Reference management software is effectively a large online filing cabinet where you can store references you have found, along with any matching PDFs. They will save you a great deal of time and effort when you are writing a paper, dissertation or thesis, but they do require a reasonably good, medium level of IT skills.
From academic information sources such as the journal article databases or even Google Scholar, you can automatically export bibliographic data to your reference management software. As you write your assignment and need to include a reference, pull the data into your word processor from the reference manager and simultaneously start the reference list at the end of the document, formatted in the style of your choice.
Edinburgh Napier’s reference manager is called Endnote. This is available on campus through any networked PC. It can also be accessed via your laptop or device off campus, i.e. at home, or using Eduroam wifi, via the Virtual Desktop Service (VDS). You can access the VDS by downloading a bit of software. More information about that HERE There is also has a more basic online version called Endnote Online. Both products can be synchronised together so you can use them both on and off campus.
Endnote User guides
Endnote Online - Web based. Great for off campus use. Good for undergraduates. Try this introductory video [20 mins] to see if Endnote is for you.
Endnote Desktop - PC based. On campus use only, or via the Virtual Desktop Service. Ideal for PhD students and researchers.
There are lots of reference management software packages to choose from. Another package well used amongst the academic community, particularly researchers is Mendeley. Try their introductory video. mendeley has a social networking element that is often appreciated by researchers.