RefME is changing!

RefME online referencing tool and app change from 28th February open-book-585864__340

Have you been using the free online tool and app RefME to help you with your referencing?

RefME has been acquired by another educational company and will become Cite This For Me

Your accounts and citations will automatically be transferred to Cite This For Me

You’ll be able to log in using the same details to access all your work until 1st June 2017 – giving you access to your account and bibliographies for free on Cite This For Me.

From 2nd June you’ll need to subscribe to Cite This For Me for access to access all you work. There’s more info is here RefME transition to Cite This For Me FAQs. 

There are many different online tools and apps available to help you with your referencing. Have a look at our guidance on this page Choosing the right tool or app for you
You can also consider using RefWorks an online referencing tool paid for by SHU.                                                        
Find out all you need to know on the referencing library guide 


Referencing – your questions answered!

APA digital signage 1jpgWhy has referencing changed?

Essentially to make referencing as easy as possible for you!

How is APA easier?

APA a consistent style worldwide and, if you find ‘APA 6th edition’ in any referencing tool, you can be confident that you’re using the right style.

I’m in my 2nd year – do I have to change to APA?

You can continue to use Harvard SHU during 2016/7 if you like, or you can start using APA straight away. APA will be the ‘standard’ referencing style for the academic year 2017/18

  • Watch a short video to find out what you need to know about the chances to referencing as a returning student
  • Try using the free online tool RefME at
  • There are also a range of short RefME videos you can watch on the Library Gateway, Help with Referencing, Online tools and apps, RefME web

I’m in my 3rd year – do I have to change to APA?

Again it’s up to you and you can always check with your tutor. If you are used to using Harvard SHU and you’re in your final year you may prefer to use the style you are most familiar with.

What if my tutor has asked me to use a different referencing style?

Make sure you know which style your tutor prefers and use that.

You can find guidance on Harvard-SHU here

What about…?

Here are some useful links if you have any more questions…

Referencing – just got easier!

…and here’s what you need to know – ‘APA 6th ed’ is the new SHU Harvard!APA digital signage 1jpg

APA 6th ed. is now the main referencing style used at SHU – replacing Harvard-SHU

But don’t worry – if your department uses a different style such as OSCOLA, MLA, etc. then there’s no need for you to change.

Here are 2 good reasons to use APA refme

  1. You can quickly and easily generate correctly formatted references in APA style from Library Search and Google Scholar
  2. You can choose from a wide range of free apps and online tools such as RefME so you can quickly generate accurate APA style references e.g. scan a book barcode to automatically generate the correct reference.


If you are used to Harvard-SHU you can continue using it during 16/17 if you want to.

Find out more about easier referencing at or pick up a leaflet in the Library.

Referencing just got easier with APA!


What you can get help with and where…

There are a variety of ways you can get help whether you’re at home, on placement, live outside Sheffield, or even upstairs in the library!

What… can you ask us about?

  • borrowing from libraries and your borrower accounts
  • logging in and using SHU IT systems
  • using Microsoft Office software
  • printing, copying and scanning
  • finding and using materials for your assignments
  • referencing
  • using library services and facilities eg booking PCs and group spaces
  • referrals to other and specialist services

Where… you can go to get help!

  • chat – useful at home, on placement, if you live at a distance, or even in the library

Chat for library support (including supporting users of IT systems and equipment in libraries) 24/7/365 – with our staff during daylight hours and university library colleagues in the US overnight

Chat for IT support 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri

  • Helpdesks



If you’re in Adsetts or Collegiate, check out the library Helpdesk – opening hours on shuspace.


simon help point


There are also IT Help Points located in Harmer and the Atrium at Heart of the Campus – opening hours are 8.45am-4.45pm (from 10am Weds).


Don’t get stuck – ask us!

Referencing tools and when to use them

You’ve probably heard that there are pieces of software you can use to help with referencing and you might even have used some of them, but which one is best for your assignment? Well, it depends what you’re working on. We recommend two tools.

Word referencing tool

Microsoft Word logo

If you’re writing an essay and need something to help you with your citations and reference list, the referencing tool built into Microsoft Word will probably do everything you need. You’ll have to download some extra files to add the SHU-Harvard referencing style, but they’re available on the Microsoft Word tool tab of our referencing software guide with instructions on what to do, so it shouldn’t take long. One disadvantage of Word referencing tool is that it won’t put your reference list into alphabetical order by author, but you can do that manually.


If you’re working on a longer assignment or your dissertation, it’s definitely worth using RefWorks. It’s slightly more complicated than the Word tool because you’ll need to create a RefWorks account online first, but there are full instructions on the RefWorks tab of the referencing software guide. RefWorks is an online tool, which means you log in through your web browser to add your references. Then, to create citations and reference lists, you need to install an add-in for Microsoft Word called Write-N-Cite (again, there are instructions to follow). RefWorks is great for building up a database of references, so you can keep track of useful things you’ve read for future assignments.

So, why these two tools?

Crucially, they can help you create references in the SHU-Harvard style that we use at Sheffield Hallam. Other applications (like the online favourite Neil’s Toolbox) give you generic Harvard references, which aren’t exactly the same.

Finally, remember that all referencing tools are just there to help – they can’t do the job for you! Make sure you check your citations and references against our comprehensive Guide to Harvard referencing and citations.

Guide to referencing and citations in the SHU-Harvard style

And do let us know if you’re trying to reference something and can’t find an example in this guide. Go to the library helpdesk or get in touch.

You may also be interested in: Microsoft Office 365 – now free to all SHU students and staff (blog post)

Countdown to Christmas no. 6 – find help on shuspace!

Fancy a chat?

Log in to shuspace and you can do all sorts of things…

  • check your University email
  • view your timetables
  • use the Library information pages to find answers to your questions
  • go to the Library Gateway – follow the link at the top of the page in shuspace

If you’re not sure where to find information about something in shuspace, use the search box. All the library help guides – including the referencing and skills guides – are searchable from there.

Help us spread the word – follow and retweet our countdown messages @shu_library on Twitter. The first person to retweet each day can win one of 12 goodie bags and they’re ready to go…


Always read the original if you can


If you’re reading a book or an article and it mentions an idea that the author has read about somewhere else, how do you reference that?  For example, if you’re reading a article by Jones written in 2008, it might mention a book written by Smith in 1945.

Find the original text

The best thing to do is find the original text and read it, and then reference that instead. Otherwise, you’re relying on what one author has said about another’s ideas, which might be inaccurate or incomplete, or biased in some way.  To find the original, go to the reference list or bibliography at the end of the piece of work you’re reading, and you should find the full reference there.  Then, go to the Library Gateway and type in the title and author’s name into Library Search. Filtering by publication date can be useful, too.

If the book or article you’re looking for doesn’t appear in the search results, we might not have it at the University.  However, you can request a copy through the Document Supply Service – find out more on shuspace.

Secondary referencing

If you can’t get access to the original text, such as when it’s out of print, there is another option: you can use secondary referencing.  This involves citing and referencing the source you have read, rather than the original author.  Citations might look like this:

        ‘Jones (2008) discusses the research that Smith carried out in 1945 and…’

        ‘Smith claimed, according to Jones (2008), that there were five principles…’

In this example, the article written by Jones in 2008 would be included in your reference list, but the book by Smith wouldn’t because you haven’t read it.

If you do use secondary referencing, you need to make it clear in your writing that you have read someone else’s interpretation of the original author’s work.  For more help with secondary referencing, see the Guide to Harvard Referencing and Citations (Pages 16 & 17).

You may also be interested in: Help with referencing guide (library help guide)

Get reference details using Library Search


When you’re putting together the reference list for an assignment, don’t worry if you didn’t write down all the details of the books, articles and other things that you read. You can use Library Search to get all the details you need.  Let’s say, for example, you used a book with the title ‘Information technology project management’ but don’t remember any of the other details.  Type the title into Library Search and you’ll get a list of results.

Search results

There will be lots of results at first, so use the filters on the left-hand side to narrow them down.  Click on the ‘Books / eBooks’ filter to show just books.  Now, do any of the books look familiar?  Most of them will include a small image of the front cover, which can be really helpful for jogging your memory.

When you’ve found the book that you used, click on the Details link underneath the title and you’ll see all the information that you need to write the reference.

Details link highlighted

Not sure how to structure a reference?  Have a look at our Guide to Harvard referencing and citations for help with citations and reference lists, and also lots of examples.

You may also be interested in: Microsoft Word referencing tool

Create citations and reference lists with Word referencing tool

Did you know that Microsoft Word has a built-in referencing tool?  Even better, there’s a SHU-Harvard style for it, so you can type in the relevant information and it’ll generate your citations and reference lists for you in the style that’s required for your assignments at Sheffield Hallam.  It’s already installed on all University PCs and you can download it for your own computer as well.  Want to know more?  Log in to shuspace and search for ‘Word referencing tool’.

Word referencing tool shuspace search

On the search results page, click on the first one and you’ll be taken to the Word tool tab of the referencing software guide.  Follow the instructions on that page to download the SHU-Harvard style for your version of Microsoft Word.  We’ve got downloads suitable for Word 2007, 2010 and 2013 on PC, and Word 2011 on Mac.  Word 2016 for Mac doesn’t support the SHU-Harvard style yet.  If you’ve got Office 365, that means you’ll have the most up-to-date version of Microsoft Word that your system can run, which usually means 2013 on PC and 2016 on Mac.

To check whether SHU-Harvard style has installed properly, open Word and click on the ‘References’ tab on the toolbar at the top of the screen.  Click on the drop-down Style list and you should see ‘Harvard – SHU 2014*’.

Harvard-SHU 2014

If it isn’t on the list, you’ll need to go back to the referencing software guide and try again.  Make sure you have downloaded the right files for your version of Word; that’s the most common reason why it doesn’t work for people.  If it still doesn’t work, take your laptop to one of the library Helpdesks and a member of staff will have a go.

Tip: Word referencing tool is very useful and can save you a lot of time because you don’t have to format your references manually. but it won’t do everything for you!  You’ll still have to type in the right information (author’s name, title, year of publication, etc) and then double-check your citations and reference list for mistakes.  Here at SHU Library Hacks, we find it helpful to use the University’s guide to referencing and citations to make sure we haven’t gone wrong.

You may also be interested in: Microsoft Word tool (library help guide)