Feb 282006
 
Authors: Sarah Rawley

The help desk modules are accessible to all CSU affiliates and national and international researchers via the Morgan Library at http://vulture.library.colostate.edu/endnote/ or the Colorado State Writing center at http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/sources/endnote.

Most students know compiling a bibliography for a research paper means toiling long hours and attention to repetitive details.

Thanks to a donation from Michael Gould, instructor and research associate for the College of Business, and Susan Gould, instructor and research associate for the Colleges of Applied Human Sciences and Business, graduate students and faculty can save more than 100 hours in the thesis and dissertation research and writing process thanks to a single program.

The Goulds created a detailed set of audio/visual modules called Margo Help Desk to accompany EndNote bibliographic software the university licenses for graduate students and faculty. Endnote enables users to search remote libraries and databases, store reference information and generate a bibliographic reference list in Microsoft Word.

"If Endnotes was adopted university-wide, CSU could turn out the most competent secondary research students in the world," Michael Gould said. "It will increase student and faculty research capacity and productivity because it is flexible and saves time by integrating programs."

Through active demonstrations, the program shows students everything from using the EndNote toolbar in Microsoft Word to searching for books or journal articles. More than 90 percent of the 100 modules last less than two minutes.

Crystal Carr, freshman business administration major, used the Margo Help Desk audio video modules to learn EndNote. She created a local reference library with more than 500 references in less than three hours.

Carr invested only three hours with the training modules and believes she has already saved more than 15 hours.

"I think juggling school work, job and social life is hard enough. Researching papers is part of the struggle," Carr said. "I think if CSU provided the program for everyone in school, there would be big benefits."

James Banning, an education professor, created and printed a 25-page annotated bibliography in approximately one hour. Banning estimated that it would have taken up to 40 hours to search, retrieve and type otherwise.

"If an institution got on board with this software it would increase the efficiency of bibliographic aspects of the research project," Banning said. "If the university adopted [EndNote] across all students and faculty, it would have a major leap forward in research work."

Upon completing his own dissertation, Michael Gould discovered the advantage that EndNote gives in flexible output styles.

After finding out that his dissertation was referenced in the wrong format, Michael Gould converted more than 300 citations and 20 pages of reference information into the correct style in less than five minutes.

Many universities around the world license EndNote software, according to Lindsey Wess, manager of the Electronic Information Center computer lab at Morgan Library.

The Goulds, along with other faculty and staff, would like to see EndNote available for all CSU students.

"This will be beneficial for all students, especially in research-oriented careers who need to receive, store and publish information," Michael Gould said. "We are an information society and this will eliminate the learning time."

The Goulds donated use of the Margo Help Desk software to CSU through the College of Business and anyone can access the modules through the Morgan Library. The couple values their donation at $250,000.

"Sue and I wanted to do this because we know research and academic writing is time consuming," Michael Gould said. "We hope students and other university constituents use Margo Help Desk to experience the wonderful benefits of EndNote bibliographic software."

 

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