Skip to main content

Biological Sciences: Reference Management

What is referencing?

When writing an assignment you will read books and articles etc. to help you develop your ideas and present your answers.  Each time you refer to or use someone else's ideas you must refer back to it, even if it is not a direct quotation - this is what referencing is all about.

For more detailed help on referencing and reference management see the  Reference Management libguide.

This includes information on some of the referencing software available. However it is always important to check with your lecturer or School about the referencing style they want you to use. 


Why does citing and referencing matter?

When writing a piece of work, it's essential to give accurate references to all the sources you have used, so that:

  • readers will be able to find the originals easily
  • the breadth of your research will be evident
  • you will avoid the serious academic offence of plagiarism

Why use reference management software?

Reference management (also called bibliographic management or citation management) software saves you a great deal of time and effort when you are writing a paper, dissertation or thesis.

It enables you to store the references you collect while searching the literature, and will automatically format the citations in a word processor document, and produce a list of references at the end of that document formatted in the style of your choice (e.g. Harvard, Vancouver).

There are lots of reference management software packages to choose from: some require a subscription and some are free - see below for more information.

Cite 2 Write - Harvard Reference Generator

Choose a type of source, enter the details into the boxes provided and then click the "Generate Reference" button to generate a correctly formatted Harvard reference:

E-Books on Using References