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Using FLOW to organize research and citations

March 18, 2014

Ramsey Library Student Intern, Abigail Gruchacz, explains how FLOW can be used to organize library research and citations:

Flow is an online citation tool, much like RefWorks. It’s sharp, user friendly and will make researching much easier. Whether you’re just starting out in Lang 120 or assembling your thesis, Flow will help you stay organized.

To get started, go to Enter your UNCA e-mail address where indicated and follow the instructions to make your account. Be sure to drag the save to FLOW button to your bookmarks. That will be important later.

Flow 1.jpg

Once you’ve done that, you should have a screen similar to this one. I’ve been playing with FLOW, so there are a few more documents there.

Flow 2.jpg

Now that you have a flow account, what can you do with it? Start by getting some sources together. I like to make a new collection first, so that I don’t have to go back and sort my files. Click on the New collection button. I have an upcoming paper to write about Dracula, so that’s what we’re going to be researching.

Flow 3.jpg

First, I go to Ramsey Library’s website and type in my search term. Once, I get my results, I click on it. There are two ways to save it to FLOW. Method I: To the right hand side of the screen, there’s a quotation mark. Click on it and it’ll appear in flow.

Flow 4.jpg

Method II: Click on the source you want. Once you are on it’s page, click the save to Flow button.

flow 5.jpg

You can also import sources outside of Ramsey Library. I’m going to go to my personal favorite database, JSTOR. I plug in my search terms, and find a promising article. Click on save to flow and it appears! You can also click “Export citation” but the flow button puts in more information and downloads the document for you.

flow 6.jpg

The Flow button also works on some websites. This link has  all the websites that are able to be saved to flow.

Once you have your document you can highlight and annotate. Personally, it’s a little clunky, so I’ll probably print out or download the document to my tablet instead.

Flow 7.jpg

Another fun thing you can do is collaborate. Select the collection you want to share and click on the share button. Type in the email address of the person you want to share with. Select the level of power you want them to have and get working!

flow 8.jpg

So, you have your sources, they’re read and annotated. You need to put them in the right format for them to be properly cited. Just click the Bibliography button, and they appear.

Flow 9.jpg

You can copy/paste it into word, or you can download FLow for word and have it right in the word processor. Go to the tools button and pick the software appropriate for your computer. See these links for installing and using Flow for Word.

If you have any questions, just click the FAQ button or email


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