Skip to main content

Subject Guides

Biology: Referencing Guide

Referencing style

Stylistic conventions vary between subjects. You should consult your Course Director, Supervisor or Lecturer if you are unsure which are used in your Faculty or Department. Most Lecturers also issue written guidance on the relevant scholarly conventions and you should read and follow this advice.

Advice on Referencing

Cambridge University offers tailored online skills training on academic writing and referencing via the Transkills portal:

Biological Sciences: academic writing

Biological Sciences: referencing & plagiarism



Advice on plagiarism

Plagiarism is submitting someone else's work, ideas, or words as your own, irrespective of your intent to deceive.  This means that even unintentional plagiarism through poor notetaking or inattentive referencing may be penalised.  Understanding what plagiarism is, and learning techniques to avoid it, is an essential part of your academic training.

The links below provide you with guidance about:

Reference management tools

Reference management tools are used widely throughout Cambridge and are essential particularly as projects become more complex.

Other software is available but the following are currently most common:


Zotero is a fully featured citation collection and management suite for the Firefox web browser that interfaces with Endnote and Refworks via its export feature. It can be used to automatically take lists of results from the Newton catalogue display or from numerous online bibliographic resources.


EndNote is reference management software that enables you to store and manage your references. It will then create bibliographies from these references automatically.


Mendeley is a brand new research management tool for desktop & web, aiming to transform the way researchers manage reference papers. Mendeley allows you to create and store your own personal library, or import an existing set of references and material.