This is a practical guide to help you get started using reference management software (also known as bibliographic management software). You will find information on these pages detailing the main features of reference management software and specific details on how to use EndNote, Mendeley and Paperpile.
Under Collect you'll find how to gather references in a reference manager from databases, library catalogues, and elsewhere. The Organise page gives information on sorting your references within the application, putting them into groups and checking for duplicates. In Cite there is guidance on how to use reference management software with text processors to cite your references when writing. And finally, Share explains how to collaborate on libraries of references or share certain references with others.
Using reference management software can save you many hours of compiling, checking, and correcting your references, and improves consistency and accuracy.
Reference management software allows you to:
In short, reference management software collects bibliographic information from other sources and stores it as part of a library shown in the software. You can then use the program to manage these references, including organising them into folders and attaching/viewing PDFs. These references can then be cited in written work, whether through a plugin that works directly from the reference management program to a text processing application or through a copy and pasting method. References and libraries can also be shared with others for collaborative working.
Find videos, interactive tutorials, workbooks and links to specific help for developing your digital and information searching skills:
The University of York supports three reference management applications.
Click the headers below to learn more and to get started with each:
Great for collecting citation information and associated PDFs, and for managing what you've found. Citing works with Google Docs rather than MS Word.
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.
To start using Paperpile, take a look at the following links:
Other useful documents:
A good all-rounder that's especially good if you want to make notes directly onto your PDFs. Citing works with MS Word and Libre Office.
Mendeley consists of two components: Mendeley Web and Mendeley Desktop. The former is used to collect references, and the latter is used for advanced management options and for citing. Both are free to use, and Mendeley Desktop is available on all University managed computers.
To start using Mendeley, take a look at the following links:
Other useful documents:
Sophisticated search options for your reference library make this program great for high-end reference management, but if you want to use it on your own computer you'll have to pay (or make do with the online component). Cites with MS Word.
EndNote comes in two versions: EndNote Desktop (available on University computers), and EndNote Online (free to use on any internet connection).
To start using EndNote, take a look at the following links:
Other useful documents:
While the University supports Paperpile, Mendeley and EndNote, there is no obligation to use any of them, although we may not be able to support you if you're using a different program and need help. You may find another program more to your liking (or you may prefer not to use any program at all).
Mendeley's Cite-O-Matic plugin and EndNote's Cite While You Write plugin are the only two plugins available for use with Microsoft Word on University computers, so if you need to use a University machine you may therefore want to transfer your library to Mendeley or EndNote for the writing-up stage at least.
We run a number of digital skills training sessions each term. Our digital skills training sessions are open to all members of the University.
To book onto a session, follow its link below (you'll need to log in to the booking system). If a session you're interested in is full, sign up onto the waiting list - if we have enough interest in a session we may repeat it. You'll also find copies of our slides throughout the Skills Guides.
Note - What with one thing and another, the following sessions will no-longer be taking part in the advertised locations. We're leaving booking open for now pending decisions on alternate methods of delivery.
See the full list of Academic, Library & IT Support events.
We also run a number of specialised training sessions for staff and research postgraduates: