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CBE Senior Design Project - Course Guide: Managing and Formatting Your References

Cite Your Sources!

An image of an open laptop with an image of library bookshelves depicted on the screen of the laptop.

Make sure that you are correctly citing the work that came before yours!  Use appropriate references and a consistent citation style.

Style Guides

It is important to be consistent in the formatting of your references.  The following link will connect you to some suggestions of styles that you can use to cite the material that you use in your project.

Reference Management Tools

Using a reference management tool allows you to collect, store, use, and format your references from a single starting point.  Researchers appreciate these features because they easily allow one to organize all references in a single place and they obliviate the need to continually renumber and reformat references as changes are made to the paper.  There are four reference management systems currently in use at the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information please check out our guide on Citation Management Tools.


Zotero is a free browser plug-in for FireFox.  Penn also has a site license which allows for expanded storage of citation and documents. It synchs with an online reference management system, and you can use either or both of these to manage and share your references.  This application also requires a free Word plug-in when you are ready to insert references into your document.

The following resources Zotero resoureces are available at Penn.


RefWorks is an online reference management tool licensed by Penn Libraries.  To use it, you will need to create a RefWorks account.  Many of our search tools export results directly to RefWorks, and RefWorks references link to full-text of journal articles via PennText.  In order to insert references into a paper, you will need to install a special Word plug-in, called Write 'n' Cite.

The following resources are available to assist you in using RefWorks.


EndNote is proprietary desktop software, distributed by Thompson Scientific.  If you wish to use the desktop version of EndNote, you can either download a copy using the University of Pennsylvania's site license or use an already-installed copy on a computer in the Chemistry Library Computer Lab.  However, Thompson has made a Web-based version of EndNote available through the ISI Web of Science.  To use this, simply enter Web of Science, register for a free profile, and click the link to "My EndNote Web" at the top of any WOS screen.

For assistance using EndNote, please contact Judith Currano.


Mendeley is a paper management system that manages pdfs, creates bibliographic references for them, and inserts these references into papers.  It is a freely downloadable software package that synchs with an online storage site.

The following resources may be helpful for Mendeley users.

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