Tag Archives: reference management

Reference Management Software for PGRs

Following on from the post on academic networks for PGRs, as part of this year’s PGR Induction, we held a short informal session (over tea, coffee and muffins) for part-time and distance PGRs. There were a couple of topics that came up as some students being interested in where they could get further information. One of these was reference management software… tools to help your inquisitive, but weary mind deal with the more mundane and tedious task of collecting and writing reference lists and bibliographies in whichever referencing style you are using.

A few suggestions below which you could explore:-

What Reference Management Software can do for you?

Whilst there are many different applications out there, they all offer similar functionality. In general, they allow you to:

  • Save bibliographic information (title, author, publisher, date etc.) of those sources you find via Google Scholar or academic databases into your account.
  • Organise saved references into folders, or attach files or notes for future retrieval.
  • Integration with word or other word processing packages to allow you to import in-text references and footnotes, and generate reference lists and bibliographies at the touch of a button.
  • Automatically format references to meet thousands of different referencing styles (eg APA 6th, MLA)


Endnote & Endnote Web


Endnote has been deployed to all NPCS machines across Durham University (access it from the Start menu via Programs >Bibliographic Software > Endnote > Endnote Program )… but if you’re not based at Durham University you can:

  1. purchase a discounted student licence from Endnote distributors by providing details of your student status (cost c.£80)
  2. Use the simplified version, Endnote Web, available via our library subscription to Web of Science.
    (Note: You’ll need to log in with your CIS username and password, and then upon accessing Endnote We, register a personal account with Web of Science)

We run sessions at Durham throughout the year, and as part of the Durham Part-time PGR summer-school in June, but you can also access and download an introductory and advanced guide to Endnote form the Durham CIS guides page.

If you need help, you can contact the CIS helpdesk, and frequently asked questions are often addressed via the Endnote@Durham blog maintained by Dr David Heading.



Zotero is freely available and user-friendly. Durham University also support Zotero with access to the desktop version via all  NPCS machines on campus, but you can also download a free version for use on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.

If you can’t attend face-to-face training during the year, there is comprehensive online documentation and support available from the Zotero site.



Mendeley is a free reference management software platform, and an academic social network, now owned by the international publishing organisation Elsevier.

Whilst no training or direct support is offered by Durham University, you can download a desktop version of Medneley for Windows, Mac or Linux, or download an app for iPhone or iPad from the iTunes App Store.

Other applications

All three of the above applications are used by Durham staff and students, so ask colleagues what they are using and how they find it (and if they aren’t using them, ask them why not!)

There are other free and subscription services out there, including RefworksRefMan and REFme, so search around and let us know if you use anything else you would like to recommend.