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Managing Your References

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Reference Management Software

Bibliographic software allows you to collect, record, organise, store, search for and retrieve references, generate citations and bibliographies, and (depending on the software) post your database/s live on the web.

What can a reference manager do for me?

Common features of reference management software:

  • Stores references in a searchable database
  • Allow attachment of PDFs and other files 
  • Auto-generates citations and bibliographies/ reference lists in your document in many different styles
  • Allows sharing of collections of references with others
  • Syncs your references across multiple devices

What doesn't it do?

  • May not create a perfect bibliography or reference list according to your preferred style .
    • You still need to be familiar with the referencing style to be used.
    • Refer to Style Manuals.
    • In some programs it is possible to adjust or edit output styles.
  • Will not correct typos or errors or omissions from references manually entered or downloaded from databases.
    • You will always need to proof-read references for accuracy: punctuation, capitalisation, spelling.
  • When downloading references from databases the program may not always recognise the  reference type
    • May not distinguish a conference proceeding from a book.
    • Some information may be inserted in the wrong fields and require editing.