Reference management

Reference management is about keeping track of the literature used for your study or your research and it is thus an important part of the academic work for both students and researchers.

In order to account correctly for your sources, you must include literature references in your work. There are two main objectives for including references:

  1. The references provide documentation for the part of the text that is based on the work of others, making it possible to identify what is the result of your own cogitation and what comes from other sources. The argumentation or the claim can subsequently be tested and it can be established whether the work is based on a valid foundation or whether important information is missing.
  2. The references will ensure the possibility of identifying and recovering the documents mentioned.

How do I write literature references?
To the right, you can read about some of the methods you can use when making literature lists and references.
You will also find links to some of the tools put at the disposal by DTU Library.

Why reference management?
The good scientific work is characterized by a considered use of sources. It is important to account for these sources to be able to correctly document your results and conclusions based on the literature you have studied and used.

The reader must be able to assess whether the present work is based on content and intellectual cogitation of others. In addition, it is dishonest not the give your sources the credit they deserve.

It is a balancing act in a number of ways; if you quote others to a very large extent, the product will lack originality and if you do not quote others, it becomes subjective and unscientific.

You can learn more about this at the DTU Library courses.


There are several methods for writing references in scientific work.

There is no preferred method at DTU, but here are some good examples:

PilAPA - guide from Ballerup
   Campus (in Danish)

PilMLA - guide from Cornell
   University Library

PilHarvard - guide from Anglia
   Ruskin University

Reference tools

DTU has access to the Mendeley Institutional Edition:
PilMendeley & DTU

The RefWorks subscription has expired on 1 January 2016.