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Referencing: Online Support Guide

Highlighting referencing styles and software

When submitting academic work for assessment, it is important to provide full details of all of the sources you consulted.

The use of proper citation and referencing within your work will:

  • help you to avoid plagiarism
  • enable your readers to follow your line of research and locate the sources that you've used
  • distinguish your ideas from those of others
  • acknowledge the work of others
  • demonstrate the scope of your reading

See below for more guidance on:

Always check your module handbook for specific departmental guidance on the style required for your assessed works and dissertations.  Check with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor if you need clarification.

Referencing Styles

A range of referencing styles are used within the University, so ensure you check your subject handbook for the preferred style for your College/subject.Once you have established which style you should be using, it is important to be consistent in its application.

The major styles are highlighted here, with links to online support, plus specific guidance on audiovisual citations, compiled by BUFVC for referencing moving image and sound.

Recommended support materials

The Academic Skills support materials within ELE provide great support on the learning skills that are required for success as a student at the University. Most useful in this context are:

APA citation style refers to the rules and conventions used by the American Psychological Association for documenting sources used in a research paper. APA style requires both in-text citations and a reference list. 

The APA frequently asked questions webpage provides guidance on using the APA referencing style.

The APA Publication manual, which outlines the referencing style, along with information on writing and style can be used to support your referencing. You may also find the APA Style Examples from Monash University helpful.

BSI is the UK National Standards body. A range of BSI standards and supporting material relating to referencing are available including:

  • BS 5605:1990 Recommendations for citing and referencing published material
  • BS ISO 690:2010 Information and documentation. Guidelines for bibliographic references and citations to information resources.
  • BS ISO 690-2:1997 Information and documentation. Bibliographic references. Electronic documents or parts thereof 
  • BS 6371: 1983 Recommendations for citation of unpublished documents. 

You have online access via:

The Chicago Manual of Style Online : quick guide to the Chicago style with worked examples

Chicago - Guide to Referencing: a comprehensive guide from UWE, Bristol on the application of the Chicago style to a range of sources.

You can also use the 'manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations : Chicago Style for students and researchers' to help you with your referencing. Copies are available in the Forum Library and and on the Penryn campus Library.

Guide to Citation in the Harvard Style: a guide from Bournemouth University.

Harvard - Guide to Referencing: a comprehensive guide from UWE, Bristol on how to create citations and bibliographic references using the Harvard referencing system. It also provides examples of paraphrasing and using quotations.

Harvard System of Referencing Guide: a detailed guide written by library staff at Anglia Ruskin University.

References: Harvard Style: a comprehensive guide from Leeds University on how to set out references within your work using the Harvard refencing system.

MHRA Style Guide: available as a download, this standard textbook outlines everything to do with the MHRA referencing style.

MLA - Guide to Referencing: a comprehensive guide from UWE, Bristol on the application of the MLA style to a range of sources.

Vancouver style examples from Monash University.

Vancouver referencing guide from Imperial College London

Take a look at the citing legal sources guide for referencing support in their subject of law.

Use the OSCOLA 4th Edition style guide for general guidance, or to support you in referencing specific types of information in this style.

New media like YouTube, podcasts and vidcasts have led to the development of separate rules for citing moving image and sound sources. See the British Universities Film & Video Council’s guidelines for examples.

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Referencing Software

There are various referencing software packages available to help you keep track of the resources you have used. Online support is available to help you make the most of the packages.  

For comparisons of these and other software, please see the Researcher Briefing: Reference Management paper, produced by the University's CASCADE Project. Wikipedia also has an up to date comparison page.

Choose the tool that is right for you, but remember that although these tools can help you manage your citations and build your bibliography, you must always check the accuracy of the automatically generated references.  They are useful tools but not infallible.

It is important that you develop your understanding of the referencing style used in your discipline as this will enable you to make a quality control check and satisfy yourself that the generated references meet the guidelines you must adhere to.  Some of the tools rely on 'scraping' data from webpages to produce references so there is room for errors and inaccuracies to be pulled in to your reference library.  Familiarise yourself with the requirements for the relevant referencing standard and then always check all references for accuracy.

EndNote is a software package that enables you to compile and manage your references, and to use them to automatically create in-text citations and bibliographies as you work on your Word documents.

There are a number of different versions of Endnote

  • Endnote X7 desktop and online - the fully featured version
  • Endnote Online Premium - a premium online version available to all academic users with access to the Web of Science
  • Endnote Basic - a free basic account accessible to all.

 Use the comparison chart below to help you choose the version that best suits your needs. 

‚ÄčEndNote desktop includes thousands of referencing styles, including all the major referencing systems such as Harvard and MLA, and the preferred styles for the leading academic journals. It is therefore very easy to create citations and bibliographies in the correct style for your purposes. EndNote desktop is installed on the public cluster PCs across our campuses. It is covered by the University’s EndNote Site Licence, which allows installation of the software on any University-owned PC at no further charge per copy. Students may purchase personal copies of EndNote at a discounted rate by logging into IT Services list of Frequently used software and following the instructions online.

Easy to follow instructions are available to help you set up an Endnote X7, Premium or Basic online account.

Training and Help

Comprehensive online help and training is available from Endnote, including videos, getting started guides, comprehensive user guides and more.

You can also use the online training calendar to book on to forthcoming courses or contact which are offered online by Endnote training experts, and contact Endnote support direct with any technical support issues.



Finding Full Text 

EndNote can attempt to locate full text files from these sources on the Web (works best on campus).  If found, EndNote downloads and attaches the files to the references.

This will save you some time but be aware that it will find some but not all full text that you are entitled to. You should use LibrarySearch to check whether you have access to a particular book or journal titles, if Endnote is unable to retrieve full text for you.

You should check the Full Text settings and add the information below.

Select Edit > Preferences > Find Full Text and then add the following information as shown in the Preferences box below.  The full OpenURL path is listed here for copying and pasting in:

OpenURL path


If you are on campus, you can then select references and choose the Find Full Text option.  Either select records and then right click and choose Find Full Text, or highlight records and choose References > Find Full Text > Find Full Text

Off campus

For this function to work effectively off campus, you need to use VPN.  If you are a registered user of the University IT facilities, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection will allow you to access the University network from home or from any other location with an internet connection. 

Follow the online guidance in order to set up VPN access.

You must ensure you connect via VPN before asking Endnote to Find Full text.


Mendeley - is both a free reference manager and an academic social network designed to help researchers find and work with collaborators. Although you do have to download the program, it is free and web-based. This means you are not restricted to working on any single computer and have access to your data from anywhere in the world as it is stored remotely. Although you can link to any of the usual sources for your bibliographic data, the program extracts metadata from any documents you download and allows you to search the full text of PDFs you have collected. Mendeley sits as an icon on your desktop. There is a Mendeley Quick Start Guide available.

Reference Manager is produced by Thomson Reuters, just like Endnote.  It is a powerful bibliographic solution for workgroups, networks and collaborative projects. But now that EndNote offers library sharing for up to 14 people Thomson Reuters recommend moving to Endnote in order to gain all the benefits of sharing plus many additional features.

comparison of Endnote and Reference Manager is available to illustrate the overlaps and unique features of both services.

Reference Manager is covered by the University’s Reference Manager Site Licence, which allows installation on any University-owned PC at no further charge per copy. Academic Services covers the cost of this licence centrally. Installation is not permitted on personally owned PCs. However, students can purchase a copy to install on their personal PC.

To find out more, please contact the IT Helpdesk via SID.  A support call will be logged for you and your enquiry will be assigned to an appropriate advisor.

Online training materials are available from Thomson Reuters including Getting started guides and online tutorials and webinars.

You can also use their Support site to ask for technical help, check out FAQs or search their Knowledgebase.

Some researchers have created alternatives to the commercial packages, many of which are free:

Zotero is designed specifically to work with the Mozilla Firefox browser. This guide to using Zotero was originally created for a British Library course.

Citeulike is a web based tool which helps researchers gather, collect and share research papers. When you register you will be asked if you want to link with your Facebook account. A useful feature associated with this service is current issues, which allows you to browse the tables of contents of over 13,000 journal titles.

Papers -  (Mentekosj) was developed by two PhD researchers as a Mac-based tool using a similar approach to iTunes, the music provider. Versions of Papers are also available from the iTunes App Store for use with iPads and iPhones and a PC client is also now available. You can trial this software for free for 30 days, but you do need to pay to use it after that.

RefBase - (Web Reference Database) is an online research management tool that allows users to create personal bibliographic databases and use them for a variety of research activities. References are quickly and easily imported from text files or online databases and records can be formatted in hundreds of output styles from APA, MLA, Chicago etc.

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Using Microsoft Word to add citations and create a bibliography

Microsoft Word (2007 and above) provides a simple referencing tool for citing and creating bibliographies. This can be found in the 'Citations & Bibliography' group on the References tab in Word.

You can manually add the details of the books or articles you want to cite and Word will automatically format them into a referencing style of your choice. There are a limited number of referencing styles available, but they do include APA, Chicago, MLA and Harvard. 

The Microsoft Word referencing tool is useful if you only have a limited number of resources. If you are dealing with a large amount of references (for example if you are a postgraduate researcher or member of staff) you may want to consider using more advanced reference management software such as EndNote.

  1. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click the arrow next to Style.

  2. Click the style that you want to use for the citation and source. 

  3. Click at the end of the sentence or phrase that you want to cite.

  4. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click Insert Citation.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To add the source information, click Add New Source, then begin to fill in the source information by clicking the arrow next to Type of source. For example, your source might be a book, a report, or a Web site.

    • To add a placeholder, so that you can create a citation and fill in the source information later, click Add New Placeholder. A question mark appears next to placeholder sources in Source Manager.

  6. Fill in the bibliography information for the source.

To add more information about a source, click the Show All Bibliography Fields check box.

Now you can create your bibliography.

Occasionally, you may want to create a placeholder citation, and then wait until later to fill in the complete bibliography source information. Any changes that you make to a source are automatically reflected in the bibliography, if you have already created one. A question mark appears next to placeholder sources in Source Manager.

  1. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click Manage Sources.

  2. Under Current List, click the placeholder that you want to edit.

    Note: Placeholder sources are alphabetized in Source Manager, along with all other sources, based on the placeholder tag name. By default, placeholder tag names contain the word Placeholder and a number, but you can customize the placeholder tag name with whatever tag you want.

  3. Click Edit.

  4. Begin to fill in the source information by clicking the arrow next to Type of source. For example, your source might be a book, a report, or a Web site.

  5. Fill in the bibliography information for the source. To add more information about a source, click the Show All Bibliography Fields check box.

Now that you’ve inserted one or more citations and sources in your document you can create your bibliography.

  1. Click where you want to insert a bibliography, usually at the end of the document.

  2. On the References tab, in the Citations & Bibliography group, click Bibliography.

  3. Click a predesigned bibliography format to insert the bibliography into the document.

You can export your bibliography sources from Microsoft Word, and move them to another computer.

In Word, click the References tab, and then Manage Sources (in the Citations & Bibliography group).

Next, click Browse.

The window that opens up contains your source file–for example, Sources.xml.

From here, you can copy the file to a USB, so that you can save it onto another computer.

After you’ve copied the file, start Word on the computer that you want to add the sources to.

Click the References tab, click Manage Sources, and then click Browse.

Browse to the file that you saved, and then click OK.

Open your Word document which contains the citations and go to the EndNote tab. Next, click Export to EndNote and choose Export Word Citations

Once you click on Export Word Citations tab, you will be prompted to select an EndNote library to export them into. Select an existing library or create a new library, then click OK.

You can create custom referencing styles by following the instructions at the link below:

In addition to the citation options that are included in Word by default, you can add custom citation styles, such as Vancouver, to create the bibliographies and reference materials you want. 

The easiest approach is to download citation styles from sources such as BibWord. Make sure you check the style in Word against your department's style guide to ensure that it is formatted correctly.

Please note you will not be able to download styles to the computers in the University PC clusters.

You will need to:

  • Download the zipped file from BibWord
  • Extract all files to the Microsoft Word Bibliography Style directory

This directory can vary depending on where Word is installed. The instructions below are for a Windows PC with Word 2013:

  • Click on the Start button and search for %appdata% 
  • Go to Roaming\Microsoft\Bibliography\Style
  • Copy and paste the extracted files to here
  • Open Word and go to the References tab
  • From the Styles drop down list you should now see all the additional styles

See this page for more information on where to save the extracted files for Macs and different versions of Word.

APA 6th Edition citation style fix procedure

APA style uses the author's name and publication date. If you have multiple citations from the same author, there is a known Word bug where the citation generator fills in the publication title when it's not supposed to. If this happens to you, here's how to fix the problem:

  1. In the Word document, click the citation.

  2. Click the down-arrow, and then click Edit Citation.

  3. Click the Title checkbox, and then click OK

To see some of these features in action, watch the video below:

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