Skip to content

Toggle service links

Bibliographic management

Home Help and Support Bibliographic management

""

Using a tool to manage and create references can be helpful, particularly if you need to manage large number of references. Bibliographic management (also known as reference management) tools provide a way to collect and save details of the resources you have used in your work. They can then generate references, reference lists and bibliographies in a variety of referencing styles.

Selecting a tool to manage your references

There are a range of free and paid for tools available.  Many are web-based and free although please note free versions may have limitations, such as the amount of storage space.

  • There are websites allow you to instantly generate a single reference, often known as citation generators.
  • Word processing software may have plugins which allow you to generate references as you write.
  • Other tools provide extensions to your browser which help you easily collect references.
  • Several applications allow you to access them online and/or install them onto your device.

The Open University does not endorse a particular product but this Selecting a reference management tool activity will help you choose the right one for you. Wikipedia provide a page containing an extensive comparison of tools you may also find useful.

You can purchase EndNote at a discounted rate, using your OU email address.  Staff and postgraduate researchers using OU-managed devices can download EndNote via the Application Catalogue. For help with this contact the IT Helpdesk.

Support for reference management tools

The Library Research Support team provide a basic level of support for EndNote and Mendeley to postgraduate research students and research staff - they may be able to answer simple queries. Please Contact the OU Library Research Support team for more information.

The Library helpdesk does not provide support for these tools but links are provided below to help materials for some of the more popular tools.  If you are still struggling to find an answer to your question, please contact the supplier directly.

Tool Videos Further Support
Endnote Endnote YouTube EndNote technical support
Endnote Basic (Free)  Endnote Basic YouTube  
Mendeley (Free) Mendeley YouTube Mendeley Support Center
Papers Papers YouTube Papers Support Home
Zotero (Free) Zotero YouTube Zotero documentation and forums