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HSC Pharmacy: Managing your references

Reference Management Tools

The easiest way to manage references is to use a reference management tool that will automatically format citations and bibliographies for you. 

  • Refworks is one such tool that graduates of Queen's University can use under the Refworks Alumni Program (see below for further information). 
  • Even if you are not a graduate of Queen's there are various free reference management tools available (see below for further information).

Why is referencing important?

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

There are many different referencing styles to choose from, but 2 major styles are Harvard (or Author-Date System) and Vancouver (or Numeric System). These styles are outlined below.

Books on managing references

RefWorks Alumni Program

If you are a graduate Queen's, you can continue to access RefWorks through the RefWorks Alumni Progam.

If you already have a RefWorks account at the time of your graduation, you will be able to transfer your references and folders into an Alumni Account when you leave the University.

If you haven't had a RefWorks account while at Queen's, you can still create one under the Alumni Program.

All you need to do is email:

The RefWorks Support Team will then send you details of how to set up an Alumni Account and to obtain the Group Code you will need to access it.

Free reference management packages

Various free reference management software packages are available:-


Vancouver (Numeric System)

In Vancouver, numerals are used in the text (usually in parentheses) to refer to cited documents:

Adhesion to dentin is often promoted by acid pre-treatment [1]. The maintenance of conformation is important for facilitating the penetration of bonding materials [2].

References are listed at the end of the text in numerical order:

  1. D.H. Pashley, B. Ciucchi, H. Sano and J.A. Horner, Permeability of dentin to adhesive agents. Quint Int 24 (1993), pp. 618 - 631.
  2. N. Nakabayashi, Dentin bonding mechanisms. Quint Int 22 (1991), pp. 73 - 74.

Harvard (Author-Date System)

In Harvard, the originator's name and year of publication of the cited document are given after each citation:

Predictability has been defined as the knowledge the person has about when and under what circumstances an event will occur (Miller, 1981).

References are arranged at the end of the text in alphabetical order, and also by year and letter if necessary:

MILLER, S.M. (1981) Predictability and human stress: toward a clarification of evidency and theory. In: L. Berkowitz ed., Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 14, Academic Press, New York, pp.203-255.