Reference management software is a worthwhile tool to use when writing assignments, even if you are working with only a few references.
Reference management software enables you to store references and organise them systematically. This helps you to keep track of what you have read and helps you to cite accurately. Some reference management software allows you to store associated full text on the desktop or Cloud storage system.
To use reference management software effectively for assignments, you will need to learn how to do the follwing in the software package of your choice:
create a 'library';
collect references, by exporting from online resources such as bibliographic databases;
organise your library by using groups in EndNote, folders or tags in Mendeley, or collections in Zotero;
be familiar with how to construct references for different resources in your chosen referencing style;
edit references manually in the event the imported data is incorrect;
use the software package with Microsoft Word, or other word-processor, to insert in-text citations and generate bibliographies.
Even when using reference management software to cite references in an assignment, it is important to understand the mechanics of referencing in order to check and correct reference data. The quality and accuracy of the citation formatted by reference management software is dependent on good quality data from the source of the reference, such as Explore or bibliographic databases, so it's essential you check your references and are able to identify where there are errors. Find out more about citing and citation styles in our guide: