why they used they used X piece of software, answered that it was because it’s the one their supervisor or spouse used, or that it was the one which was promoted by the Department. There is nothing wrong with this, but it may not be their best choice.

The question of what reference software to use is one that, in all honesty, I spent more time and intellectual horsepower on during the first few months of my PhD than I spent on actual research. However, at the time, I had very little experience in doing PhD level research or writing, so I made sub-optimal choices. Having now settled on a system (after having a bit more researching/writing experience), I’ve outlined some of the points which I think are important to evaluate when it comes choosing software.

N.B. – most of this comes down to personal choice. There are no absolutes as the optimal choice will be determined by your writing and research style, and your comfort with using software. This post won’t tell you what software you should use, but it may help you ensure what you are using is the best choice for you.

In the main, your reference software should:

  • Make it easy to store articles that you have read
  • Make it easy to keep a record of books that you have read
  • Produce citations in the styles which are relevant to you

However, there are a few other things that are important to think about.

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BotConf 2020

I will be speaking at BotConf 2020 in December. The event is online and can be accessed here: https://www.botconf.eu

I will be presenting a paper entitled ‘A Proposed Civil Liability Framework for Disrupting Botnets, with a particular focus on Smart Devices’ and closer to the event, I will be making the presentation, slides and paper available here.

SLS Conference 2020

I will be speaking at the SLS Conference in September. The event is online, and can be accessed here: https://www.slsconference.com.

I am taking part in the CyberLaw stream and will be speaking on 4 September at 09.15, where I will be presenting my paper “Does Cybersecurity Legislation Make Us Safer Online? An Analysis of the Impact of Consumer Related Cybersecurity Legislation on Device Security”.

I will be making the presentation and slides available here after the event and you can access the paper which the presentation is based on here.

Law Pod

The Law School in Queen’s have an excellent weekly podcast, where academics speak with their colleagues or with PhD students to discuss their current research, life in Queen’s and current events.

I recently spoke with Dr. Rachel Killean, the LawPod director about the focus of my research, the decision to start a PhD after quite a few years away from academia and the challenges of research when you are working full time and in a different country!

You can listen to my conversation here, and see all of the LawPod episodes here.

Cybersecurity in a Post Data Environment

My new working paper is available [Link].

This paper outlines the threats which are posed by the hacking of Smart Devices, and provides a rudimentary methodology to apportion liability to either the manufacturer or the user, where appropriate, following a hack. This is done in a robust manner, from a technologically agnostic perspective, to ensure a persistent relevance in the face of unrelenting technological advancement.