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Health Economics


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Referencing guide for Economics

The Economics department uses the Harvard referencing style.

Click here to see the Harvard referencing style guide.

Reference management training session

We regularly run a Reference Management training session, which covers the key principles of all of the four areas of reference management and discusses the different applications supported at the University of York.

Below are the slides for the session, and a recording of a virtual run of the session. To support these materials, we recommend working through this practical guide and doing the suggested exercises on each page.

Full Reference Management slides on Google Slides

Reference management applications

The University of York supports three different reference management applications: EndNote, Zotero, and Paperpile. All of these can be used on University managed PCs and also installed on your own device (though some are limited to whilst you are at the University).

Each section below goes over the key points about the reference manager. See the box below on this page for links to how to obtain and install the applications.

EndNote logo Paperpile logo Zotero logo


EndNote is a reference manager that has two different versions: EndNote desktop (current version is EndNote 21) and EndNote Online.


EndNote 21 brought in new features to EndNote desktop, such as tags and Google Docs citation, and also a new version of EndNote online only available with an EndNote 21 licence. If you're using an older version, you might find differences to what is mentioned on this guide, though the basic functionality is the same.

EndNote has a full range of features for collecting and organising references, and plugins that allow you to cite EndNote references in MS Word and Google Docs. The desktop application allows for sophisticated searches and is useful for systematic reviews as you can customise fields and store a large number of references.

The online version of EndNote is a more limited version and isn't typically recommended to use on its own. However, it is a very useful way of creating a back up of your EndNote desktop library as you can 'sync' your desktop library with an EndNote online account and therefore have it backed up on EndNote's servers. It also means you can access your desktop library remotely from other devices. There is a newer version of EndNote Online that is only available with EndNote 21, which has more features, so you will need to check which version you are using if you haven't used EndNote 21 (but members of the University of York can get a copy of EndNote 21 via the IT Services webpages).

Key points:

  • Separate Desktop and Online versions, with the ability to sync the two to back up your library and access it on the go
  • Abiity to organise, customise, and search your reference library with advanced features and 'smart' sorting
  • Can have multiple reference libraries stored on your computer and accessed through EndNote
  • Can cite in MS Word and Google Docs
  • Can only use whilst at the university as EndNote desktop is not a free tool
  • The older online version lacks features


Paperpile is an online reference manager that works in the Chrome web browser and cites with Google Docs.

If you're trying to easily collect citations and full text PDFs from web pages or cite web pages themselves, then Paperpile is very useful. It stores all PDFs in Google Drive too, which makes them easy to find and access.

Previously, Paperpile could only cite in Google Docs, meaning you had to export to another reference manager to cite in MS Word. However, there is now a public beta for the Paperpile Word citation plugin so you can now cite in Word with your Paperpile library (note: as this a beta, features may change or be withdrawn).

The University of York pays for a licence for Paperpile so you can use it whilst at the University. When you leave, you can export your references into another reference management application if you want.

Key points:

  • Searches for and saves PDF as references are collected
  • Stores PDFs in Google Drive so plenty of storage
  • Cites with Google Docs (and Word in beta)
  • Only works in Chrome web browser
  • Has mobile apps to view and edit library on the go


Zotero is a free, open source reference manager that offers flexibility due to the fact it can cite in MS Word, Libre Office, and Google Docs.

Zotero is a good general reference manager that offers a range of features for collecting, organsing, and citing. If you're looking for something you can use when you leave the University and which is a free open source tool rather than being owned by a major publisher, then Zotero is a good option. It also works well with the OSCOLA referencing style, so if you use that it can often be the best reference manager to use.

Key points:

  • Free and open source so you can use beyond your time at the university
  • Has a browser extension for collecting references from web pages or web pages themselves
  • Can cite in MS Word, Google Docs, and Libre Office
  • Doesn't have built-in PDF annotation

Remember, you can export your references out of one reference management application and into another, if you change your mind, the features change, or you leave the University.