Category Archives: Citation Managers

Resource of the week: New RefWorks

This week’s Resource of the Week is the new version of RefWorks.

RefWorks has recently gone through an upgrade to imporve the interface and also add some extra features. You can continue to use RefWorks (Legacy) or feel free to give RefWorks (New) a try. Some new features include being able to read documents within RefWorks and the ability to highlight and add notes to these documents

RefWorks is a web-based tool that is free to use for all staff and students. It will help you to capture, save, organise references and create bibliographies using a range of different referencing styles. You can also link it to Word and Google Docs so you can insert citations as you type and also create your bibliography within your essay.

How do I access it?

  1. Go to the Citing and Referencing Tab on your subject guide
  2. Click on “New RefWorks” from the drop down
  3. Create an account (you must use your College email address)

If you have used the previous version of RefWorks and would like to migrate your content to RefWorks (New) you can watch the short video below to find out how.

Using RefWorks

You can import information on resources from databases like Library Search, JSTOR, Science Direct and many others. Most databases will have an export to RefWorks option, for websites you can use the Ref-GrabIt tool

You will then see the option to save to RefWorks Legacy or RefWorks New, ensure you select RefWorks New.

new refworks








RefWorks creates a database of your references and you can organise these by folder.







Use RefWorks to generate an automatic bibliography. You can insert citations and bibliography directly in your assignment using the Write and Cite tool for Word and Google Docs.

Further Help


Spring Term Library Workshops

Happy New Term! And with it comes new training workshops from the Library.

Last year, in the Autumn Term we saw 6547 students – that’s equivalent to all of the students in the Arts and Sciences faculties put together!

We’ve had some really nice and positive feedback on our sessions too…


[I] would definitely like to attend more of these workshops after attending this one

[The Librarian] who gave the workshop was very articulate, concise and knowledgeable.

this course showed me how to navigate [the Library website] efficiently to get to the parts that I need.

I thought everything we covered was of use.

But that’s not all – we’re always looking to  improve the workshops, so we’re keen to hear suggestions for more sessions, or changes we can make too.

I would be interested in attending a workshop on the more advanced features of EndNote.

So the workshops are great, but what’s on offer this term? All of our training can be found on the Training page of your subject guide, and you will need to register to attend (but this is free and easy to do – email us if you have any trouble).

Working on a dissertation or essay? Come to our Search Our Stuff and Find It Faster workshops on 17th and 26th February and practice search techniques.

New to referencing and bibliographies? RefWorks is a great resource for undergraduates, and EndNote is a powerful postgraduate referencing tool – come along on 28th January or 5th February to find out more. And if you’re already using RefWorks, but have questions, come to our Question and answer session on 11th March.
If you’ve only got half an hour to spare, or think RefWorks and EndNote aren’t for you, come to Bedford Library on 3rd March and get acquainted with free Zotero referencing. Researchers might find our half hour session on social referencing site Mendeley useful too.

Every Tuesday throughout Spring Term, Bedford Library room 2-03 hosts our Bitesize, subject specific workshops.

Something missing? Send an email to and request a session!

Reference managers – something to suit everyone.

Reference managers – something to suit everyone.

Reference managers or bibliographic management systems look after the references to all the information you need for your work – books and book chapters, journal and conference papers, newspaper articles, web pages, film and sound recordings, manuscripts. They store these, ensure that you do not mislay any, and when you need to, create your reference lists in the style you are required to use. They can save time and are an essential academic tool.

In this post I am comparing the five best known systems, with the aim of bringing out the particular advantages of each one.

This table summarises it all:

Endnote RefWorks Zotero Mendeley Endnote Basic
Installation Installed on public PCs in College, and can be installed on any College owned PC or Mac. This is a web service which is not installed, but will work on any machine with an internet connection and an up to date web browser. Installed into Firefox, Chrome or Safari, or as a stand-alone program. Runs on the local computer, but can be synced to the cloud. Both stand-alone and on the web, but for the full capability the software needs to be installed. A web version of EndNote, which an be used on its own or as an add-on to a full EndNote installation.
Home use You have to purchase a copy to use it on a privately owned PC or Mac, but a large discount is available to RHUL members. There is no charge for RHUL members to use RefWorks on any machine, and alumni can continue to have a free account. Free with 300Mb of cloud storage, larger stoirage amounts require a subscription. Free with 2Gb of cloud stirage Free with capacity for 50,000 references.
Use with databases Results from all of our databases can be imported. Results from all of our databases can be imported. References on any web page, including our databases, can be imported. References from all of our databases can be imported.. References from all of our databases can be imported.
FindIt button No Yes No No No
Organising references Can have any number of Groups Can have any number of folders Can have any number of groups. Can have any number of groups. Can have any number of groups within the 50,000 reference limit.
Citation formats Over 6,000 recognised styles 500 recognised styles 6,750 styles, selected and downloaded from an online repository. Thousands of cloud-sourced reference styles are available. Many of the most popular reference styles are available but not quite as many as Endnote.
Citing references Can control the numbering and formatting of citations in a long document Can insert citations into a document and format them, while you are connected to the internet. Can insert and format references, whether or not you have an internet connection at the time. Can insert and format references, whether or not you have an internet connection at the time. Depends on an internet connection to insert and format references by itself.
Main distinguishing feature EndNote is the most powerful, locally based program for formatting lengthy documents. RefWorks provides the full power of a reference management system from anywhere on the internet , on any machine, requiring no installation. Zotero is exceptionally quick and neat at importing and exporting single references from the web. Mendeley’s social features enable it to suggest new references building on ones which you have already stored. EndNote Basic can be used on its own or as an ideal adjunct to using the full EndNote on a computer, enabling you to use it anywhere, and then sync with EndNote on the College PCs to do your writing.


EndNote is a powerful program running on PCs and Macs. It can import references from nearly all internet information services, such as databases and library catalogues. The recent X versions also have a viewing pane where full texts .pdf of the reference, if available, can be viewed alongside the reference.  There is a plug-in for Word on both PCs and Macs which enables references from EndNote to be imported directly into a piece of writing as itis written, and the program will reformat even lengthy documents from one referencing style to another in front of your eyes. Over 5,000 different reference styles are available.  With such a long established commercial system, the online help is slick and comprehensive.

Royal Holloway has a site license for EndNote, and the latest version, EndNote X7, is installed on all public machines. It can be installed on any other College owned machine on campus. For installation on privately owned machines it is necessary to buy a personal copy from Adept Scientific at a discounted price, which amounts to a discount of about two thirds on the public price.

For more help with Endnote see the pages on our subject guides.


EndNote Basic

EndNote Basic is a web based version of EndNote, produced by the current owners of EndNote, Thomson Reuters.  It requires no installation, has a clean and simple interface, can import references from any service whioch will export to EndNote (which is almost everything), and provides free storage of up to 50,000 references.  There is a plug-in for Word on PCs and Macs to enable you to insert citations into your writings.

EndNote Basic is ideally used as a travelling assistant for an EndNote installation, with which it readily synchronises whenever your EndNote computer is connected to the internet.  Thomson Reuters have to be careful not to spoil the market for their premium product, so the range of reference styels available is limited to the few most popular ones.  Howevr, these will be enough for most users, especially students, and it is a likeable system with a  particularly clean and simple interface.

For more help with Endnote Basic see the pages on our subject guides.


RefWorks provides full strength features in any fairly up to date web browser, from any machine anywhere on the internet.  It imports references singly or in long lists from other information sources by direct “push”, and nearly all the e-resources we subscribe to support it.  Without any installation, references can be added from a RefWorks account to your work on any machine and in any word processing software, and then formatted in any of over 500 referencing styles over the internet.   If you do have Word on your own PC or Mac, there is a plug-in which can be installed in these to give a local service very like EndNote’s.

For more help with RefWorks see the pages on our subject guides 


Zotero was developed as a free add-in to the Firefox browser, but there is now also a stand-alone desktop version, and connectors to enable it to be used with Chrome and Safari.  It adds an icon to the browser toolbar, which can be clicked to extract references from a web page.  It is quick, simple, and very effective for grabbing references one at a time.  although based in a browser, Zotero natively stores references in a folder on your computer,  it can now synchronise your library with its own cloud server, which allows Zotero installations on different computers to be kept in sync, but installation on each computer is required to use it.  Storage of up to 300 Mb, enough for many thousands of references without full text attachments, is provided free, but larger amounts of storage, necessary if it is desired to keep the full texts with references, have to be paid for at between $20 and  $120 per year.

For fomatting references, Zotero has some 6,750 styles availabe in an online repository.  It makes inventive use of the clpboard for exporting single references in the selected style: just copy an unformatted reference from your collection, and it will be fully formatted when pasted into any other program.  Complete bibliographies can be generated in .rtf format whoich any word-processot will accept.  There are now the usual plug-ins to give an experiencve like EndNote in Word for PCs or Macs, OpenOffice and LibreIOffice.


Mendeley is a newer and increasingly popular system with some novel features. The software is free and versions are available for Windows, Macs, Linux, and iPads. In use it looks very much like EndNote.  Your personal database can also be accessed and added to in a web version, and a comfortable 2Gb of storage is available online.  Fully formatted bibliographies can be generated in .rtf format, and there are plug-ins to enable easy citing in Word  and LibreOffice.

The unique attraction of Mendeley is its social features.  If you agree, your references are added (anonymously, of course) to a vast open database which enables them to be seen and shared by others.  Whenever you add references to your Mendeley database, Mendeley will on request suggest other references which other users of your reference have also added.  These can be added with a click, without having to locate them oneself.

And there’s more.

There are so many systems now that this will not be finished if we attempt to cover all of them.  Papers and RefME are other newer arrivals.  BibTeX  is used quite widely, especially by physicists and mathematicians, as it works with the LaTeX system for producing documents that includes complex formulae. If you need it, the chances are that nothing else will quite do the job.

Spoilt for choice?

It is remarkably easy, once you are using one system, to switch to another if you decide that you prefer it.  All of them will export references in the standard .RIS format that any other reference manager will import. If you can’t decide which system to try, just start with any of them.  Any one will be better than keeping your references in a Word document or a spreadsheet, let alone a notebook, and having to format them y ourself every time you use them.

Library Search – Exporting to Refworks

You will need a Refworks account to export. Details of how to set one up are available here.

If you are going to access Refworks off campus you will need the Group Code: RWRoyalH

  1. When you are in an item there is a Send To link on the right hand side.
  2. This drops down and you can see Refworks as an option.Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.23.17 pm
  3. Click Refworks
  4. You will need to log into Refworks if you aren’t already logged in
  5. The reference automatically imports and this screen appears Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.27.18 pm
  6. To view the reference quickly you can select View Last Imported Folder

Library Search – Exporting to Endnote Basic

To export to Endnote Basic

  1. Select Endnote Basic from the drop down Send to menuScreen Shot 2013-06-19 at 4.41.35 pm
  2. You will be redirected to Endnote Basic and will need to login
  3. The reference will automatically be importedScreen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.36.52 pm





Library Search – Use your E-Shelf

Library Search provides a personal space where you can save records of interest, save searches and create alerts. This is called the e-shelf.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.45.33 pm


Use the Sign in to login with your IT username and password

Once logged in, you can save records of interest by selecting the star symbol by the book and details:
Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.52.19 pm

If you go to the e-shelf you can view all the records you have saved.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.53.25 pm

From here you can create folders and sort references into folders using the symbols on the left

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.54.46 pm

You can also Cut, Copy, Past, Delete, Email, Print and Save Results

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.56.17 pm

To save you can export the records you have selected to Endnote Basic, RefWorks and as an RIS feed (for Endnote Desktop).

You can also make notes for each of the references

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.58.05 pm

Library Search – Save your query

You can save queries to run them again at a later date.

To do this you will need to sign in

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.45.33 pm

Scroll to the bottom left of the page and the options below are there:

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 6.01.16 pm


You can save the query by selecting save query

You then have the option to name your query

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 6.03.59 pm

You can also select Save & Alert.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 6.04.24 pm


Enter your email address and Library Search will email you when new results are added.

When you have saved your query this screen appears

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 6.04.49 pmNow go to e-shelf and select the queries tab

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 6.09.12 pm

To view the results click on the query name.


Registering for Endnote Web

You must register on a university computer but you can use it anywhere

  1. Go to the EndNote Web website at:
  2. Under the Quick Links menu on the left of the screen select EndNote Web login
  3. On the login page, click on the link New to EndNote Web? – “Sign up for an account” (Note: If you have already registered for an account with Web of KnowledgeSM, ResearcherID, Thomson InnovationSM you won’t need to register. Login with the details for that account) Sign up Endnote web
  4. This will take you to a registration page which you will need to complete. You will be asked to supply an email address and a password. This does not need to be your university email and password.
  5. Once registered, you need to enter your email address and password on the login page to access your account. You can also go straight to the EndNote Web login page from
  6. If you do not use EndNote Web for 12 months you will have to renew your account.

Getting started Endnote Web


Mendeley is a reference manager with a difference, it allows you to discover and share material with colleagues and like minded researchers.

Described as the largest crowd sourced library in the world, Mendely can put you in touch with reseach you didn’t know existed and offers customised and peer recommendations for what to read next. You can view and select popular papers, or browse subject disciplines to select the topics of most interest to you. You can install the Mendeley web importer tool to enable you to import papers as you find them online.

This video quickly tells you what Mendeley is:

On a practical day-to-day basis, Mendeley will allow you to:

  • drag and drop files into your Mendeley desktop
  • import bibliographic data from web documents, everything from catalogue records to Wikipedia
  • annotate and highlight your documents
  • create custom citations and bibliographies in your MS Word and OpenOffice documents
  • choose from a range of citation styles
  • export your bibliography in a range of formats

Further help:

You’ll find a useful getting started guide is automatically downloaded into your Mendeley Library.

Register for Mendeley

Download for desktop

Download from apple store

Videos and tutorials

Mendeley Resource Center

Follow on twitter