Your subject-specific guide to using library resources.
Keeping a record of the information you find so that you can use and reference it later is an important academic skill to master. If you’re writing an assignment or report, you’ll probably get away with manually recording your references. You can save them in a document, a note-taking app, or on Microsoft Word’s built-in Referencing tab – whatever works best for you.
However, if you’re planning to write a detailed essay, dissertation or thesis, you may want to consider dedicated reference management software instead. So what do referencing tools do? Read on to find out more…
Referencing tools allow you to build and maintain your own library of references. You can enter reference information manually or you can import them directly from your subject databases. You can even import a reference directly from Library Search and Google Scholar, which is a real time-saver.
Once you’ve saved a reference, you can attach a PDF copy of the cited resource for future use. If you don’t have a copy, your referencing tool can find and attach the full text for you – assuming it’s available and you have permission to access it. You can also attach websites, images and other media files if you wish, or attach your own personal notes about the reference and why it’s useful. You can then rely on these notes to help you avoid accidental plagiarism.
EndNote is a desktop and online application for storing and managing references. As well as finding and collecting reference data and full-text PDFs, it can help make your academic life a little easier by creating bibliographies and inserting citations into your documents as you write. It’s also supported by Newcastle University and is free to all staff and students.
Of course, your references aren’t much use locked up in your personal library – you need to get them out and into your text. This is where the magic happens; referencing tools let you “cite while you write”, inserting citations and building reference lists as you go. To do this, they use plug-ins for popular word-processing programs like Microsoft Word. And once a reference is inserted it will be kept up-to-date automatically as you edit your work. Simple!
Telephone: 0191 208 7662
This work is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).