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Physical Sciences: Referencing

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is an important part of good scholarly practice. It brings together many different  principles, and promotes the importance of acting ethically in academic work and research. Academic integrity underpins the research process, and helps to avoid academic misconduct such as plagiarism.

 What is Academic Misconduct?

The University of Cambridge defines academic misconduct as 'gaining or attempting to gain, or helping others to gain or attempt to gain, an unfair academic advantage in formal University assessment, or any activity likely to undermine the integrity essential to scholarship and research'. It includes actions such as plagiarism, self-plagiarism, contract cheating, collusion, impersonation, fabrication of results and failure to meet ethical obligations.

We have produced a short introduction to academic integrity, and why it is an important part of academic life.

This section will focus on resources for referencing and avoiding plagiarism.

Reference Managers

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 three 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:

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


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

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

Cite Them Right

Cite Them Right Logo

Cite Them Right is an invaluable tool for referencing. The site contains information on how to reference many types of resources. Common source types such as books, journal articles, and websites are covered, 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. You will need your Raven username and pasword to access the resource.


If you are a LaTeX user who wants to explore greater referencing functionality, you can look into BibTeX.

 BibTeX allows references to be consistenly formatted by separating the information about an item and the format that it is presented in, in a way that will be familiar to LaTeX users.

Overleaf Logo

Overleaf have a guide to getting started with using BibTeX, with examples of how it can be used. If you have an Overleaf account you can open these examples up and experiement with the code and see how it interacts with LaTeX.

Overleaf BibTeX tutorials

If you would like to use a reference manager to collect and organise your references, you can export your reference library in a .bib format to use in conjunction with BibTeX.

Referencing & Academic Integrity Resources

These resources have been developed by the Physical Sciences Research Support Team. We also offer training on a number of topics - you can find our training schedule here.

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