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Health and Social Care

What is Reference Management Software?

Reference management software allows you to collect, store and organise your references, and insert them into your documents quickly and easily. Once you have stored a reference, you can use it over and over again in your bibliographies. This can save you a lot of time, as you don't have to manually type a reference each time you cite a particular source.

There are many different reference management software packages available, and you should choose the one that works best for you.

Choosing your Reference Management Software

You may find it helpful to test different reference management software packages to see which one you prefer working with. A few things you might want to consider when choosing your reference manager are:

  • Accessibility: Is the software desktop- or web-based?
  • Referencing Styles: Is the citation/referencing style you need to use available in the software?
  • Cost: Is the software free (like Mendeley and Zotero), or is there a one-off or annual subscription fee to pay? 
  • Compatibility: Is the software compatible with your operating system and/or the word processing software you use?
  • Collaboration: If you're planning to share your references with colleagues, which software do they use?

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