Guide to referencing software and tools , Te aratohu mō te tohutoro pūmanawa, taputapu hoki

Learn how to find, access and use referencing tools so you can decide which software will work best for your study or research.

Referencing is used to tell the reader where ideas from other sources have come from. Referencing software and tools help you to manage your references to those sources.

Choosing your referencing software

Decide whether basic tools or full software are suitable for your referencing. We give some guidance below.

Whichever tool or software you use, you need to know your style well so you can check your references and edit them if needed. Make sure you know which referencing style is needed for your course or research.

The OWLL website gives advice and examples of many referencing styles.

Go to OWLL

Basic referencing tools

Choose basic referencing tools when:

  • you have up to about 12 references
  • you don’t intend to re-use your references in other reference lists.

Pick from this list.

  • Discover – find your item, then use the Cite button.
  • Google Scholar – find your item, then use the quotation marks icon.
  • ZoteroBib – creates references and builds reference lists.
  • Microsoft Word – the References tab creates a bibliography, citations and references, which can be exported to EndNote, if needed.

Full referencing software

Choose full referencing software when you:

  • have around 12 references or more, or you will reuse a few references again
  • want to store your references and their PDFs and create in-text citations and reference lists
  • have the time to learn new software.

Pick from this list.

  • Mendeley – has limited Massey Library support, is free to use, has a reference manager and academic social network.

See a comparison breakdown of the features of EndNote, Zotero and Mendeley

Referencing software classes


Massey campus libraries offer regular face-to-face and online classes to help you learn how to use referencing software.

These classes cover:

  • EndNote (for Windows, Mac, advanced and long documents)
  • Zotero.

Find and book a referencing software class


If you're having trouble using your referencing software or tools, try these tips:

  • enter accurate information into the referencing tools, as they don't correct mistakes
  • try troubleshooting by doing a Google search and look in the results for a university website, or for the software's help forum
  • contact the library for help

Ask a librarian

We're here to help you find the resources you need for your study. Ask a librarian by email, over the phone, or at a service point in any campus library.

Auckland campus library

Free phone inside New Zealand
Phone outside New Zealand

Postal address
Private Bag 102904
North Shore Mail Centre
Auckland 0745

Physical address
Gate 1, East Precinct
Albany Expressway (SH17)
Auckland 0632

Manawatū campus library, Palmerston North

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Postal address
Private Bag 11054
Palmerston North 4442

Physical address
Tennent Drive
Palmerston North 4410

Wellington campus library

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Postal address
Massey University Library
Private Bag 756
Wellington 6140

Physical address

Massey University Library
Block 5
63 Wallace Street
Wellington 6021

Remote and distance contacts

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Phone outside New Zealand