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Durham University

University Library

Reference Management Tools

Reference Management Software, or Bibliographic Management Software, aims to provide a simpler means for researchers and authors to assist you in managing your references as you search the literature:

The University provides support and access through the university network to desktop versions of both Endnote and Zotero, and we have highlighted below these tools and some other commonly used tools available to you.

Overview of Reference Management Software

Reference Management Software, such as Endnote, Zotero or Mendeley, can help researchers to:

  • Collect and Store your references in a single place (a desktop or online account).
  • Organise your references to match your publications or thesis
    • For example: From a complete reference library of everything you have read, create collections of those relevant to a particular article you intend to publish, or a particular chapter of your thesis.
  • Attach notes and full text documents to your references for easy retrieval.
  • Semi-automate the inclusion of in-text citations, footnotes and endnotes in your work.
  • Create a bibliography or reference list at the touch of a button, from one of thousands of possible referencing styles, and switch between referencing styles instantly without needing to re-format or re-type your references manually.
  • De-duplicate references where you have searched across multiple databases and search engines, which can be incredibly useful for systematic reviews as well as general research practice.

Endnote logo

Endnote (desktop)

The University provides access to a desktop version of Endnote through both the managed desktop service (on campus) or through a licence to install Endnote on your own personal device.

Instructions on how to obtain a free copy of the licence for use on personal devices at home are as follows:

  • Click the following link to the self-service website
  • On the right hand side menu there will be a new option for "Endnote Software Request", review the agreement and submit your request.

The Service Desk will then send you an email with a link to download the software using the licence key.

You can find support for Endnote as below:

The University also provides bookable training workshops (Introductory and Advanced) on using Endnote, as well as drop-in sessions to help with any problems you encounter. These can be booked via the University Training Booking system.

For additional technical support please contact Durham's IT helpdesk.

(For access to a web-based version of Endnote, see Endnote Web)

Endnote: Find Full Text

If you use Endnote, to improve the "Find Full Text" feature when working off-campus (where a publisher may not be able to validate your access credentials from the University), please set up the configuration as per directions below:

Within Endnote, Select:

Please note that this improves the ability of Endnote to download the full text file from publications we have subcription access to, but does not work with all publishers.

Endnote Online

Durham students and staff have access to Endnote Online accessible via our Web of Science subscription. It provides much of the same functionality as the desktop version of Endnote, and can be synced with your desktop library to allow you to use both, giving you access to your reference library wherever you are.

A link to Endnote Web is visible at the top of the Web of Science interface, and you will be prompted to create a personal account if you have not done so already.

Additional guidance for Endnote Online can be found at:

Additional online guides and tutorials can be accessed from within Endnote Web.



Zotero is freely available and user-friendly.

Mendeley (Elsevier)

Mendeley is a free reference management software platform, and more, provided by academic publisher Elsevier.

You can download a desktop version of Mendeley for Windows, Mac or Linux, or download an app for iPhone or iPad from the iTunes App Store.

Other Reference Management Software

There are many other options availabel to you as a researcher to assist in managing your reference collection as it grows. Some options are free, and some will require a subscription or purchase of a licence.

OSCOLA referencing style guidance

For those using the OSCOLA referencing style, you may find the links below offer further guidance:

Your Academic Liaison Librarian

James Bisset

Senior Manager
Library Research Services

0191 334 1589

DU Library Blog

Researcher 1-2-1

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