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Sunday, March 18, 2012

References - Mendeley

Hi everyone! 

First off - I think I did well enough on the test (and I know I did well enough on the lab portion they had), that passing shouldn't be a problem. 

Second - I'm almost finished with my 1 week block on behavior - and I'm totally bummed.  Although I love vet school and everything I'm learning...behavior has been the FIRST subject that I'm absolutely obsessed with, almost to the same extent that I'm obsessed with endurance.  At the convention I was reminded that it IS possible for me to focus on 1-2 hour presentation if it's a subject I love - such as endurance.  Behavior is the first subject that I've been able to 100% focus on during school hours and after school I'm inspired to spend HOURS in the literature looking up stuff and reading research......this is a very very very good development.  I had almost come to the conclusion that I would end up as a horse vet after all, specializing in performance/endurance etc., because obviously I wasn't going to be as happy doing anything else.  Now, with the introduction of behavior, there is a very real chance I'll still be able to keep my professional life and my recreation life somewhat separate.  And thus, my sanity has the chance to remain intact until I'm 80 as opposed to 40 or so. 

Third - you may have noticed an addition to the side bar - you can now join a Mendeley group!

The amount of time that I've spent delving into the literature lately reminded me that I should share how I manage my journal articles, and how you as a reader of my blog could have access to the articles and other resources that I use write many of the articles here, such as the "tendon" post. 

I use "Mendeley" to save journal articles and keep everything organized.  Mendeley can be used as a desk top application that you download, or as an online tool - or a combination of both (everything on your desktop version will sync with the online version and vice versa).  The nice thing about mendeley, as opposed to some of the other citation management tools out there, is the ability to form "groups".  My school small group is often required to put together group presentations and papers that require us to research and cite primary literature.  The groups are a great way to share citations and references without a bunch of emails, documents, and mistyped citations floating around. 

I've created a group for this blog, where I will put the papers and other references that I cite in my "educational articles".  In most cases, the papers are available on the internet through a search in google scholar, in other cases you might need to check out your library and see if they subscribe to the journal so you can read the article.  Even if the article isn't free, often you can find the abstract and read that, which will give you a general idea of what the article is about. 

I've started by placing 3 articles about tendons in the group that I used for writing my tendon post, and I'll place other articles that I think are relevant to endurance riding there as I come across them.

I've also created a group of Tess's blog, which will have various dog training and behavior articles added to it periodically.  I've started by adding some really interesting articles about behavior that I came across while doing research for a behavior block project (food aggression in dogs). 

It's always a good idea to do your own research, and make your own decisions based on what evidence is out there.  I never expect anyone to just "take my word" for anything and hopefully this will make it easier for all of us to stay informed. 

BTW - if you join the group, feel free to add your own favorite articles to the group for us to read!

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