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Newcastle University

University Library

Subject support guide

Your subject-specific guide to using library resources.

Library Search

Referencing

Referencing: Referencing software banner image

Simple referencing tools

Library Search cite feature

One of the simplest tools you can use to help keep track of the information you find and prepare a reference list, is to use the citation feature you find in search tools such as Library Search, Google Scholar and subject databases on the Proquest and EBSCO platforms. 

The feature will allow you to copy a formatted reference to use on your reference list or bibliography. You will have the option to format the reference in a number of common styles. However, always use these references with caution - you will often find inconsistencies with your chosen style, errors or missing details. The feature can only create the reference from the information available in the record, and this will result in some errors.

Screenshot of Library Search cite function

When using any reference management tool, be sure to allow yourself time to manually check the citations and references before you submit your work. 

Cite Them Right Online (also available in print) is designed to help students understand the importance of referencing accurately. It can be used to help cite and reference just about any source, in many of the styles you need. The Harvard at Newcastle style that is used across the University is based on the guidance in Cite Them Right. 

While Cite Them Right won't generate the reference for you, the website includes a you try feature on the source pages, which enables you to easily construct your own reference by replacing the example text with information relevant to your source:

Screenshot of Cite them Right showing where you can practice referencing

ZoteroBib is a simple referencing tool that helps you build a reference list without creating an account or installing any software. Paste in a website URL, book ISBN, article DOI, PMID or search by title, and you will be able to copy a formatted reference list to the clipboard to paste into your document. 

There are many free and simple referencing tools to choose from and you might also these tools useful:

Reference Management Software

There are many referencing tools you might hear about and each offers slightly different features but they all work in much the same way. Which one you use is up to you as you will need to judge your need based on the task you are completing, but we recommend you speak to your friends, colleagues and faculty to see what they would advise. Our reference management software quick guides will then help you set up an account and find help information. There are other tools and software available, so you may want to explore further if this selection is not right for you. To help you make your decision, start by taking a look at our reference management tools comparison table:

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.
Mendeley is a free web and desktop reference manager and academic social network that can help you to organise your research, collaborate with others online and discover the latest research. Mendeley is owned and developed by Elsevier (same company that owns and develops Scopus, ScienceDirect etc.)

If using the Harvard@Newcastle referencing style in your studies, we recommend that you find and use the referencing style: Cite Them Right 10th edition - Harvard (no "et al."). This is the closest to Harvard@Newcastle - as this style derives from the Harvard style in Cite them Right.

Zotero is a free, open source reference management tool that allows you to collect, cite, organise and share your bibliographic research data. It is run by an independent, non-profit making organisation and is web based.

If using the Harvard@Newcastle referencing style in your studies, we recommend that you find and use the referencing style: Cite Them Right 10th edition - Harvard (no "et al."). This is the closest to Harvard@Newcastle - as this style derives from the Harvard style in Cite them Right.

BibTeX is reference management tool which is widely used with documents created in LaTeX and is common in science, computing and engineering disciplines.