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Reference management

Keeping track of your searches

Some databases will let you save your searches for future reference. You may need to create an account with the database provider to do this. It may even be possible to set up alerts and receive a notification when new items are added which match your search.

If you can't save your searches in this way, you should still try to keep some record of your searches should you need to recreate them.

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Reference management software

Managing what you find can be difficult, especially if you're working on a big piece of work that relies on a lot of references. Reference management software lets you keep track of what you've found: you can group and organise your references, keep notes, and store pdfs online for easy access. You can even automatically cite your references as you write up your work. Use the tabs below to find out more.

Collect Manage Cite
Search results Managing citations Citing from a reference manager

Bibliographic data from your search results is passed to the reference manager, either by downloading it to your computer and then uploading it to the program, or by a 'direct' transfer within your browser.

Once you've collected some references, you can use the program to manage and organise what you've found, attach PDFs, and share references with colleagues.

You can also cite the references in your chosen citation style, either to copy and paste, or by directly connecting to the reference management program from a word processing application.

Paperpile is an online reference management program which uses a Chrome extension to quickly collect references and store pdfs. It has lots of options for managing what you've found, and works directly with Google Drive and Google Docs.

EndNote Online (free to use on any internet connection) and EndNote Desktop (available on University computers) work with Microsoft Word. They both fully support the University referencing styles.

While the University supports EndNote and Paperpile, you may find another program more to your liking. EndNote's Cite While You Write Microsoft Word plugin is currently the only tool for inserting citations into a Word document that fully supports the University referencing styles. You may therefore want to transfer your reference library to EndNote for the writing-up stage at least.


Referencing styles

In academic writing it is important to support your arguments with appropriate references.

You should familiarise yourself with your department's chosen referencing style.
The University uses the following styles:

EndNote Online

EndNote Online has styles for the University of York versions of Chicago, Harvard (including the Archaeology and Environment versions), MLA and Vancouver, plus trial versions of IEEE and Oscola, along with an Annotated Notes style for creating annotated reading lists. These styles are prefixed UoY

If you can't see the styles in EndNote Online, see the advice on our Obtaining the software page.

Always check your outputted references against the referencing guidance.

EndNote Desktop

The UoY Harvard styles, UoY Chicago and UoY Annotated Notes are available for EndNote Desktop in the zip package below. Be sure to always check the output against the referencing guidance.

Paperpile, Mendeley and others

We've produced a UoY Harvard style for Paperpile, Mendeley, and other reference management programs. Please be aware that this is a test reslease and may not be correct in all cases. Always check against the referencing guidance.