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Referencing: Home

Struggling with referencing? Need some support? Our guide to referencing is here, created by our expert Academic Librarian team.

A student studies with an overlay of text reading: Referencing

Referencing can feel challenging sometimes, and we’re here to provide the support you need to make it that bit easier. Explore links to online guides, tutorials and tools that will help you - and find out what support you can access from your Academic Librarian.

Referencing - The Basics

If you draw upon and use the ideas of others in your writing, it’s important to acknowledge where the information came from. This is done by providing citations and references in your assignment. 

Citations are used in the text of your assignment to identify the sources you have used. This tells the reader where your information came from. 

References are typically listed at the end of your assignment. They give the reader details of the sources you have cited in your assignment. 

Find out more about referencing by visiting our First Assignment resource.  

Referencing Styles 

There are lots of different referencing styles, with different subjects using different styles. For example some styles use numbers in the text to refer to references, whilst others use the author name. Make sure you know which style your school or course uses. You might find this information in your course or module handbook, or you can ask your module organiser. 

Referencing Tools and Tutorials  

If you need some help citing and referencing sources, try out CiteThemRight. This easy-to-use online tool helps you to cite sources correctly. It also offers tutorials to help you with all aspects of referencing, from inserting citations into your work, to avoiding plagiarism. Access is free to UEA students – you may need to log in using your UEA login if you’re working off campus.

Reference Management Tools 

Reference management tools can help you to store, manage, share and cite your references. These tools can be tricky to get the hang of, so it’s worth taking some time to decide if they’re right for you. If you do decide to use them, here are a few options below for you to try. 

Other Handy Ways to Generate a Reference 

You may not know that Library Search, Books+ and Google Scholar and other databases can automatically generate a reference for you, in the referencing style you need. This can be a real time-saver – just bear in mind they can occasionally get the formatting incorrect. We recommend checking auto-generated references for accuracy – you could do this using CiteThemRight. 

EndNote is a powerful reference management program which features both a desktop and an online component. It can integrate with Word to enable easy insertion of references and bibliographies and has tools for searching and annotating PDFs. It is free to use on UEA PCs, but you may have to buy a licence to use on your own machine off campus 

EndNote is free to UEA students and you can use it on campus PCs or install it to your own device. IT services provide information on how to install Endnote. 

If you're using a UEA PC, simply click the Start button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen and type 'EndNote', then open the program from the Start menu. 

Mendeley is very similar to Endnote and Zotero, with desktop and web versions, the ability to integrate with Word and PDF search and annotation. It is free to download and use. Previously it offered social media-like functionality, where you could see others' bibliographies and share PDFs, but this functionality has now been removed. 

Mendeley provide a range of video tutorials and guides to help you with importing and organising your references. 

Zotero is a free, easy to use reference management program with similar features to Endnote. It has a desktop and online version and is open source and free to install and use. It has good tools for bookmarking and grabbing references, including ISBN and DOI look-ups, and the potential for collaboration through online groups. Its handling of PDFs used to be rudimentary compared with Endnote and Mendeley, but the newest version now has a PDF viewer/annotation tool. If you want to make use of the Library Lookup function, you can get UEA Library’s OpenURL resolver link from the Zotero Directory.

Referencing Support From Your Academic Librarian

If you need support with referencing, we’re here to help.

Referencing Support From the Learning Enhancement Team  

The Learning Enhancement Team offer support around how to use references accurately and avoid plagiarism and collusion through good academic practice. Visit the LET webpages to access their resources and find out how to contact them for further support.

Contact your Academic Librarian

Head to your Subject Guide where you’ll find heaps of great resources to help with your studies.

You’ll find contact details for your Academic Librarian here, too.