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Referencing software: Home

Referencing software. Image: shutterstock_300116720Referencing Software

Referencing software or apps allow you to collect and organise citations and references from your literature search - and then insert them into your document formatted in whichever style you choose.

EndNote is fully supported in the University - but there are free alternatives that you can explore for yourself, including Mendeley, Zotero and BibTex.

Which one should I choose?

Any one of the tools will be helpful. Use the information in this guide to help you decide which one will be compatible with your work flow and flexible enough to meet your needs. Use the What is your workflow? checklist in the resources on the right to consider how best you like to work.
Also consider which of the tool others in your research group, discipline or field are already using. Will you need to share references with colleagues or collaborate with other researchers?
You can switch between the tools, it just becomes less convenient; the longer you use a tool and the more file attachments you collect.

Use the information in this guide to help you decide which one will be compatible with your work flow and flexible enough to meet your needs.

Caution!

 

Remember that no available style in a reference management tool will format every reference perfectly, especially if you use an in-browser tool to extract reference information from a webpage.

 

You may need to add, amend or remove elements of the reference, either manually within the reference management tool, or once your list is exported to Word. 

 

Always proofread your work before submission

This software is best suited to Undergraduate or Taught Post Graduate students or anyone wishing to syncronise with EndNote desktop to access references from anywhere.

Reasons to choose EndNote Online:

  • Endnote Online is a simplified version of EndNote that allows you to store and organise references, add PDFs, and insert citations and build a reference list in Word. 
  • A number of the referencing styles used by faculties or individual academic units at the University of Southampton are included in EndNote Online - further details are available on the software and styles section our EndNote LibGuide

Further information on EndNote Online:

Visit the EndNote Online section of our EndNote LibGuide for instructions on how to access EndNote Online and training resources.

This software is best suited to Post Graduate Research students or Staff.

Reasons to choose EndNote:

  • There are excellent support and training resources available for this software (see our EndNote LibGuide)
  • EndNote offers some advanced features that might be necessary for your thesis, discipline or workflow.
  • New referencing styles can be downloaded, created or customised. Library staff can advise you on this (contact the Library Deskside Training service)
  • EndNote has an integrated PDF viewer and can create citation records from importing a PDF file.
  • EndNote can handle article titles which include italicized binomial nomenclature terms e.g. Homo sapiens.

See the features comparison on the right for more information on Mendeley, Endnote and Zotero

How to access EndNote

Visit our EndNote LibGuide for the options for accessing EndNote

Further information

Visit our EndNote LibGuide for comprehensive user information 

The software is free (owned by Elsevier) and it has a strong website and community platform.

Reasons to choose Mendeley:

  • Mendeley has an integrated PDF viewer and can create citation records just from importing a PDF file.
  • Securely access Mendeley on any computer through the desktop client, web browser, or using your mobile app.
  • Your library is backed up in the cloud and always available to you.

See the features comparison on the right for more information on Mendeley, Endnote and Zotero

Further information

Although we do not offer any formal support for this software more information can be found from the links below.

Help guides and videos for both Desktop and Web versions of Mendeley available from the resources section of the website. 

Mendeley website

Create a free account at http://www.mendeley.com/

Overview of Mendeley

Watch this video for an introduction getting started with Mendeley

Note

The software does not support the option for citing in the form author (year) in documents, you can only cite in the form (author, year). To achieve this effect and workaround this issue in your text:

edit the citation and use the suppress author option so that only the year is showing
manually enter the author name before the citation year in the text

Zotero is free and open source and cannot be acquired by a company.

Reasons to choose Zotero:

  • Firefox is your preferred browser.
  • You gather citation records for non-PDF and PDF content.
  • The Zotero single-click capture works with databases, catalogues, and websites.
  • You want to be able to retrieve PDF metadata and create citation records just from dragging in a PDF.

See the features comparison on the right for more information on Mendeley, Endnote and Zotero

Further information

Although we do not offer any formal support for this software more information can be found from the links below.

The Zotero website includes help guides and videos. There is a Zotero users forum where you can post questions and receive online advice about using the tool and help with troubleshooting problems. Demonstrations of the basic functions of Zotero are available from the screencasts page

Overview of Zotero

Watch the video to have an overview of using Zotero.

Note

The software does not support the option for citing in the form author (year) in documents, you can only cite in the form (author, year). To achieve this effect and workaround this issue in your text:

  • edit the citation and suppress author so that only the year is showing
  • manually enter the author name before the citation year in the text

BibTeX is a tool for managing references so that they can be formatted using the LaTeX document preparation system. LaTeX is widely used in the physical sciences and engineering disciplines to format documents containing formulas, equations, etc.

  • Many of the key databases in this area can export directly in BibTeX format. In Web of Science / Inspec this works when searching databases individually, not in the default 'All Databases' option 

Further information

Although we do not offer any formal support for this software more information can be found from the links below.

Converting References from EndNote into BibTeX Format

You can convert references from your EndNote library into BibTeX format. This technique can also be used when a database does not support download in BibTeX format. In such cases, download the references to EndNote and then convert them into BibTeX.

  • Select the references in your EndNote library which you want to convert to BibTeX.
  • Go to the EndNote Style Manager, and select the style BibTeX Export.
  • Click on File and select Export.
  • When the dialog box opens, choose a name for your file and the location where you wish to save it. The file must be a text file (*.txt). In recent versions of EndNote, you must select the output style at the bottom of the Export File Name dialog box.
  • Open this file in a plain text editor (e.g. Notepad) to confirm that it is in BibTeX format. Close the file and change the name to BibTeX format, e.g. myrefs.bib

Importing BibTeX Files into an EndNote Library

In order to import from BibTeX into EndNote (ie if your word processor is LaTeX but you want to generate references in Word) you will need to use a filter file to enable the process. See the software and styles section of our EndNote guide where you can download the filter file if it is not already installed to your computer.

You can use the  button in DelphiS to format an item in a number of referencing formats including Harvard.

If you are doing your references manually this can save you time, though minor changes may be needed to meet your academic unit or discipline's style guide.

You can also use the button to export your references directly to your reference management software (EndNote etc.).

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Cite This For Me - end of free access

The RefMe referencing tool was replaced by Cite This For Me and ceased to exist from Tuesday 7 March 2017. As a temporary measure content from RefMe was automatically transferred to Cite This For Me and users are able to login and access their work for free until 1 August 2017.

After the end of the free period if you wish to continue using all the advanced features of Cite This For Me you will need to consider paying for a monthly premium account. From the 1 August 2017 on the free Cite This For Me guest account your bibliography (a group of references) will only last for 7 days. 

Want to move to a different reference management tool?

Use the information on this LibGuide to learn about several alternative tools which may suit your referencing needs for collecting and organising your references.

Unfortunately Cite This For Me does not allow you to export your references in a format that can be transferred easily in to other reference management tools. We suggest that you copy and paste text directly from Cite This For Me to your new tool.

 

Image used: shutterstock_300116720. Image edited and used by Southampton University library with permission.

 

Related resources:

What is your workflow?  by University of Southampton [PDF] - Use this checklist to consider how best you like to work, read and collect information for your research or assignments.

Features comparison EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero by University of Southampton [PDF]

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