Reference management is systematically collecting, organising and using references to sources. How to do this in the most efficient way depends on the type of sources you use most frequently and also on your personal workflow and preferences.
Good reference management is an enormous help in retracing what you have seen and read. It also helps you to reuse, add annotations to and share your references. Moreover, it leads to accurate citations. In short: good reference management enables you to work more effectively and efficiently.
There are many ways to save and organise (references to) sources/literature:
These tips will often speed up your work:
There are dozens of dedicated reference management tools. The best known and most widely used are:
There is also the simple Personal Library offered by Utrecht University Library, that combines simple reference management with other library services such als table of contents alerts.
To help you choose the tool that best suits your needs, take a look at our comparison tables.
Whatever tool you choose, it is always relatively easy to switch at a later stage and import your references in another tool.
With reference management tools you can:
Additionally you may sometimes: