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Citing and avoiding plagiarism

                IAD logo

Citing and referencing demonstrates the breadth of your research and helps avoid plagiarism. To understand more about plagiarism and how and why to avoid it, see the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Academic Development's (IAD) guide:

IAD - Referencing and avoiding plagiarism


LibSmart logo

LibSmart provides advice and activities on using Library tools to help you manage your information and use correct citation and referencing, including:

  • Cite Them Right
  • Using ‘My Favourites’ and the quick citation tool in DiscoverEd
  • Using Resource lists to create a bibliography

To find out more and self-enrol: Libsmart


Cite Them Right Online explains and demonstrates how to cite, both in-text and in a reference list or bibliography, a wide range of material types: books, journal articles, lecture notes, law reports, web pages, computer games, live performances...

Harvard (author-date) is shown throughout but many material types are demonstrated in other citation styles too: APA, Chicago, MHRA, MLA, OSCOLA, Vancouver.

General information on referencing and plagiarism is also presented.

Which referencing style should I use?

Within subject areas there are conventions for different referencing styles, therefore first check if your School requires a particular style. If there isn't a required style you can select a standard style, (such as APA) and use this style consistently in your work.


Law and the OSCOLA Style 

The Oxford University Standards for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) is a specific style for legal citations. There is help available when using Endnote or Zotero.

For more information on this style

Referencing for Law. Short videos covering reference types for Law and OSCOLA. 


Choosing a reference management software tool

If you just want to create formatted references and don't need to save them ZoteroBib ( is a free service that helps you build a bibliography instantly from any computer or device, without creating an account or installing any software.

If you want to do more, reference management software lets you store, annotate and group references and also automatically creates citations and reference lists in your documents.

There are a number of different reference management software tools available. For help in deciding which is right for you, please see our software comparison information below. 

Reference Management tools - a few options and comparisons


For more information, there is a self-enrol Learn course which explores some of the most popular options: Endnote, Zotero and Citavi.
Choosing a Reference Manager - self-enrol Learn course


EndNote 20 logo

EndNote is supported by the University and available as desktop run software and as a web application. Both versions provide automatic citing in the desktop version of Microsoft Word.  

On-campus. The desktop version is installed on the open-access lab computers where the "Cite While You Write" plug-in is available on Microsoft Word.

Endnote for personal/home devices. Staff and students from subscribing Schools* can request an Endnote download to install the software on personal/home devices via Software Services
*Does not include, Informatics, Maths, Physics.

How to use Endnote 20 in 7 minutes

*Please Note* The Online Search method shown in the video is not the preferred method for adding references to Endnote and is limited to a small number of sources. The preferred route is to use DiscoverEd or to export to Endnote from the relevant database. 


More information provided by Clarivate Analytics - training material from Endnote

Endnote 20 Quick reference guide collection (6 pdf pages)
  quick guides 

*Please Note* The Online Search method shown in the video is not the preferred method for adding references to Endnote and is limited to a small number of sources. The preferred route is to use DiscoverEd or to export to Endnote from the relevant database. 

Endnote - Tips

Endnote - Finding the Full Text

If you are working from off-campus, we recommend setting up the Virtual Private Network (VPN) to increase the success rate for finding full text (

When entering an organisation as the author, add a comma after the entry to avoid splitting the name. This will display the author as 'World Health Organization' (rather than 'Organization, World Health').

screen capture of organizational author in Endnote

A short video demonstrating how you can use EndNote to insert footnotes in Word, using Chicago (footnotes) style.

Add a page number
If you are using a style that does not support page numbers, you can still add them to your citation as follows:
1. Click on the citation that you want to add a page number to.
2. Click on the Edit & Manage Citation(s) button on the EndNote tab in Word.
3. A window will open - make sure the correct citation is selected, then type the page number into the Suffix box in the Edit Citation tab. Click OK.

This short webinar covers functions in EndNote (desktop version) that can help you manage your search results and save time with key stages of the systematic review process, including managing search results; de-duplicating results; screening within EndNote and recording decisions; exporting for screening or data extraction in other applications; obtaining full text.

EndNote Click is an extension for Chrome browser that quickly tells you if you have access to a version of a journal article that you are looking at both on and off-campus. It detects when you are looking at an article’s page and if you have access, it will provide a link to the document. It covers both our subscription e-resources and open access e-resources. EndNote Click automatically files away the pdfs you read in your own private locker, to help you organise your files. 

Sign up to EndNote Click  using the Edinburgh specific URL

Endnote Training delivered by Digital Skills


Webinar recording for 'EndNote for Managing References' webinar (22 Apr 21).
If you would like to attend a training event, you can find dates and book here: EndNote training events 


Zotero is an open-source reference management tool that can help you manage your references. 

Please note that support is not available from EdHelp. Support is provided for Endnote.  

Endnote and Zotero workshops are delivered online via Digital Skills and the Institute of Academic Development


This video will guide you through adding references quickly from a variety of sources and adding them automatically to your work.

Chapters (select via the icon on the top left)

  1. Introduction
  2. Getting Started 
  3. Adding Records 
  4. Creating citations in Word 
  5. Added Value 

Digital Skills Documents Catalogue: Library Bitesize - Zotero

Mendeley - Change from September 2022

Mendeley Desktop is no longer available for download from Mendeley and new users will need to use Mendeley Reference Manager and Mendeley Cite add-in. Note that the Mendeley Cite add-in is not available with the University of Edinburgh Office365 and it is, therefore, not possible to use whilst logged in to the University of Edinburgh Office365.