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Quoting and proving stress-free with Citavi

Nowadays, educators need to have a wide range of knowledge. During the training, many elaborations , statements, analyzes and many other things have to be written. For a professional work, the correct citing and quoting of sources is an absolute basic requirement.

Because the reader doesn’t just want to know what has been written. Rather, he is also interested in where does the writer’s knowledge come from? Did the author write the text himself or did it just take it from another writer? Are his statements correct at all and maybe I would like more information about the section of text. All of this is only possible if quotations are correctly noted in the written text and the sources are properly cited.

So far so clear. The next question is, what do I have to consider when quoting and specifying sources? Everything sounds pretty confusing and complicated at first. The effort is done correctly, not that great. And basically the rule applies that every service by a third-party author, whose intellectual property the text is, is therefore legally protected and must be indicated.

Different ways of quoting

There are two different citation approaches for scientific citation. On the one hand there is the direct quotation, which takes over the text of the foreign author identically. There is also the indirect quotation, which is often called paraphrasing. The text of the foreign author (its content / statement) is reproduced in his own words.

Direct / verbatim quoteIndirect quote
Text passages that have been adopted are to be put in quotation marksThe self-written text is not put in quotation marks.
The adopted text must not be changed.The adopted text must be changed.
If the text used already has quotation marks, these characters ‘…’ are also required.At the end of the text section, a cf. with source is given. The detailed source can then be found in the list of sources.
Text passages can be left out, but this must be indicated by points in brackets.The indirect quotation must not be misleading, e.g. not make any claims or represent facts that are not present in the text.
It is advisable to insert foreign-language texts in your original language.
Differentiation between direct and indirect quotations

Getting started with quoting

Now that we know that we have two different citation options, the next step is to use it correctly. There are basically three options for this. First of all, you can manually insert the quotations into every text and write a list of sources yourself at the end of the text. I do not recommend this option to anyone because this option is extremely susceptible to errors and that proper “systemic” work is not possible with it.

Next, you would have the option, integrated in Word, to create quotations and directories. This can be found in Word under the References, Insert Footnote or Insert Quote tab. I found the quotation option available in Word to be sufficient. Nevertheless, I decided on the third solution.

I use a literature management program available on the market to correctly cite and manage sources. There are now some free and paid programs for this. In the end, I got stuck with Citavi and have not regretted it so far.

Why I use Citavi

Well, first of all, from my point of view, Citavi is currently the best-known program and is used by many universities across Germany. It is mature and is constantly being further developed. Furthermore, from my point of view, it offers the decisive advantage that it can not only be used for source management and citation, but that it also helps to structure and network one’s own knowledge. The price is currently 119 €. Citavi says it’s free because you can add up to 100 titles for free. In reality, however, 100 titles are not really a lot and I was already at the limit after just three months.

It is therefore important to know that the program will simply cost you money if you want to use it sensibly. The license is lifelong, by the way, and as a registered student you often receive a campus license free of charge from your university.

Using Citavi

Now for the exciting part. How do I even use Citavi? Here I will give you a first glimpse in order to understand and use the absolute basic function of Citavi. That is perhaps 20% of the scope of the software, but it is sufficient for simple work and the aim of correctly citing and inserting a list of sources. If you want to dig deeper into the program, please have a look at Citavi here. There are explanatory videos and further information.

A small side note by the way: managing literature is always work. Especially with regard to a correct and tidy database in the reference management program. In principle, you have to carry out the basic activity (adding literature) with every method. The advantage of the programs, however, is that the literature is now permanently available. The second time you use it, you will save yourself a lot of work and a double click is usually enough to add. Such software shows its strengths with increasing time and diligence! So now enough talked. Then let’s start and see how we can quote.

1. Citavi main menu

After starting Citavi you will land in the start window. Here you can reopen your previous project. If you have not yet created a project, you can click on the NEW PROJECT tab below and create a new database. I recommend that you always use the cloud database . This means that you can work with Citavi on any computer and do not restrict yourself. When it comes to data backup, the cloud is also preferable to a local copy on your PC. Then give your project a name (educator for me) and continue. At the end of the setup process, you will land in the Citavi basic view.

Citavi’s main menu where you can create and open your projects.

2. Basic view in Citavi

The Citavi basic view gives you an overview of your literature. You can edit them (number 1) and categorize them (number 2). This interface is, so to speak, your workstation at Citavi. You can also search for new literature (number 3) and add quotations to the respective literature. You can set different citation styles in Citavi. Citavi recommends:

Still, I’ll leave it at that. For further and more in-depth use, I recommend you watch the Citavi videos or study the manual.

The basic view of the Citavi program with the various areas.

3. Add publication

You can add new literature using the Title tab (top left). This opens a window for the correct selection of the literature. Here you can now choose what kind of document it is. For a classic book you can select the book (monograph) and for journals the selection field Journal article. The correct selection is important, as Citavi has stored different data fields to fill out depending on the type of document. Therefore, follow the guidelines so that Citavi can properly store your literature.

Citavi offers a wide variety of types of literature and documents.

4. Insert basic information

As mentioned at the beginning, a program is only as good as the care it takes for its user. I therefore always recommend calling up the Title and Context tabs immediately after adding new literature. Information already taken over by Citavi can be checked and corrected here. These are necessary so that the list of sources can later be reproduced correctly. Therefore, make the effort and fill in any missing information immediately after importing the font. Otherwise you will have a half-baked literature program after a while and you can just as easily write everything manually in Word again. Again, the note: If you have worked properly here once, you can continue to use it in the future with almost no further work.

Imported publications must always be checked and, in most cases, supplemented.

5. Use the Word module

Now it comes to the important thing. After all, we want to use the literature that has now been deposited in our elaboration and no longer have to worry about the correct filing of external services. To do this, we normally open Word. The Citavi module loads automatically. If your Citavi is still closed, you can now load and open your appropriate project database.

Now start writing your text. As soon as you want to insert a proof, you can insert it on the left or select “insert with options”. For example, for an indirect quote, you have to do the following at the end of the text:

  1. Go to the end of the text
  2. Choose the right book from your literature and click on it
  3. Click on “insert with options”
  4. Enter the pages of the book from which you got your text content
  5. Enter in the prefix see
  6. Press ok

The underlying work has now been properly cited and a bibliography has been created at the same time. Is it child’s play? That’s why I use Citavi and not Word or similar options.

Citavi’s Word module makes work much easier.

citation suggestion

Götz, S. (2021). Quote and prove stress-free with Citavi. State sources simply and clearly. ISSN: 2748-2979. Accessed on 02/12/2021. Available at: https://krippenzeit.de/stressfrei-zitieren-und-proof-through-citavi/

Sebastian Götz
Sebastian Götzhttps://krippenzeit.de
"Ich lerne für den besten Job der Welt und möchte euch hier auf Krippenzeit daran teilhaben lassen."
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