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APA 6th Edition Referencing: Referencing Tools

This is a Wintec guide to help you with referencing in the American Psychological Association (APA) style.

Reference generators/management tools

There are a number of citation generators and reference managers you can use to help with your referencing. These are handy tools but not always accurate, so you should always check your references against the APA guide.

Citation generators

A citation generator can generate in-text citations and reference lists. You will likely still need to enter the information manually, however. Once you have done so, you can copy and paste the citation/reference list entries into your assignment.

Common citation generators

Reference management tools

A reference management tool does more than just generate citations/references, it also keeps a library of your resources and helps you to manage them. A reference management tool is a piece of software that you download to your computer—often accompanied by extensions for word processors and browsers. The software can generate in-text citations and reference lists for you, but you will likely still need to enter the information manually. The software keeps a record of the resources you have used in a library, so you can keep and reference them by inserting them where needed.

Some common reference management tools:

  • Zotero (free to download)
  • Mendeley (free to download)
  • EndNote (needs to be purchased. Talk to ITS to see if you qualify for a license via Wintec)
  • Word (see the References tab)

Pros and cons of reference management tools

Pros:

  • Correctly formats your reference.
  • Ensures that the in-text references link to your reference list and vice versa.
  • Once you have created the citation you can just insert that citation again every time you need it, rather than re-typing it.

Cons:

  • You still need to have a good understanding of APA referencing to correctly input the information and to edit your citations.
  • It can be fiddly to edit your in-text citations (e.g., for secondary citations, or changing between direct and indirect references). Once you are used to the nuances of the software it becomes much easier.

Tips:

  • Ensure that you have the tool set to APA 6th (or American Psychological Association, 6th ed.)
  • The citation will only be as good as the information you put in, so always check it against the APA guide.
  • Each tool works slightly differently and can take some getting used to. It can seem like extra work initially but can save you time in the long run—especially if your work contains a large number of references.
  • You only need to download one tool onto your computer (although you may like to try a couple of different ones to find out which one you prefer.
  • Ask your Liaison Librarian for assistance if you would like help using any of these tools.

Exporting OneSearch articles into a reference management tool

You can export citations from OneSearch to some reference management tools.

Note:  Remember that these are computer generated so may not always be correct. Always check your references against the guide.

To do so, once you are in the PDF of the document, select the export button down the right-side of the page:

Then select "Direct Export in RIS Format..."

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