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Information Searching Guide: Reference management

Use this guide to study the principles of scientific information searching: narrowing down a topic, choosing the right search terms and information sources and evaluating the search results. Mastering these valuable skills will prove useful in your studie

What is reference management software for?

With reference management software you can easily collect and manage the references of the sources you use in your research work. Programs allow you to classify and file references, for example. It is also possible to save documents along the references.

Most publishers and vendors provide the possibility to move references directly from the database to the reference manager. Methods vary between both databases and programs.

With reference management software you can modify saved references into citations or source references for your own work. The most popular reference management software (for example Mendeley) offer Microsoft Office Word plug-ins that you can use to create references directly in Word documents.

Reference management software also offer functions that promote co-operation and networking. In Mendeley you can easily share reference information with others, for example.

There are many different reference managers*. Popular software include:

  • Mendeley, Zotero, CiteULike, JabRef (free)
  • EndNote, Citavi, ProCite, RefManager (subject to a charge)

Some programs have free versions and versions that are subject to a charge.


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