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Education: research guide: Managing your references

Referencing in the Department of Education

It is important when referencing within your academic work to:

  • be consistent, use the same style throughout
  • be clear if you are using or referring to someone else's idea, theory or words, i.e. 'intellectual property'
  • ensure you have included enough information to enable you readers to track down what you have read

There are a number of referencing styles. Academic writing in the field of Education tends to use an author-date style such as Harvard or APA. There are many versions of Harvard which all vary slightly in terms of layout and punctuation.

If you are unsure how APA or author-date citations should look, take a look at our guide below.

Software for referencing in the Department of Education

There is software available that can help you keep track of your references. The Bodleian Education Library particularly supports Mendeley so many students chose to use this tool. To explore other software, see the Bodleian Libraries comparison guide.

If you are using the Mendeley reference manager the default style is APA and this is acceptable for use in your assignments here in the Department of Education.

This means you can use Mendeley to automatically insert citations into your assignments and to help you create your reference list.

What is reference management software?

Our Bodleian iSkills workshop Referencing: choosing and using software introduces the main features of reference management tools and considers the issues to think about when choosing software. View the introductory presentation from the workshop below and book a place at our next workshop to try out four different software tools for yourself.

Link to video tutorial on choosing and using reference management software

Prefer text?  The information in the video is summarized in the text boxes below

How does it work?

Mendely is a freely available reference manager and academic social network with web-based, desktop and mobile versions. You can sync your library between these different versions and across different computers.

With a free account you get 2GB of web space and can create 1 private groups with up to 3 users. You can upgrade to a premium plan if you need more space or groups.

Registration / log in page

Download Mendeley desktop

Collecting references

Mendeley Blog: 7 ways to add documents to Mendeley

Direct Export

  • Some online databases



  • Bibliographic data from:
    • Online databases
    • Google Scholar
    • SOLO
    • Online PDFs
    • Other library catalogues (e.g. British Library)
  • Webpage snapshots


Offline PDF of full text

  • drag and drop PDF into Mendeley desktop
  • import details from all PDF documents in a folder
  • create a watch folder - a record will be created for any full text PDF added to the folder


Indirect Export

From online databases and other reference management software

Import files saved as XML, BibTex or RIS.

Mendeley Papers


Sync with Zotero or Citeulike

Need help with Mendeley?

Oxford Courses

Online Help