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Top 7 Reference Software Programs

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Often used by scholars and authors to manage bibliographies or works cited pages, reference management software also known as personal bibliographic management software or citation management software is a valuable tool for the writing of books or scholarly articles that continuously make reference of an outside source. Often integrated into a word processor for the greatest ease of use, reference management software allows an author to record, store, and use different sources repeatedly throughout their work. The software helps keep sources and citations straight, and assists a writer in making sure they have given credit to other authors or experts where credit is due, in turn reducing the risk of plagiarism.
Reference management software programs are used most frequently in the scientific fields where peer review journals and other scholarly research publications essentially drive the evolution of the field. Given their useful organization properties and their ability to link a writer to useful resources like bibliographic databases or online libraries, professionals and experts in other fields have begun adopting this software as well.
1 FormatEase Paper and Reference Formatting Software

Less about reference management and more about reference creation,  FormatEase is a valuable piece of software for inexperienced writers who need some help writing citations and formatting a publishable paper in APA or American Psychological Association style. Since APA style is most often used in the social science fields, this software is geared toward writers in those fields. Like more expensive reference management software, FormatEase creates citations for you, inserts them into your paper, and generates your bibliography page as you write.


2 StyleEase for MLA Style

Similar to FormatEase, but with settings to help with the formatting and reference-building of MLA or Modern Language Association Style assignments, StyleEase appeals to high school and college students for whom MLA is the norm. Exclusively compatible with Windows PCs,, it serves a variety of purposes from the automated construction of your title page and section headings to the intuitive reference management required to create your citations and build your bibliography page. StyleEase is also available for APA style.

 

3 Thomson Reuters Reference Software Programs

Part of the company that runs Reuters, an iconic international news agency known globally for outstanding research, Thomson Reuters publishes a pair of extremely well-regarded reference management software programs, EndNote and Reference Manager. Both programs are near the upper echelons as far as price is concerned, but justify the price in reputation and quality of service. Take a look at some of the features offered by both programs.
If your mind is set on one of the Thomson Reuters reference management programs, keep in mind that there are a number of versions of each program on the market and you should be aware of all of them to best decide what works best for you. Since each program collaborates with pieces of Microsoft Office, you have to purchase different software versions based on your operating system. The company is consistently introducing new versions of their software, but older editions of each program are still readily available so depending on your reference management needs, they may get the job done just fine.

Program

Features

* EndNote

* Easy reference database creation and maintenance
 

* Allows you to sync references pages across all programs and devices from Microsoft Excel to the Cloud to your iPad
 

* Creates bibliography page as you write
 

* Allows easy searching of online bibliographic databases and imports references from popular databases for your use
 

* Provides built-in manuscript templates to make writing easier

* Reference Manager

* Includes an unlimited reference database capacity
 

* Easy retrieval of references, detection of duplicate entries, and automatic creation of a bibliography page
 

* Network version makes it easy for multiple users to utilize the same reference database at the same time, useful for research groups
 

* "Cite While You Write" feature finds references/citations in Microsoft Word and creates a bibliography page as you go
 

* Can produce specialized "reading lists" by organizing the reference database by topics or subjects


4 EndNote Student Edition

Less expensive than the "full version," but still boasting all of the features that made EndNote a revered reference management software program in the first place, the EndNote Student Edition is designed with academic use in mind and discounted for students. Most vendors require a valid student ID for the discount to be provided. Make sure you buy the correct version, depending on your Mac or Windows--based computer.

 

5 EndNote X6 Full-Version Reference Management Software

Without a student ID, you unfortunately have to pay in a higher price range for EndNote,, but you may be able to save money by purchasing an older version of the software. As you shop for EndNote, you will notice a range of numbers classifying its "version number." The higher numbers correspond with more recent release dates. Since reference management has not changed much over the years, alterations between different EndNote programs are minor. The main deciding factors as to which version you purchase are the age of your computer, the year of your Microsoft Office suite, and the operating system you are running. For instance, if you are using an older version of Microsoft Word, you will probably be fully-satisfied with the older and cheaper EndNote X6.. Released in 2011, EndNote X6 includes all of the reference management capabilities and bibliographic database access that EndNote is famous for, but without the premium price of a fresh market item.


6 EndNote X7 Full-Version Reference Management Software

If you just recently upgraded to Windows 8, you need a version of EndNote's software that supports your new operating system and the brand-new Endnote X7,, released in 2013 does just that. The Windows version of EndNote X7 supports Windows 7 and 8 with the Mac version of X7 still forthcoming, but it supports the most up-to-date operating system currently running on Apple-brand computers.

 

7 Reference Manager Version 12

Unlike EndNote, Reference Manager is only available for Windows computers. The brand is one of the older names in reference management software, having been around since 1984. Version 12 integrates a few new features that give it a leg up over older versions, including a "Cite While You Write" feature that generates a slick bibliography automatically, as well as a file storage capability that allows you to actually attach PDFs and other files to your reference database for future reading and use.

 

8 FormatEase Paper and Reference Formatting Software

Less about reference management and more about reference creation, FormatEase is a valuable piece of software for inexperienced writers who need some help writing citations and formatting a publishable paper in APA or American Psychological Association style. Since APA style is most often used in the social science fields, this software is geared toward writers in those fields. Like more expensive reference management software, FormatEase creates citations for you, inserts them into your paper, and generates your bibliography page as you write.

 

9 StyleEase for MLA Style

Similar to FormatEase, but with settings to help with the formatting and reference-building of MLA or Modern Language Association Style assignments, StyleEase appeals to high school and college students for whom MLA is the norm. Exclusively compatible with Windows PCs,, it serves a variety of purposes from the automated construction of your title page and section headings to the intuitive reference management required to create your citations and build your bibliography page. StyleEase is also available for APA style.

 

10 Thomson Reuters Reference Software Programs

 

Part of the company that runs Reuters, an iconic international news agency known globally for outstanding research, Thomson Reuters publishes a pair of extremely well-regarded reference management software programs, EndNote and Reference Manager. Both programs are near the upper echelons as far as price is concerned, but justify the price in reputation and quality of service. Take a look at some of the features offered by both programs.
If your mind is set on one of the Thomson Reuters reference management programs, keep in mind that there are a number of versions of each program on the market and you should be aware of all of them to best decide what works best for you. Since each program collaborates with pieces of Microsoft Office, you have to purchase different software versions based on your operating system. The company is consistently introducing new versions of their software, but older editions of each program are still readily available so depending on your reference management needs, they may get the job done just fine.

Program

Features

* EndNote

* Easy reference database creation and maintenance
 

* Allows you to sync references pages across all programs and devices from Microsoft Excel to the Cloud to your iPad
 

* Creates bibliography page as you write
 

* Allows easy searching of online bibliographic databases and imports references from popular databases for your use
 

* Provides built-in manuscript templates to make writing easier

* Reference Manager

* Includes an unlimited reference database capacity
 

* Easy retrieval of references, detection of duplicate entries, and automatic creation of a bibliography page
 

* Network version makes it easy for multiple users to utilize the same reference database at the same time, useful for research groups
 

* "Cite While You Write" feature finds references/citations in Microsoft Word and creates a bibliography page as you go
 

* Can produce specialized "reading lists" by organizing the reference database by topics or subjects


11 EndNote Student Edition

Less expensive than the "full version," but still boasting all of the features that made EndNote a revered reference management software program in the first place, the EndNote Student Edition is designed with academic use in mind and discounted for students. Most vendors require a valid student ID for the discount to be provided. Make sure you buy the correct version, depending on your Mac or Windows--based computer.

 

12 EndNote X6 Full-Version Reference Management Software

Without a student ID, you unfortunately have to pay in a higher price range for EndNote,, but you may be able to save money by purchasing an older version of the software. As you shop for EndNote, you will notice a range of numbers classifying its "version number." The higher numbers correspond with more recent release dates. Since reference management has not changed much over the years, alterations between different EndNote programs are minor. The main deciding factors as to which version you purchase are the age of your computer, the year of your Microsoft Office suite, and the operating system you are running. For instance, if you are using an older version of Microsoft Word, you will probably be fully-satisfied with the older and cheaper EndNote X6.. Released in 2011, EndNote X6 includes all of the reference management capabilities and bibliographic database access that EndNote is famous for, but without the premium price of a fresh market item.


13 EndNote X7 Full-Version Reference Management Software

If you just recently upgraded to Windows 8, you need a version of EndNote's software that supports your new operating system and the brand-new Endnote X7,, released in 2013 does just that. The Windows version of EndNote X7 supports Windows 7 and 8 with the Mac version of X7 still forthcoming, but it supports the most up-to-date operating system currently running on Apple-brand computers.

 
 
14 Reference Manager Version 12

Unlike EndNote, Reference Manager is only available for Windows computers. The brand is one of the older names in reference management software, having been around since 1984. Version 12 integrates a few new features that give it a leg up over older versions, including a "Cite While You Write" feature that generates a slick bibliography automatically, as well as a file storage capability that allows you to actually attach PDFs and other files to your reference database for future reading and use.


Buying Reference Software on eBay

Since it is part of a relatively niche market, finding reference management software on eBay can be difficult. Given the narrow nature of the market, you should be able to easily peruse the available options and make the right choice. You will find the most helpful results under eBay's " Education, Language, and Reference" category, a subset of the " Software" category, though you may actually be more successful just searching for "EndNote" or "Reference Manager" with your operating system, "Windows" or "Mac" included as an extra keyword. A search in this vein helps you to instantly find the software that is compatible with your needs and gives you more time to read through product specifications and choose the right software.

Buying Reference Software on eBay

Since it is part of a relatively niche market, finding reference management software on eBay can be difficult. Given the narrow nature of the market, you should be able to easily peruse the available options and make the right choice. You will find the most helpful results under eBay's " Education, Language, and Reference" category, a subset of the " Software" category, though you may actually be more successful just searching for "EndNote" or "Reference Manager" with your operating system, "Windows" or "Mac" included as an extra keyword. A search in this vein helps you to instantly find the software that is compatible with your needs and gives you more time to read through product specifications and choose the right software.

Conclusion

Whether you are composing a high school paper in MLA style or writing a sprawling doctoral thesis, keeping track of your citations, bibliographies, and references can be a huge hassle that adds hours onto your writing time. Reference management software takes some of that extra work out of your hands, automatically organizing and building your works cited page or helping you make valuable research links and discoveries, all of which gives you more time to concentrate on the actual content of your paper. Most reference software allows you to build a database and save your references for later, you constantly have a research base for whenever you start a new report or paper. eBay has all your reference software programs available at affordable prices.
 
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