Academic Skills Blog - reference management software

from the Wolfson College Library

Let us shine a light on tips and tools to support your research process. This week: reference management software.

zotero and mendeley logos

In addition to focusing on library resources, we also want to highlight sets of research tools which will support you at different stages of your studies.

Referencing software is something that all students and researchers should at least consider using at the start of their course. If you are investing time in searching for references, reading books and articles, and taking notes then you need to devise a way of efficiently and effectively retrieving that information when you come to write up your essay, paper or thesis.

It is also essential that you keep a record so that you can give proper accreditation to any sources you use to build your written argument. Make sure that you read this guide on Avoiding Plagiarism.

There are lots of different tools but we support two free resources: Mendeley and Zotero.

Both of these let you:

  • Create and manage citations of books, articles, videos, web pages and more
  • Import citations from databases and webpages at the click of a button
  • Keep notes on everything you read
  • Extract metadata from imported PDFs and store them alongside the citation
  • Highlight and annotate papers, and share those notes with others
  • Organise your sources using groups, tags, and filters
  • Automatically generate citations and bibliographies in Word

They will save you lots of time in storing and finding information and, crucially, when you are writing so that you can focus on the content and not the formatting.

We have a tab on Managing References on the college LibGuide, including some videos to help you get started using Zotero and Mendeley by importing references, organising your 'library', and adding citations and a bibliography in Word. There are two software-specific LibGuides too that link to a host of videos and documents to help you get set up; one on Zotero and another on Mendeley.

If you'd like help getting set up with either one, then please get in touch for a one-to-one session, or attend the WolfWorks Plus workshops on Stress-free Referencing on Wednesday 23rd October or Wednesday 6th October both at 19:00 at the Chancellor's Centre,