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Reference management for students

  • How can I manage my sources, my references?

Why is reference management important to me?

Managing your references is to manage the sources you cite in your written papers. You should always be able to document where you have a given theory from, who you have quoted or what literature forms the basis for discussions etc.

Citing correctly, you avoid unintentionally plagiarising other people's work. Your readers, your teachers for example, must always be able to track the materials you refer to. This is why correct referencing is important for you as a student.

How do I read a reference?

References contain different types of information. This is a reference for an article in a journal - created according to the Harvard method. A reference for a book however, usually contains information about an author, a publication year, a title, a publisher and a publication place. 

Need help?

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact AU Library, who will be happy to assist you with your questions.

Alternatively, you are always welcome to contact your local library i AU Library.

Reference management tools

Make it easy to manage references - use a reference management tool!

Students and employees at AU can use the tool EndNote for free.
AU Library supports this tool.

Standards and output styles

You have to pick a method or a standard for how your references, your sources, are to be arranged in your written assignments - no matter if you manage your references manually or use a reference management tool. These standards are often referred to as styles or output styles

An output style defines which information to include in your references and your citations. It also defines how the information will present itself in your written assignment, both as to how your citations or footnotes will look and how your bibliography will look. 

Which standard/output style to choose? 

There are a lot of different standards/output styles, and it can be difficult to figure out which one you should choose.

Check your course description, your study portal, your study handbook or other relevant sources to see if there are special requirements for the output style/standard, you must use when it comes to references and reference list. Are there no special requirements you are welcome to ask at your library at AU Library or contact your supervisor to see if he/she has specific preferences.

The most important thing is that your references and reference list are presented in a consistent way and your sources are sufficient

Output style examples: 

More on reference management

Which standard/output style should I choose?

  • Check your course description, your study portal, your study handbook or other relevant sources to see if there are special requirements for the output style/standard, you must use when it comes to references and reference list. Are there no special requirements you are welcome to ask at your library at AU Library or contact your supervisor to see if he/she has specific preferences.

    The most important thing is that your references and reference list are presented in a consistent way and your sources are sufficient.  

When do I use the abbrevation ibid.?

  • Ibid. is short for ibidem, which is Latin. It means in the same place. The abbrevation can be used to cite or refer to the same source that has just been cited. Just make sure that it is the citation cited previously, there can be no citations in between. 

Primary or secondary sources?

It is always best to cite primary sources (books, articles etc.). That is original works. However, you are not always able to get hold of primary sources and then you have to cite other (secondary) sources that cite the primary source. In your text this can be done in one of these ways:

  • Sorensen et al. explain the concept in this way… (Meyer, 2008, p. 109)
  • ...the concept is explained in this way... (Sørensen et al., 2001 in Meyer, 2008, p. 109)

In this case the Meyer publication from 2008 is the secondary source. In the Meyer publication at page 109 the primary source (Sorensen et al.), which could not be obtained, is cited.

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