Skills Hub

Referencing software

Using referencing software (also known as bibliographic software) can be a good idea when writing a dissertation or long assignment in which you cite the work of others. It helps by organising your references into an easily manageable database. To find out which style of referencing to use in your work contact your school office.


Used in conjunction with a word processing package such as Microsoft Word, referencing software can create a reference list formatted to your needs to be included in your document.


There are a number of referencing software packages currently available, of which some are free and some require a subscription. The most commonly used are discussed below, click on the corresponding header to find out more about that piece of software:



BibTeX is a free tool for formatting lists of references, typically used together with the LaTeX document preparation system. Bibliographic items are formatted by BibTeX according to a style file by generating TeX or LaTeX formatting commands. While BibTeX easily allows you to customise your bibliography to suit the requirements of a given publication, it is somewhat harder to grasp than other software. For more information, visit the BibTeX website.


Citeulike is a free service for managing and discovering scholary references. The service allows you to store online references, provide automated article recommendations, find out who is reading what you are reading and store and search PDF documents.


EndNote is one of the most popular and commonly used software packages. The University of Sussex currently supports EndNote, which is available on all managed PC clusters around the campus. It can be purchased for your personal machine under the Combined Higher Education Software Team (CHEST) Agreement at a discounted rate. Installation on University funded equipment is free of charge under site licence. For more information on EndNote at the university, visit the ITS Helpdesk. ITS regularly run workshops on how to use EndNote. Visit the IT Service training pages for more information.


EndNote Basic (previously called Endnote Web) is free to Sussex staff and students and is the web-based version of EndNote. EndNote versions X6 and above will sync your personal Endnote Library with your Endnote web account. the web version can be used on its own or as a complementary tool but has less functionality than the installed version. See how EndnoteBasic differs from the desktop version of Endnote by using the fact sheet. There is also an Endnote iPad app.


Mendeley allows you to organise, share and discover research papers. Mendley hosts many features including indexing all PDF documents into your own personal digital bibliography and allowing you to collaberate with other researchers.


Papers is a bibliographic software tool for Mac. The program provides a wealth of features including a built-in Pages repositories and articles search, collecting articles in smart groups and automatic file management.

RefME / Cite This For Me

RefME has now become Cite This For Me and unfortunately no longer provides a free service. If you do not wish to subscribe to this new service you will need to export any saved bibliographies by June 1st. To do this login into Cite This For Me with your existing RefME account details. You will then be sent an email asking you to reset your password to finish the transfer of accounts. When this is done, login to Cite This For Me with your new password and export your saved bibliographies to BibTex, Google Drive or Evernote using the ‘More’ icon at the top of the page.


RefWorks is a web-based commercial referencing software released in 2001. There is an annual charge for using RefWorks. The advantage of RefWorks is that the programme is available from anywhere as it is an Internet-based solution. RefWorks offers in-text citation (also known as cite-as-you-write) while using a word processor such as Microsoft Word. The RefWorks User Guide outlines how to use RefWorks effectively or alternatively you can check out the official RefWorks website here.


Sente helps you find, organize, review and cite the academic literature in your field and also helps you build and maintain your library of PDF files for these references.


Zotero is a free, open source extension for the FireFox browser. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. It enables users to collect, manage, and cite research from all types of sources straight from FireFox. It was originally aimed at replacing traditional reference management software, designed to meet the offline needs of a researcher. Zotero can detect when a resource (book, article, etc.) is being viewed on many research websites (e.g. Google Scholar, Amazon) and with a mouse click finds and saves the full reference information to a local file. A local copy of the full-text can optionally be saved, if it is available. A guide to Using Zotero at Sussex can be found on Study Direct. Click here to visit the Zotero website.

Print Friendly and PDF