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Getting started with reference management

Common features

  • Store references in a searchable database
  • Attach PDFs and other files 
  • Auto-generate citations and bibliographies/ reference lists in your document
  • Share collections of references with others
  • Sync your references across multiple devices

 

What doesn't it do?

A reference management program:

  • May not create a perfect bibliography or reference list according to your preferred style (or your supervisor’s or tutor’s) .
    • 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 know what reference type you are downloading.
    • For example they cannot always distinguish a conference proceeding from a book.
    • Also some information may be inserted in the wrong format requiring editing.