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Placement Students: Referencing

Managing your References

Book iconWhen you are asked to write an assessment at University, your lecturer will expect that you cite your research within your writing and produce a reference list at the end of the piece of work.  You will quickly start consulting a number of different sources of information. It's important to manage your sources carefully from the start and know that you are referencing them correctly. This page offers some handy hints and advice on how to manage your references and citations.

Referencing sources from Library SmartSearch

  1. Find the item (e.g. book or article) you require in Library Search
  2. Click on the title to access the full record for your item
  3. Click the Cite button button on the right hand side of the screen
  4. Choose the most appropriate format for your task (check with the tutor marking your work if you're not sure)
  5. Check the reference thoroughly before copying and pasting it into your document

Alternatively, use the Export button button to export your reference directly to your reference management software.

Reference Management Software

Thomson Reuters Endnote icon

Aston University subscribes to this commercial reference management software package. 

It is used to manage bibliographies and references when writing dissertations and articles

  1. The desktop version of EndNote should be installed on all Aston University PCs - if it's not available on the one you use, contact the IT helpdesk
  2. Through an extension of the university license both staff and students are permitted for personal use of Endnote during employment at the university or while studying at the university. This is compatible with both Mac and Windows. You can request the EndNote software to install on your device via Digital Services.   For any queries please contact the IT helpdesk.
  3. There is also a web-based version of EndNote (registration required - free to Aston staff and students), which may be useful if you wish to access your EndNote Library from a number of different computers.


Watch this video for more guidance:

Consult the  EndNote X7 - The Little EndNote How-To Book

Alternatively, catch up on Aston University's Research Bites series, where you can learn how to "Cite it! Sort it! EndNote it!"

Cite this for me icon

Cite This For Me is a tool designed to help students prepare their whole bibliography or reference list quickly and easily. APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, Vancouver, plus thousands of other referencing styles are all supported. With a simple, sophisticated design, Cite This For Me can assist students of all ages and education levels.  

Please note: The free version requires you to export your Bibliography before closing the software otherwise you will lose it.

CiteThisForMe is now a Chegg product. 

Colwiz icon

Colwiz is free reference management software that grown out of Oxford University.

  • Search and import references
  • 30GB of cloud storage
  • Read and access from multiple devices
  • Cite and generate bibliographies
  • Share and collaborate

Mendeley icon

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research:

  • Automatically generate bibliographies
  • Collaborate easily with other researchers online
  • Easily import papers from other research software
  • Find relevant papers based on what you're reading
  • Access your papers from anywhere online
  • Read papers on the go, with our iOS and Android apps

Mendeley video tutorial still

Zotero icon

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. 

Take a look at what you can do with Zotero:

  1. Create and manage citations of books, articles, videos, etc.
  2. Import citations from databases.
  3. Add searchable notes and tags to citations; attach pdf's if desired
  4. Quickly create a bibliography in multiple formats (MLA, Chicago, APA...)
  5. Automatically manage in-text citations in Microsoft Word or LibreOffice/OpenOffice
  6. Easily share references with others

Referencing sources from Library Search

1. Find the item (e.g. book or article) you require in Library Search.

2. Click on the 'cite' button to the right of the title.


3. Select the citation style required for the assignment e.g. Harvard and copy the citation into your work. 


Alternatively, if you are using a citation management software such as EndNote, you can export it by selecting an option to the left.

Learning Development Centre

Referencing is the practice of acknowledging and describing other pieces of work that you have read or used whilst completing your own work.

Find out more at the Learning Development Centre (LDC).

Cite Them Right Online

Cite them right online icon and link

Your guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism

Cite Them Right Online is an interactive eBook that will help you reference a wide range of sources, including: books, films, journals, web resources, images, tweets, and much, much more in a variety of referncing styles.

The site's interactivity means that you can find the information that you need quickly and easily. You'll wonder how you ever survived without it!

Useful books on referencing

Accessing full-text content from reference management tools

If the reference management tool you use allows you to access full-text content, you will need to input authentication information in your settings in order to use this feature off-campus:

This authentication URL should work with most of our subscribed resources, but if you find that you encounter an error, please try the OpenURL route from the reference management tool, or check that we have access to the content you need using Library Search.

Please note that EndNote is not currently compatible with either our Authentication system or our OpenURL link resolver.