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Referencing with APA: Referencing software

Which program is best for me?

There are various reference management software programs that you can use to build your own personal collection of references. Additionally, these programs offer the possibility to insert references into your documents in different styles and to share them with others. Each program has its own specific features. Our Library offers software and workshops for the program Endnote. Your choice for a specific program may depend on the following criteria:

  • for what purpose (e.g. one short paper or a thesis) and for how many resources you will use it
  • if you use it for a single paper or if you want to build your own extensive 'resource library' during (part of) your study
  • if it is supported by the databases where you will retrieve your materials from
  • what your personal preferences are
  • if it is available to you (e.g. via freeware or your institute)

Please keep in mind that the various software programs may be handy tools but that they are not faultless. Using a software program for your references doesn't automatically result in a sufficient mark for this part of your paper. In the end, you yourself remain responsible. It is therefore advisable to always do a final check yourself to see of all in-text citations and references are done in the proper way.

Software Programs

EndNote is a commercial 'not-for-free' bibliographic software tool that helps you build, maintain and use a personal database with bibliographic references. It is a more sophisticated referencing program with many features that you will have to master. Using it is, therefore, most appropriate when you are dealing with a more extended number of references.

Our Library has a license for the latest version of EndNote that is available to all its students and employees. They can install this tool on their personal computer or use it via our Intranet. For more information on how to install and use EndNote please check the Managing your Resources page in our Information Skillls Toolbox.

Additionally, our Library offers workshops on how to create and maintain your personal Endnote reference library. 

With EndNote you can: 

  • import references directly from general databases like Science Direct, Sage, Emerald and Web of Science, but also from thematic databases like the Hospitality and Tourism Index (Direct), our own Library Catalogue, and PiCarta
  • insert references into your Word documents in various bibliographic styles via the 'cite-while-you-write' tool
  • format Word manuscripts according to publication styles of for instance APA, Chicago or individual journals
  • include links to various resources like for example PDF files
  • store images in an EndNote library and insert these into manuscripts
  • compile bibliographies on particular topics or themes
  • use EndNote Web to access EndNote remotely and share libraries with others

For additional information on EndNote please visit the websites below:

Mendelay is a combination of a free reference manager and an academic social network that helps you to manage, share and discover both content and contacts in research.

Mendeley Desktop facilitates:

  • automatic extraction of document details from academic papers into a library database
  • full-text search across all your papers, organize your knowledge, and export document details in different citation styles.
  • sharing and synchronization of (parts of) your library with selected colleagues
  • citing your articles in Microsoft Word, OCR (image-to-text conversion) to full-text search all your scanned PDF's

Mendeley Web complements Mendeley Desktop by offering:

  • an online back up of your library
  • detailed statistics
  • a research network.

For more information please visit the following websites:





Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, open-source research tool to help you collect, organize, analyze, cite, and share your bibliographic reference. It can be integrated into your web browser and enables you to:

  • collect citations from various resources like catalogues, databases and the Internet
  • create your own collections
  • add tags to items
  • attach, amongst others, rich text notes, files, web pages, links, images and PDF's to items
  • format citations in all major styles
  • directly insert citations in your word processing software
  • use it at multiple computers
  • create collaborative groups and shared group libraries

For more information please visit the following websites:


Microsoft Word is appropriate when you only have a limited number of references. In this case, you might even consider inserting your references manually, so without a software program, just to practice its logic and format. When you do use Microsoft Word you can create and manage very easily in-text citations and your reference list. It offers a limited number of the most common citation formats and styles. You will find this tool in the Word toolbar under References - Citations & Bibliography. When you want to use the publications in your reference list later on in a more advanced software program like Endnote you simply can upload your Word library.

You will find more information on this referencing tool in Microsoft Word via the link below: