Quick tip: How to use reference management software

January 17, 2014

One problem you'll have to solve at some point in your writing is how to insert references into your thesis.There are many options in terms of software to do this, but it can be a nightmare trying to get them to integrate with your word processor.I can't give specific instructions for how to use each program (I'd rather be force-fed Lego blocks than do tech support for referencing software), but here's a quick tip that could save you a lot of pain.

Start early, start simple

If you leave your referencing to the end, then you will have potentially hundreds of references across several chapters to insert. If you then try to figure out how to get EndNote to synch with Word for the first time, then you'll be trying to learn something new by starting at the hardest level, under the greatest time pressure.So take some time to solve the problem as early as possible in the writing process. Get it working by just starting with 2 or 3 references, making sure they are displayed in the correct format and that the numbering works.It might take some time to figure out, but once it's solved and you have a working system on a small scale, it is easy to add references as you go.

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