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Reference management

Reference ManagementOriginal photo: Studio Graphico EPICS (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Citations, references and their management

In the scientific community, legitimizing ideas, solidifying theories, and establishing claims as facts are all based on scientific work and scientific sources created by other researchers. Thus, it is of great importance to always create transparency by allowing others to retrace your steps and providing all sources used in your research. Therefore, we cite and create references. 

Every source that has been cited in the text should be mentioned in the list of references and every source mentioned in the list of references should be cited in the text. It is important to keep track of all the sources you have used in your research. Reference management software helps you manage your sources, citations, and references. These software also help you use or change different citation styles, e.g. APA, Chicago, MLA, Harvard, IEEE.

Reference management software

Reference management software allows you to collect, organize, and cite materials in your work and provides a useful way to keep track of your reading. The most common reference management software at the moment are, e.g., Mendeley, Zotero, RefWorks, EndNote

Advantages of using a reference management software:

  • keep track of your references
  • easier to cite and make a list of references
  • save time
  • better consistency and accuracy
  • can change citations or reference style with one click

So how does reference management software work? The software collects the bibliographic information of your choice from other sources and stores it for you. You can then manage your references, including organize them into folders and attach/view PDFs.

University of Vaasa supports the use of following free versions of reference management software: Mendeley, Zotero.

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