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Help with Referencing: Online tools and apps

RefME has changed

RefME has been acquired by Chegg, an education company, who operate another academic citation tool called Cite This For Me. On the 28th February RefME became Cite This For Me.  Your RefMe account and citations will have been migrated to Cite This For Me where you can log in using the same credentials to access your account until 1st June 2017

You will have access to all your accounts and bibliographies for free on Cite This For Me until 1st June 2017, at which point you'll have to subscribe to Cite This For Me (paid for premium account) to access all your work. Find out more  RefME transition to Cite This For Me FAQs.  

There are many different online tools and apps available. Have a look at our guidance below, Choosing the right tool or app for you

Changing from RefME to RefWorks 

You may want to consider changing from RefME to RefWorks an online tool paid for by the Library which will let you do the things you have been doing in RefME and more. Follow this link RefME is changing further information to see further information on the changes to RefME and options available to: 

  • sign up for RefWorks

  • move any references your have in Cite This For Me to RefWorks (or another online tool) 

  • add new folders and references

  • create a reference list in APA 6th 

Choosing the right tool or app for you

Online referencing tools and apps can make referencing quicker and easier by creating and format references in the style you select. The APA 6th ed. referencing style, is a widely used style and most tools and apps can create references following this style. If you are referencing in a different style, check to see if the tool or app supports the style you need.

There are many tools and apps available to you.  Before you choose, please research the product you intend to use and consider the following:

  • Does it produce references in the style you need and are these accurate? Many tools will include an option to create APA 6th ed. style references. 
  • Is it free or are there charges to use it? Even if it looks free, there may be charges if you want to perform certain functions or need more storage space.
  • Is it compatible with the other tools and word processing systems you use?
  • What are the technical requirements? Don't forget you can't download software to University PCs.
  • How easy is it to use?
  • Is using it sustainable? Could the software stop being available?

Different referencing tools and apps that use APA can sometimes produce slightly different references. To ensure consistency in your referencing, it is recommended that you use only one referencing tool / app rather a mix of different ones.


Using Library Search to create references

Don't forget to check and edit any references that are created. There may be incorrect information that needs amending or removing, or information you can add to improve your references.

Library Search does not include DOIs or web addresses in the APA reference for online resources.  You need to add in a DOI or web address to references for online resources.

Using Google Scholar to create references

There is a quick way to generate APA style references for sources you find using Google Scholar.

Don't forget to check and edit any references that are created. There may be incorrect information that needs amending or extra information you can add to improve your references.

Think about information that may be missing, such as DOIs and URLs for web based resources.

Using tools and apps - a copyright warning

Please be aware that although sharing of documents is possible using many referencing tools and apps, 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.

Using RefWorks

RefWorks is a web-based reference management software, available to SHU staff, students and alumni.  It is designed to help you manage the references you collect and to support the creation of citations and reference lists in your work

There are currently 2 versions of RefWorks available to you. 

  1. New RefWorks  - use this if you are a new user of RefWorks - more information about getting started is on this help page.
  2. Legacy Refworks. If you are aleady using RefWorks we recommend you remain with Legacy RefWorks. 

Find out more about both versions on our RefWorks guide 

Signing up to use New RefWorks

If you would like to register to use the new version of RefWorks:

  • Go to:
  • Click on 'Create account'
  • Enter your university email address ending with one of the following
  • Your email address should be accepted by RefWorks and you will see this 'Good news!' message with a prompt to choose a password.
    NOTE: If you use Legacy RefWorks, please do not use the same password for New RefWorks.  This will cause issues if you want to use Write-n-Cite with both versions.
  • Once you have chosen a password, you will receive an email including a link that you need to follow in order to confirm your account and complete your profile details

Learning how to use New RefWorks

In New RefWorks, click on the 'Get help' icon (question mark in the top right hand corner) for links to support resources or follow the links below. Full guidance on RefWorks is available here

New RefWorks and APA referencing

You can use New RefWorks to create a reference list in the APA 6th edition referencing style.

When you use the 'Create bibliography' function, the 'Quick cite' function or Write-n-Cite to create references, choose the 'APA 6th - American Psychological Association', 6th Edition option

The Microsoft Word tool (Citations and bibliography functions in Word)

We do not recommend this as other tools and apps make referencing easier.  For example, you don't need to type in the details of each reference in other tools.  However, if you do wish to use it, please read the detailed advice below.

  • We do not recommend the Word tool for APA referencing as you may get different results using it on and off campus.  Please read the detailed advice below. 
  • If you have an Apple Mac with Office 2011 the APA referencing style is APA 5th ed.  NOT the recommended APA 6th ed.
  • Returning students who have used the Word tool with SHU Harvard can continue to use SHU Harvard with the Word Tool for this year (2016/2017). Please read the detailed advice below.
  • If you have been using SHU Harvard with the Word Tool and wish to use it for APA referencing, please read the detailed advice below.
  • The Harvard-SHU style will not be available in Word on University PCs in academic year 2017/18.

Source types: electronic resource, miscellaneous and performance

If you have Word 2013 or 2016 on your own computer, you may find that you can create references with the source types electronic resource, miscellaneous and performance. These source types are not available on campus because they are not included in Word 2010 (the version on University PCs).   If you have references with these source types, you will need to change them to a different source type if you wish to work on them on campus.

If you have the Harvard-SHU style installed in any version of Word, these three source types will not be available, even if you are referencing in the APA style or another style.  You may also find that some source types and field names are different to versions of Word without the Harvard-SHU style installed.

Electronic source types

In versions of Word with the Harvard-SHU style installed (including University PCs) there are 5 additional source types visible (electronic book, electronic book section, electronic journal article, electronic conference paper and electronic newspaper).  These source types do not work for other referencing styles such as APA 6th ed.  If you have some references you created in the Harvard-SHU style with these source types and you now want them to appear in APA style, you will need to choose alternative source types for your references.

Installing Harvard-SHU 2014 on your own WINDOWS PC

 If you have Microsoft Word 2007, 2010 or 2013, you can install the Harvard-SHU 2014 style using the links on this help page,  There is not a version available for Word 2016. . 

The Harvard-SHU style will not be available in Word on University PCs in academic year 2017/18.