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Citing, referencing and reference management: Reference management

Why use reference management software?

Reference management software (also called bibliographic management or citation management) can save 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.

Which reference management software should I use?

Queen's University subscribes to RefWorks as its standard reference management software for students, staff and alumni.

To open RefWorks, simply click the following link:

You can find more information about RefWorks on the next tab of this guide ("RefWorks").

If RefWorks does not work well for you, there are a number of other tools available. Popular alternatives include free services like Mendeley, Zotero and Qiqqa or paid-for products like EndNote. You are welcome to use any alternative packages, but at the moment RefWorks is the only reference management tool which is supported by Queen's. So, if you experience problems using other reference management software, your subject librarian probably won't be able to advise.

Not sure which reference management software is right for you?

You can find detailed comparisons on a number of websites, including:

While Queen's University does not have a university-wide subscription to EndNote, you can sign up to the free on-line version, EndNote Basic.