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Planning: 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 has selected EndNote as the university's standard reference management software for students and staff. Students and staff of Queen's University can download EndNote and install it on up to three devices

The EndNote installation files and guidance on how to install the software are available here: 

You can find more information about EndNote on the "EndNote" tab of this guide.

What are the alternatives to EndNote?

If you do not like working with EndNote, there are a number of other tools available. Popular alternatives include free services like Mendeley, Zotero and Qiqqa. You are welcome to use any alternative packages, but Queen's only supports EndNote. 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:

Please note:

You should always check with your supervisor or publisher that the referencing style you are using is the correct one. 

Back up your documents - especially before making significant changes (i.e. merging or changing formats). 

Always carefully proofread your work - imported data can contain errors. 

Your subject librarian will always try to help, but you are responsible for backing up, protecting and preserving your documents.