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References and reference managements tools: Reference management tools

What is a reference management tool?

A reference management tools is a program or a completely web-based tool which helps you to manage your references throughout the research process (information retrieval, organizing the material, the writing process and the publication of the text).

With a reference management tool, you can:

  • import references from different databases and collect them at one place
  • keep track of your references
  • create in-text references and a reference list in your Word document (and sometimes in other word processing tools)
  • format the references according to different reference style and specific journal requirements
  • create publication lists

There are numerous reference management tools. At the library we can answer many questions about the following:

  • EndNote

  • EndNote Online

  • Zotero

To the right you can find more information about these tools.


Getting EndNote EndNote
EndNote is a program and it gets installed on your computer. All employees at Halmstad University can get EndNote installed free of charge, both on the work computer and the home computer.


Using EndNote
With EndNote you collect all your references in the program (in a so-called "library"), where you can also adjust them and organize them in different ways. You can also add files to the references. If you add a PDF file to a reference, it is possible to annotate the file.

EndNote and Word
The program also includes the function Cite While You Write (CWYW) that connects EndNote to Word. An extra tab with the tools appears in Word when Endnote is installed. With CWYW you can easily add references into the text while you are writing and the program will automatically format the references and create a reference list at the end of the Word document. The references are formated according to the reference style you chose. You can choose from thousands of so-called reference styles, including the well-known APA, Oxford, Vancouver and IEEE, but also journal-specific styles. You can change reference style at any time.

EndNote and EndNote Online
Creating an Endnote Online account gives you more options when you use EndNote. You can synchronize your EndNote library and in by doing that:

  • you can use your EndNote library via Endnote Online if you are not sitting at a computer where you have  EndNote installed (internet connection is required)
  • you can synchronize your references to other computers on which you have EndNote installed(such as your home computer)
  • you can share your references with others who also have EndNote Online.

Learn more about EndNote Online below.

Endnote Online

Getting an Endnote Online account
Both students and staff at the University of Halmstad can create an EndNote Online account. It is important that you are on campus when creating the account.

Using EndNote Online
EndNote Online (formerly EndNote Web) is a web-based version of the software EndNote. It has almost all the same features as EndNote and also you can share your references with others who have EndNote Online .

EndNote Online and Word
To use Cite While You Write (CWYW), which lets you insert your references from EndNote Online in your Word document, a plug-in that can be downloaded from EndNote Online is required. When using one of the university computers the plug-in is available for installation via Software Center inf it isn't already available on the computer.


Zotero is a freely available reference management tool. The tool's functions for reference management are basically the same as that of EndNote Online but Zotero can also be used with Google Docs.