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Managing your references: Home

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for researchers, staff and students at the University of Oxford seeking support in reference management. Use this guide to find information and guidance on reference management software supported by the Bodleian Libraries and tips on managing your references.

Provided at Oxford

Below are reference management software solutions provided at the University of Oxford through institutional subscriptions for free use by University members:

Workshops on reference management

Go to our iSkills workshops webpage to find any upcoming 'Referencing' workshops on:

  • Choosing and using software for referencing
  • Endnote
  • Mendeley
  • RefWorks
  • Zotero

Go to the Reference management workshop handouts page for presentation slides, handouts and webinar recordings from these workshops.

Go to our iSkills workshops page to find any upcoming 'iSkills for Medical Sciences and OUH Trust' workshops on:

  • Endnote X9
  • Mendeley

Go to the Medical Sciences Division and OUH staff workshop handouts page for handouts from these workshops

Study Skills at Oxford

The University provides a set of study skills guides. These include information about plagiarism and referencing, which can be used in conjunction with the reference management software solutions outlined on this guide to support your studies and research

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. We hope to resume running this workshop in Hilary Term 2021.  In the meantime, you can view the introductory presentation from the workshop below:

Please note, the video explains that the software EndNote needs to be purchased for use on personal computers. As of August 2019, EndNote can be downloaded and installed for free use on personal computers through the University's subscription (Single Sign On required):

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.

What is reference management software?

Reference management software, also known as citation management software, allows you to:

  • collect references
  • store references in a web account or on your desktop
  • organise references
  • add notes to your references
  • link to full text, web pages and documents
  • cite your references and create bibliographies

Some also have additional features such as:

  • sharing your references and collaboration tools
  • PDF annotation
  • social networking

Choosing your reference management software

For a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages and of the features of some of the most common reference managers, see the comparison table (link below).

For more detailed information about these reference managers, including sources of help and training, refer to their individual tabs in the ribbon at the top of this page. 

You may also find it helpful to try out different reference managers to see which one you prefer working with. Particular things you will want to consider when choosing your reference manager are:

  1. Accessibility - desktop, web-based or web browser extension
  2. Is the citation/reference style you need to use available?
  3. Is the software compatible with the word processor you use?
  4. If you want to share your references with colleagues, what do they use?

Problems? Contact us

If you're having an issue with a reference management tool, please email us. Give us as much information as you can, particularly:

  • Your department/faculty or subject area
  • The reference management tool or software you are using (RefWorks, EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero etc.)
  • The operating system of the machine you are using (Windows 10, macOS Big Sur etc.)
  • The browser you are using (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari etc.)
  • The word processor you are using (Word, Pages etc.)

Image of staff member

Importing References from SOLO

You can export references from SOLO into virtually any reference manager. SOLO offers dedicated export options for RefWorks and EndNote Online and you can also export an RIS formatted text file which is compatible with many different reference managers.

To use the RIS, EndNote Online or RefWorks export options -

1. Locate the full record in SOLO for the item you wish to export.

2. Under 'Export options' select the export option you wish to use (RefWorks, EndNote or RIS).