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Managing references

There are many ways that you can organise your references.

Some people use cards to record individual references and store these in a card index. Or you could just create a word document or excel spreadsheet with details of the references.

Alternatively, commercial Reference Management Software (RMS) packages are available, designed specifically to help you store and organise the references you find through your literature searches. At the University of Nottingham we subscribe to EndNote Desktop and EndNote Online (the web version).

Both EndNote packages enable you to import references directly from a wide range of bibliographic databases as you search, or you can add references manually.

They also interact with Microsoft Word, to help you create accurate and consistent citations and bibliographies in a specific referencing style, e.g. Harvard or Numeric. 

Using EndNote Desktop

You can access EndNote Desktop on any University of Nottingham PC and create your own personal library. However, EndNote Desktop is only available on campus, unless you choose to purchase the software for off campus use on your own device.

The EndNote Desktop guide will help you to set up and use your EndNote Desktop library.

Using EndNote Online

EndNote Online has been designed with undergraduate students in mind and you may find it useful to explore this product in more detail. It is a web-based version of EndNote Desktop and allows free off campus access.

To ensure the full functionality of EndNote Online you should create your account on campus through EndNote Desktop. You'll find details of how to do this, and how to use your EndNote Online account in the EndNote Online quick reference guide (pdf) and EndNote Online help pages. 

As soon as you are registered, you can access your EndNote Online account from wherever you are.

EndNote Online activity

Try importing some references from the Web of Science first of all. You’ll see an option at the top of the screen to Save to EndNote online once you’ve done your search.

Open source Reference Management Software (RMS) packages

Alternatively, you may want to explore an open source RMS package instead.  These are all freely available on the web and you can quickly and easily set up your own accounts. They include:

User guides are available on all packages to help you get started.

Managing references 
Managing references 

Quick links

Further reading

EndNote resources

More help with referencing

Reading and interpreting sources and data


People who can help

Talk to someone in your school or a specialist support service


Studying Effectively

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Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
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