There are many software applications for reference management. Some of the well-known examples include BibTex and Endnote. However, both of them are slightly tedious to manage. BibTex is great but it requires you to use Latex. Latex is a great tool, but it does not support track changes, which is an essential feature for me. Endnote works for Windows, but it inserts custom codes into your word document and it sometimes mess up the formatting of your document.

After playing with various options, I found the most lightweight and easy to manage approach is to use the reference features from Microsoft Word itself. Below is a video tutorial on how to use this feature. This video is recorded by Michael Haller.

How to Manage Reference Using Microsoft Word

The key steps in the video include:

  1. Add references to the end using numbered items
  2. Use cross reference from the insert tab to insert a citation. Select the numbered item and format before insertion
  3. Sort the reference using the sort feature
  4. Press F9 to update the references 

Written by Shengdong Zhao

Shen is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department, National University of Singapore (NUS). He is the founding director of the NUS-HCI Lab, specializing in research and innovation in the area of human computer interaction.