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Managing Your References

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.