It makes sense to keep track of the information sources you have found, read or intend to read. Having a systematic way of doing this will enable you to spend more of your time on your research and less of your time on the basics of managing your information such as storing and retrieving your sources. It will also make it easier for you to create bibliographies when you need to.
You need to have a system which is:
You may have your own way of doing this already, but you could consider using reference management software.
This software enables you to:
There are a number of different tools you can use. SHU subscribes to RefWorks and EndNote, but there are also free options that you could consider.
Below are some suggestions for what to consider when choosing your software:
If you are considering using ‘free’ software, such as Mendeley or Zotero, we recommend that you also consider:
If you would like to discuss the options with us, please contact the Library Research Support Team : Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: (0114) 225 3852
For a detailed comparison of some of the reference management tools that are available, see the reference management software comparison from the Technischen Universität München.
Proquest RefWorks is the university supported reference management tool, and is a good option for most researchers. Please see the RefWorks section of the referencing guide for more information on creating an account and using the system.
EndNote desktop is available to SHU staff. Find out more on the SHU guide to getting started with EndNote. This covers getting set up with EndNote and using Cite-While-you-Write. There are also links to tutorials and videos from Clarivate, who are the producers of EndNote.
Please do not start using Legacy RefWorks as this software is due to be retired by the company that produces it in June 2023.
If you are currently using Legacy RefWorks you can transfer your references and folder structure to a Proquest RefWorks account. If you have multiple Legacy RefWorks accounts, these can be migrated to separate 'Projects' in a Proquest RefWorks account.
You can find more information about upgrading on our Legacy upgrade pages.
Reference management software may help you to store and organise references, deduplicate your results and share your references with colleagues.
If you are undertaking a systematic literature review you may wish to consider using software specifically for systematic reviews, such as Covidence, which can also support other aspects of a review, such as screening and data extraction.
Covidence is an online software tool that supports the systematic review process and is available to SHU staff and students.
It is most suitable for research staff and doctoral students conducting systematic reviews.
It can be used to import and deduplicate references, screen references (both title/abstract and full-text), create and populate data extraction forms and populate risk of bias tables. You can also invite your review team colleagues to work with you on your review.
If you are looking for a way to share references with others and do not need the other functionality in Covidence, then the group work and sharing options in Proquest RefWorks may be more appropriate.
You can export lists of studies from Covidence to reference management software, such as RefWorks, if you wish to create a reference list or bibliography.
To find out if Covidence might be useful to you with your review, have a look at the introductory video below.
How to Access Covidence
At SHU we have a one year institutional licence for Covidence (starting October 2022).
This page about Covidence at SHU includes instructions on how to create an account. If you already have a free account, you can link this to the SHU licence.
Help with Covidence
Covidence provides a lot of a support with how to use the software:
Support for using Covidence is provided by the resources above and not by the Library.
Covidence run regular one hour training webinars. To find out when the next webinar is taking place and to sign up, look on their page about upcoming webinars. There is also a link for you to view a recording of a recent introductory webinar.