Managing your References


refworks1 is a web-based (can access from any computer with internet) online research management, writing and collaboration tool. It is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. With RefWorks you can:

  • create your own database of references;
  • import references from textfiles, and RSS feeds
  • export references from article databases and from the Web;
  • share research with others; and
  • generate citations and bibliographies as you write.

Note that while your RefWorks account can be accessed from anywhere, the Write ‘n Cite plugin has to be loaded on all your devices. The plugin is designed to correctly format in text references and to generate a bibliography as your writing progresses.


Learn RefWorks in 20 minutes

RefWorks on YouTube

RefWorks Powerpoint Presentation

RefWorks: Troubleshooting Write-N-Cite 4


is a free reference manager tool that enables you to manage citations and PDFs using a desktop client or through your account on It offers basic functionality and storage of up to one gigabyte (1 G) of data for free. You may upgrade to a paid subscription if you require additional functionalities or more storage space. Mendeley is compatible with MSWord, OpenOffice, and BibTex.

This reference management tool offers social networking opportunities. You can search the references that other people have collected, set up or join groups to work together and more. You will need to download the Mendeley Desktop to use when writing papers, and if you log into the web version you can add citations and papers to your personally created library from anywhere, using any web browser.

Note that you must always synchronise your Mendeley Desktop with the web.


Mendeley Quick Reference Guide


is a commercial reference management software package, used to manage bibliographies and references when writing essays and articles.

EndNote is a software program that works with Microsoft Word to automatically format in-text citations and end- of - paper reference lists with your chosen style (APA, MLA, Havard, etc.). EndNote can also be used as a personal database together and store citation records from different information sources. In addition, EndNote allows you to run searches via direct connection to a database.

By storing citations in an EndNote library rather than a Word document or Excel file, you can:

  • Automatically insert well-formatted citations into your paper
  • Automatically reformat citation style in one click
  • Tag citations with your own keywords
  • Search live within your EndNote library
  • Sort your library by author, title, or date.


EndNote YouTube Video

Reference Management Software Comparison

One of the key challenges of managing your references is keeping track of them all in an orderly way. Reference management software can be used for recording and utilising bibliographic citations or references.

Referencing software will help you manage your references, but many products also offer the facility to format citations in your document as you are writing. It is helpful to evaluate reference management tools such as RefWorks and Mendeley and Endnote which automatically generate bibliographies.

This comparative chart was adapted by UCT Libraries on 12 May 2014 from a Georgetown University file.


You may also wish to view the YouTube videos below:


Other useful tools

Google Docs

Google Docs is a free Web-based application in which documents and spreadsheets can be created, edited, stored online, import, and update documents and spreadsheets in various fonts and file formats, combining text with formulas, lists, tables and images. Google Docs is compatible with most presentation software and word processors. Work can be published as a Web page or as a print-ready manuscript. Users can control who sees their work. Google Docs is ideal for publishing within an enterprise, maintaining blog s or composing work for viewing by the general public. Google Docs lends itself to collaborative projects in which multiple authors work together in real time from geographically diverse locations. Visit the Google Docs Help Centre to get started


is cloud storage service that enables users to store files on remote cloud servers and the ability to share files within a synchronized format.

Dropbox provides an online storage solution powered by cloud computing service model of infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Dropbox users are provided by an online storage space hosted on Dropbox accessible anywhere via the Internet. The storage space provides storage for virtually any kind of fie type from documents, images, videos etc. Watch the videos Everything you need to know about Dropbox and My 5 favourite features about Dropbox or visit the Dropbox Help Centre to learn more about this product.


is a suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving. A "note" can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and exported as part of a notebook. Evernote supports a number of operating system platforms, and also offers online synchronization and backup services.