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Materials Science & Metallurgy: Referencing Guide

Referencing - An Introduction

Referencing is an important aspect of good academic practice. It demonstrates the breadth of your reading, indicates how you use the work of others to support your ideas and directs your reader to other useful information. It also helps to you to avoid any accusations of plagiarism and academic misconduct. This is taken very seriously at the University of Cambridge so it's important to take steps to get things right. 

Whatever stage of your academic career you are at you need to make sure that your work adheres to ethical standards. Part of this involves acknowledging the ideas of others where these have informed your work, for example to illustrate a point you are making. This is done by including a reference to the original creator/source of the work so that your readers can follow it up if needed. Adding references to the work of others helps to strengthen your own arguments and distinguish between your own ideas and existing work, showcasing the contribution you are making to the scholarly debate.  

Specific advice for (subject) students. MSM recommend either Harvard or Vancouver

Cite Them Right Logo  An invaluable tool for referencing

Cite Them Right contains information on how to reference many types of resources, such as books, journal articles, and websites along with more unusual sources such as social media posts, datasets, and unpublished materials. Cite Them Right can be accessed via the above link, or via the A-Z Database  use your Raven username and pasword to access the resource.

Reference Management

Reference managers can be an excellent way to track your references and generate your citations and bibliography without manually writing them. There's a few out there to choose from, this section highlights 3 of the ones we see most commonly in the Library. 


Zotero is free, open-source reference management software. It is compatible with both Mac, Windows and Linux, and works with Firefox and Chrome browsers. Below are some resources to get you started with Zotero:

If you would like to learn more about Zotero, or are having problems using it, our Research Support Team can offer assistance


A reference management tool by Clarivate. University of Cambridge staff and students can download EndNote 20 here (you will need your Raven username and password). Below are some resources to get you started with EndNote:



A free reference manager and social network which encourages collaboration. Some Mendeley resources are available below:


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