What is reference management software?

Reference management software (also known as citation management software, bibliographic management software) helps students to record, manage and add bibliographic citations (references) to their assignments.

It is important to reference your work accurately to acknowledge all the sources you have used. The Skills for Learning web pages provide detailed guidance on how to reference your work. The standard method of referencing used at Leeds Beckett University is the author-date or Harvard method, but check any guidance you are given as referencing practice varies across different subject disciplines. 

  • Quote Unquote Leeds Beckett Harvard Referencing style guide
  • OSCOLA Law referencing guide
  • APA referencing style guide

There are some excellent management tool for researchers; they can search and import references from databases, save PDFs, work with Word to insert citations and automatically generate bibliographies. With any research tool you will need to spend some time learning how to use the programme. You might have heard of Endnote and Mendeley; these are the two most common products. If you would like to compare Endnote with a slightly easier to use product you might like to compare Mendeley, which is also popular with our research community.

Before choosing a reference management tool, you should make sure you have a basic understanding of referencing. 

While Leeds Beckett University does not endorse any free products, there is support for the use of Endnote Web and Mendeley, and there are several free web-based tools you might prefer.

If you need help choosing a tool, or setting up a service, just contact your Academic Librarian.

 

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