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Referencing software

Referencing software (also called 'bibliographic software' or 'citation managers') helps you to:

  • import citations from your favourite databases and websites
  • build and organise bibliographies
  • format citations for papers
  • take notes on articles and save them in your collection of citations
  • save and organise PDFs, screenshots, graphs, images and other files for your research.

The Library supports three major services: Mendeley, RefME and RefWorks.


What is Mendeley? Mendeley allows you to download bibliographic references from databases, files or PDFs and create bibliographies in Word or LibreOffice. It is also possible to share references in public and private groups or by email.

Who might use it? Mendeley is open to everyone but is particularly useful for researchers, final year students or those doing dissertations.

System requirements? A Mendeley account is created on the web in conjunction with desktop software on your PC or laptop. The desktop software is available on labs on campus but must be installed on staff machines. This software in installed on a yearly basis, though there may be newer, updated versions available for installation on personal machines. There are apps available on IOS and Android tablets.

Create an account on the web at using your Loughborough email. Ignore the prompt to download the desktop software unless you are working on a personal machine.

What help is available? Training manuals and videos are available on Learn and also from your Academic Librarian


What is RefME? RefME is a free web and mobile tool which is a quick and easy method of producing bibliographies and inline citations for essays and projects. Students can search RefME using ISBNs for books or DOIs for journal articles or just by author, title or keyword. References can also be added manually using any of the many reference format templates - book, journal article, web page etc. or imported from a database using an RIS file.

Who might use it? Best suited for undergraduates.

System requirements? RefME is available on the web and as an app. There is also a RefME WebClipper application for Google Chrome which references online material. Bibliographies and inline citations can be copied and pasted into Word documents and references can also be exported to RefWorks, Mendeley and other systems. There are no storage facilities for PDFs.

Create an account on the web at using either your Loughborough or personal email

What help is available? Training manuals and videos are available on Learn and also from your Academic Librarian  


What is RefWorks? RefWorks is a subscription service freely available to all Loughborough members which enables you to create and manage your own personal bibliographic database. You can either type the references in yourself, or import them from a text file or database search. 

Who might use it? RefWorks is suitable for researchers and students.

System requirements? RefWorks is web-based. Documents can be formatted using the 'format a paper' option in RefWorks or by using a downloadable software application called Write 'N Cite.

Create an Individual Account on the web at  using your Loughborough email and your Athens username and password.

Create a Group Account – register using the Loughborough University Group Code at the RefWorks login page using an individual (not Athens) password which you can then pass on to the others in the group. Click on the link marked 'Sign up for an Individual Account' and if you want to share both read and write access, agree on one member of the group who will initiate the account. Agree on a group password and circulate the details to all members of the group. For a read only basis, go to the 'Update User Info' link in the Tools section of the database.

What help is available? Training manuals and videos are available on Learn and also from your Academic Librarian