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Researching Your Thesis: Managing References For Your Thesis

Useful resources to help you conduct research for your thesis

Reference Management Tools

Reference Management Tools can help you to easily organise, store and manage your citations. Choose the citation tool most applicable to your needs and easily cite as you write, with add-ons for MS Word and Google Docs. Endnote is the main reference management tool supported by IT Carlow Library,  with a licensing agreement in place. However, there are many free open source tools which you may find suitable for your research. Take a look through the citation tools listed below and click on the icons to link out to the portal. 


There are two versions of Endnote :  Web and Desktop   

  1. EndNote Web: Available without downloading to your computer or adding a licence key. You can use it to collect and format your references and create bibliographies. The web version is free but you need to register and set up an account, you can do this here  and guides to demonstrate how to get started with endnote web are available HERE   
  2.  Endnote Desktop version: This is the full licenced version of EndNote and it needs to be installed onto your computer. You need to get an installation link and a product licence key to complete the installation. This is available on request.  

Subscription Based Reference Tools

 ReadCube Papers : A subscription based citation tool for a student discount price of $3 per month. Student details must be renewed every 2 years to maintain the discount. It is available for MAC and Windows users.

Free Open Source Reference Management Tools

: A reference management system that is free to download. Zotero is particularly well suited to work on the Firefox browser, as it integrates directly with the browser. It also works very well with the Chrome browser. You can build up personal reference collections or develop shared group libraries. A guide to getting started with Zotero is available HERE    

: If you don’t need to store all your reference details but just need help creating and formatting your bibliography, this is a very useful web tool.  It allows you to create a bibliography in your preferred reference style just by entering the URL, DOI, ISBN or PubMed ID for the article. Available HERE  

Mendeley : Another free reference tool, owned by Elsevier so it works well with their databases like Science Direct. Provides 2 GB of storage, also allows group libraries. Bibliographies have to be generated separately and copied to text document and it provides for a limited number of document types.  

: A free citation tool which can be used across all platforms and is suitable for Windows and Mac users. Offers 15 reference types and enables references to be imported directly from the web browser.

Offers a free basic option for managing and citing your references. It can be used with both MS Word and Google Docs. Most required features are available in the free option. You can subscribe to the premium option and pay a monthly fee to access extra features.