Accessibility statement

Organise your references

Reference management software, also known as bibliographic management software allows you to:

Using reference management software can save you many hours of compiling, checking, and correcting your references, and improves consistency and accuracy.

Some also have additional features such as:

  • sharing your references
  • pdf highlighting
  • collaboration
  • social networking
  • collect references
  • store references in a web account or on your desktop
  • organise references, including author, title, journal details, publication date etc of any information you wish to refer to - including online readings such as electronic journals or websites.
  • add notes to your references - for example, in order to remind yourself of particular quotes to use from a journal article.
  • link to full text, web pages and documents
  • cite your references and create bibliographies

Reference management software will add the list of references to the bibliography at the end of your document. It will format the bibliography in your chosen citation style (eg Harvard, APA, Vancouver).

EndNote Desktop and EndNote Online


The University pays for EndNote, one of the most well-known and long-standing bibliographic management software packages used by academics across the world.

Using EndNote, you can:

  • Record, collect and organise personal databases of searchable references to books, journal articles, conference papers and other publications. These could be found in many ways, such as suggestions from tutors or colleagues, references within existing books and journals, and via database searches.
  • Save your references (there is no limit to the number of references you can save) in an EndNote Library.
  • EndNote Libraries can be networked and accessed by multiple users, so you can share a collection of references across a work or research group.
  • Create and automatically format citations and bibliographies for your theses and publications. EndNote includes over 1,000 bibliographic styles for medicine, biosciences, the humanities, social sciences, and many other disciplines. You can insert citations from an Endnote library into a Word document, and EndNote will add these into your bibliography at the end of the document and format it in your chosen citation style.

EndNote is available as EndNote Desktop and EndNote Online. These can be used separately but can be synchronised to maximise flexibility.

EndNote Desktop

EndNote X7 is a desktop application. All University of York classroom and office PCs have access to the application and also include the Microsoft Word plug-in to allow inserting citations from EndNote. The application may also be installed on other University-owned equipment (PC and Mac).

How do I access EndNote Desktop?

EndNote Desktop is available for University of York students on student campus network computers. It is listed under Start | All Programs | Bibliographic.

Staff of the University need to install EndNote on their office computer via Start | All Programs | Microsoft System Center | Configuration Manager | Software Center.

If you wish to use EndNote on your own computer, then you may purchase the software at a special educational discount.

For information, see the IT Services pages:

EndNote Online

EndNote Online is a web version of EndNote (and is sometimes called EndNote Web).

Because EndNote Online is web-based, there is no need to install any software (except for the Cite While You Write plugin on your own PC or laptop - see details below).

It can be used by any member of the University of York, wherever you have Internet access, using a login for access.

EndNote Online has most of the power and capabilities of EndNote, and is popular with undergraduates and some taught Masters students.

How do I access EndNote Online?

The first time you use EndNote Online, you must go through some simple registration steps and set up a login and password:

  • Go to
  • Select to log in via your institutional login (Shibboleth)
  • Enter your University of York login and password at the next screen. Make sure you agree to the terms and conditions, and click on Login.
  • Follow the instructions to set up an account with a login and password of your choice (Note: it is very picky about passwords)

From then on, you can login in to EndNote Online with the login and password you have set up.

You can do this from any computer connected to the internet. Your access will expire when you leave the University.

EndNote Web may be used in conjunction with the full version of EndNote, and you can synchronise your references.

Cite While You Write Plugin for EndNote and EndNote Online

Cite While You Write (also known as CWYW) is an EndNote/EndNote Online plug-in which allows you to access your EndNote/EndNote Online references from within Microsoft Word so that you can insert citations into your Word documents and build bibliographies.

The plugin for Cite While You Write is automatically available in Word on University of York staff and student networked computers.

To add the Cite While You Write plugin to your own Word or other text processing software, take the following steps:

In EndNote: the plugin installs automatically when you first install or use EndNote.

In EndNote Online:

  • Login to your EndNote Online account
  • Click on Downloads
  • Check the system requirements and installation instructions provided by EndNote Online
  • Select the relevant installer for your system and follow the onscreen instructions
  • Open Word. The EndNote Web/Endnote Online tab should display on the Ribbon

Collecting references

You can search online library catalogues, and databases such as Google Scholar or Web of Knowledge, then import references from these resources into your own EndNote or EndNote Online library of references.

Some databases have a direct export facility which connects to EndNote or EndNote Online.

For other databases, you need to use the correct import filter. Import filters are small programs which convert your selected references into a format which EndNote and EndNote Online can display correctly.

Full details of how to use connection files and import filters are in the training workbooks mentioned, but here is a quick summary of how to access and use these.

EndNote Desktop

EndNote has two different methods for importing records: import filters and connections.

Connection files are automatically available on the University campus network computers. If you wish to download connection files for your home/laptop installation of EndNote, they are available at Save the file to your program directory where EndNote is installed.

Connections are not available for some resources, so you must use import filters for these.  EndNote import filters are automatically available on University of York classroom and office computers.

To access import filters on your own laptop or computer, find and download the relevant filter from Save the file to your program directory where EndNote is installed.

EndNote Online

EndNote Online filters are automatically available when you login to EndNote Online, whether on or off campus.

Referencing styles for EndNote and EndNote Online

Referencing styles control the appearance of your references in your document and its bibliography. A large number of styles are available for EndNote and EndNote Online, including the major academic styles such as Harvard and APA, and many journal referencing styles for authors of journal articles.

Your department will have guidance on which style you should use. The most common styles are installed with the EndNote software program but others are available from

EndNote Online referencing styles are automatically available when you login to EndNote Online, whether on or off campus

Please note: several departments at the University of York use an adapted version of the Harvard style. This is available for EndNote Online both on and off campus  It is installed for EndNote on University of York classroom and office computers.

To download the special version of the EndNote Harvard style for York to use on your own computer or laptop, click here UoY - Harvard style for EndNote ( 47kb download). Save it to the Styles folder in your EndNote installation directory.

Please note: there may be times when the format of some references produced by EndNote does not fit exactly with the format expected by your department and you may need to manually edit these references. This particularly applies to references with non-standard formats such as audio visual materials.

Linking to full text articles from EndNote

In EndNote, you can include links to the full text (as a PDF) of items which are subscribed to at York.

To do this, you need to change some settings as follows:

  1. Open an EndNote library.
  2. From the Edit menu, go to Preferences and click on the Find Full Text item from the left-hand menu               
  3. Tick the boxes.
  4. Set the Open URL Path to:
  5. Set Authenticate with to:
  6. Click on Apply, then on OK
  7. In your EndNote library, right-click on any reference.
  8. In the popup menu, click on Find Full Text, then on Find Full Text again.
  9. When prompted, enter your York network ID and password, and accept a copyright notice. If a window opens with an error message or a list of databases, ignore this, just click Continue.
  10. In the left-hand panel in EndNote, you will see a number of headings listed under Find Full Tex.  'Searching' should change to 'Found pdf' or 'Found URL' or 'Not found'. Note: If the University Library does not subscribe to the journal, your search for the Full Text may not be successful, and 'Not found' will appear.
  11. Where the reference has been successfully found, click on the reference link to view the attached pdf. There will also be a paperclip icon to the left of the reference in the list of references.

Note: This feature does not work for all host services: references from Web of Science, Wiley, and Ebsco seem to be the most robust. The feature does not currently work with ScienceDirect. To see which host each reference comes from, go to  Edit Preferences | Display Fields for your EndNote library: set one of the columns to show the 'URL'.

Training and help from the Library and IT Services on EndNote

A range of advice and support is available:

Help from EndNote

EndNote provide technical support and a searchable Knowledgebase:




Paperpile is a simple but powerful web-based reference management tool, with special emphasis on integration with Google Docs and Google Scholar. It's the newest addition to our range of reference management tools, and offers an alternative to EndNote or EndNote Online.

Paperpile allows you to organise your research papers, sync your PDFs to Google Drive and cite your references in Google Docs.

Parts of Paperpile are implemented as a Google Chrome browser extension so it should always be used in the Chrome browser, which is now available on all managed staff PCs (via Run Advertised Programs) and all IT classroom PCs.

For more information see:

Other software

Other reference management software

There are many other types of software you can use to maintain your bibliographies and references.

In recent years, many social networking-type applications have been developed which do an excellent job of organising references, and also provide other self-help and shared interest groups for users. Some of these applications are freely available, with an optional paid-for upgrade.

This page lists some of these applications, with links to their websites where you can download and install them. There are also some useful comparisons of them.

Please note: There is no formal support for these applications at the University of York, but the online user groups for them should provide all the help you will need.  Note also that the plugins required to enable these packages to work with Word cannot be installed on student and staff computers on the University network.

Copyright: Please be aware that although sharing of documents is possible using these tools, documents are covered by copyright law and sharing them is a breach of the law unless you own the copyright, copyright has been waived or the document is out of copyright.

Example packages

There are many other types of software you can use to maintain your bibliographies and references.

In recent years, many social networking-type applications have been developed which do an excellent job of organising references, and also provide other self-help and shared interest groups for users.

Some of these applications are freely available, with an optional paid-for upgrade.

Mendeley Mendeley is both a reference management tool and an academic social network. Mendeley also has a support portal.
Zotero Zotero is a Firefox add-on (Please note: It does not work with Internet Explorer) which sits in your browser and allows you to collect, organise cite and share your research sources.
Citavi One of the newest products. The free version - Citavi Free - is limited to 100 references per project.
Sente Sente is a application for Mac and iPad. It is not free.
RefWorks RefWorks is not free. Some universities subscribe to it in the same way that York subscribes to EndNote. York does not subscribe to Refworks. RefWorks is web-based and highly sophisticated in its functionality.

Help with referencing

Help with referencing and academic integrity

The Learning Enhancement Team provide help, information and training on academic integrity skills, such as avoiding plagiarism and how to produce good academic writing.

They provide information about referencing and citation and examples of the styles (such as Harvard, APA, Chicago) used at York:

The Academic Skills Tutorials and details of the Turnitin text-matching software training are also on the Yorkshare VLE. Both of these can assist you with effective referencing.