The Library

Research and PhD Support

Reference management: what is it?

It is important to reference your work accurately to acknowledge all the sources you have used. The Skills for Learning web pages provide detailed guidance on how to reference your work. The standard method of referencing used at Leeds Beckett University is the author-date or Harvard method, but check any guidance you are given as referencing practice varies across different subject disciplines. 

  • Quote Unquote Leeds Beckett Harvard Referencing style guide
  • OSCOLA Law referencing guide.
  • APA referencing style guide.

There are some excellent management tool for researchers; they can search and import references from databases, save PDFs, work with Word to insert citations and automatically generate bibliographies. With any research tool you will need to spend some time learning how to use the programme. You might have heard of Endnote and Mendeley; these are the two most common products. If you would like to compare Endnote with a slightly easier to use product you might like to compare Mendeley, which is also popular with our research community.

Before choosing a reference management tool, you should make sure you have a basic understanding of referencing. If in doubt remember to refer to Quote, Unquote

While Leeds Beckett University does not endorse any free products, there is support for the use of Endnote Online and Mendeley, and there are several free web-based tools you might prefer.

If you need help choosing a tool, or setting up a service, just contact your Academic Librarian.

Reference management software

Reference management software is a clever way to collect, organise and input your references into your assignments.

Below is a selection recommended by your Librarian, with details on which might be best for you. To discuss options contact your Librarian.

Mendeley and Endnote work on all platforms, on all devices, and save to the cloud, even backing up PDF's so you don’t have to worry about losing your memory stick with all your research. They collect resources via your browser, and they all have a plug-in for Word so you can instantly insert your references as you write. The Word Referencing tab is already built into Word so you don't need to install anything, but it won't save pdfs for you. Look at the table and see what you think. If you can't decide see your librarian who will be happy to help!

Software Best for Notes How to
Microsoft Word - Referencing feature Best for beginners – no technical knowledge required, this built in Word feature is so easy to use. It helps you to learn referencing features; for example it tells you what information you should include, and it makes a Bibliography for you! Using Word to write your assignment? When you need to reference something just click the Reference tab, Add Citation, fill in the form for the resource (book, website) and it sorts out the citation and bibliography for you.

You can’t save PDFs here so you will still need to be careful with your memory stick; it is very simple but it works well!

In Word – References tab, choose Style: Harvard

Watch this YouTube video: How to use Word for Referencing
Mendeley Best for anyone with a little bit of experience with referencing right through to PhD students. This product is free and easy to use. It saves PDFs automatically, works well with our Library databases, and integrates with Word.

Free, Online storage up to 2GB. Additional storage available.

Works on any device, any platform. You download the Desktop app which gives you the Word plug-in so you can write your assignment and cite anything in your Mendeley library using Cite-o-matic. Mendeley captures PDFs straight from the screen. In Word – Cite-o-matic tab choose Style: Harvard

Watch the YouTube video: Getting Started with Mendeley
Endnote PhD students. Complicated to use to begin with, but powerful enough to manage 100’s of references.

Endnote Web: Free online via Databases A-Z. Accessible everywhere.

Endnote Desktop: On all PCs on Campus, but you must pay for a home licence if you want to use the desktop version at home (approx.£70)

In Word - Endnote tab - choose Style: Harvard LeedsBeckett 2015 (this style is available to download below)

Watch this YouTube video for both: EndNote for Windows on the Desktop and Online: A Class Recording

Mendeley

Mendeley

Works on any device, on any platform. You need to download the Desktop app which gives you the Word plug-in, so you can write your assignment and cite anything in your Mendeley library. Mendeley captures PDFs straight from the screen. In Word – Cite-o-matic tab choose Style: Harvard. 

Endnote

Endnote

  • Endnote Web: Free online via Databases A-Z. Accessible everywhere. You will need to register (registration is free) and create a username and password for your account. 
  • Endnote Desktop: On all PCs on Campus, but you must pay for a home licence if you want to use the desktop version at home (approx.£70) If you want to purchase a home licence and synchronise your EndNote Online account see instructions here http://endnote.com/sites/en/files/m/pdf/en-online-qrc.pdf  
    • Word and Desktop in Endnote Online go to Downloads and choose the correct download option for 'Cite while you write'. Then in Format choose Bibliography and search for and select Harvard LeedsBeckett 2015. If you use your own copy of desktop you need to upload the file at the bottom of this box.​

For further support see:

Keeping up to date

This recorded session tells you how to automatically collect new journal articles and Tables of Content in your research area, and track updates and changes on professional blogs and websites.  

Academic Support Librarians