Reference management

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

In order to document 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, thus making it possible to identify what is your contribution and what comes from other sources. The argumentation or 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 enable readers to identify and find the documents mentioned.

Why reference management?

The good scientific work is characterized by a well-considered use of sources. It is important to state these sources in order document to your results and conclusions correctly.The reader must be able to assess whether the present work is based on other people's content and intellectual work. 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act in a number of ways; if you quote others to a very large extent, the product will lack originality and if you do not quote others, it becomes subjective and unscientific.

Reference tools

Various tools to keep track of your references are available, including Mendeley. At DTU we subscribe to the extended Mendeley Institutional Edition. Thus, everyone at DTU has access to this reference management tool also supporting collaboration.

Mendeley & DTU
Use Mendeley

Literature references

There are several methods for writing references in scientific work. There is no preferred method at DTU.

Join one of DTU Library's courses and webinars on reference management and Mendeley

Courses and webinars

DTU students and employees who use Generative AI systems (e.g. ChatGPT or BingChat) must make sure to document and acknowledge their use of AI – just like using any other tool.

Learn more