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Referencing is an essential part of academic writing. By correctly citing your sources, you add weight and authority to your work and allow the reader to locate the evidence you have used to support your ideas. The library has plenty of resources to help you with referencing, including comprehensive guides and one-to-one support.


Why is it important to reference?

  • Acknowledges your sources and aids transmission of knowledge.

  • Enables the reader to locate your sources.

  • Indicates you have read around your subject.

  • Demonstrates you have analysed other work and presented your own views.

  • Avoids plagiarism, even when unintentional.

  • You may lose marks for incorrect referencing.

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Referencing styles


At St George’s, you will be expected to use the Harvard style of referencing, which is based on:

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2019) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 11th edn. London: Palgrave.

As there are many different styles of Harvard, it is important that you use Cite Them Right (either in print or online) or the library’s referencing guides to ensure you are using the correct version.

Some lecturers may offer the Vancouver referencing style as an option for some assignments. The Vancouver style is based on:

Patrias, K (2007) Citing medicine: The NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers. 2nd edn. Edited by Dan Wendling. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US).

Usage guides

Reference management

In order to produce accurate references, you’ll need to record the details of all the information you find. Reference management software can help you manage your sources and there are a wide range of tools available. This page gives an overview of RefWorks, a tool provided by St George’s, and other reference management software.


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At St George’s, we have an institutional subscription to RefWorks (available to St George’s staff and students only). There are now two versions of RefWorks available:
  • RefWorks: the new RefWorks, launched in 2016

  • Legacy RefWorks: until October 2019, this was the only version available at St George’s.

The two versions are working alongside together, however it will not be possible to create new Legacy accounts from October 2019.

St George’s Library now runs training sessions on the new version of RefWorks but will continue to support those using Legacy RefWorks.

Accessing RefWorks or Legacy RefWorks

If you are entirely new to RefWorks, visit: RefWorks

If you would like to continue using Legacy RefWorks, and you already have an account, visit: Legacy RefWorks.

Moving from Legacy to New RefWorks?

If you are using Legacy RefWorks and are interested in moving to the new version of RefWorks, please be aware that it is currently not possible to edit documents in new RefWorks if they have previously been used in Legacy RefWorks.

We strongly recommend that those using Legacy RefWorks at St George’s delay moving to the new version of RefWorks until any documents, such as dissertations or theses, you are working on are complete. More information about migrating from Legacy RefWorks can be found on our RefWorks LibGuide.

Getting more help with RefWorks

Use our RefWorks LibGuide to get started with using the software, or come along to one of our training sessions for hands-on support.

 Other reference management tools

There are a number of other popular and/or freely available tools including ZoteroMendeley or Endnote Basic. Licenses are also available for individual purchase for  the full version of EndNote.


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