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Search Skills

Guides to search skills and using library research resources

Reference management software

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.

For a quick introduction, check out our introduction to reference management software video:

There are many different reference management software packages available, and you should choose the one that works best for you. You can get support for the following software (see bottom of this page for more detail):

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?

EndNote is installed on all computers in the IT labs on campus. EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero can be downloaded to your own computer.

Get help with reference management software

Support for EndNote is offered by IT Services. You can find information on what support is available on the ITS EndNote webpage.

  • ITS run regular training sessions for students on how to use EndNote to manage your references, which you can book onto via CareerHub.
  • You can find further learning resources on the EndNote Moodle page.

Support for Mendeley is offered by Library Services. We have a range of resources to help guide you through using reference management software, and you can always get in touch if you need any further help!

  • Our Mendeley webinar provides a video introduction to the software and how you can use it
  • Our interactive Mendeley tutorial takes you through all the steps to get set up with Mendeley, from setting up your free account to adding references to your Library and inserting them into your Word document
  • Alternatively, have a look at our self-guided worksheets to get started (below)
  • We provide training sessions and drop-ins on Mendeley - look out for these and book on via CareerHub
  • For individual support, you can book a 1-1 appointment with your Academic Liaison Librarian

Support for Zotero is offered by Library Services. You can always contact us if you need any help!

  • Check out our self-guided worksheet (below) for a step-by-step guide to get started with Zotero. This goes through setting up a free account, adding references to your own personal library, and inserting references into Word documents.
  • We provide training sessions and drop-ins on Zotero which you can book onto via CareerHub
  • For individual support, you can book a 1-to-1 appointment with your Academic Liaison Librarian