Posts Tagged ‘referencing’

RefWorks output style changes

Posted on November 29th, 2013 by Paul Stainthorp

RefWorks at the University of Lincoln has a new output style for Harvard referencing. RefWorks output styles determine the format of in-text citations and reference lists/bibliographies when you use RefWorks and Write-N-Cite.

The new output style “University of Lincoln (Harvard): 2013” is designed to match—as closely as possible within the constraints of automatic referencing software—the University of Lincoln Referencing Handbook for Harvard ( It replaces the old “Harvard (University of Lincoln)” RefWorks output style.

To choose the new style in RefWorks:

  1. Go to “Bibliography” > “Create Bibliography“;
    Screenshot from RefWorks
  2. In the “Create a bibliography from a list of references” window, open the “Select an Output Style” drop-down menu. The new output style, called “University of Lincoln (Harvard): 2013” is at the bottom of the list, in the “University of Lincoln Specific” section.
    Screenshot from RefWorks

You can access RefWorks via the Library website ( Write-N-Cite (version III) software is available on both the standard University computer desktop, and on the Cloud Desktop. You can also install it on your own computer (versions III or 4).

If you have any comments about the new RefWorks output style, please leave feedback via the Library website.

Exporting your reading list to RefWorks

Posted on September 25th, 2013 by Paul Stainthorp

Here’s how to export an entire University of Lincoln reading list into your RefWorks account, for accurate referencing. (Talis have promised to make this process easier in the near future…)

  1. Go to your reading list via Blackboard or
  2. Click on the “Export” button and then on “Export citations”.
    Screenshot from a reading list
  3. The reading list will be exported as a file (with a filename ending in “.ris“) to your computer. Screenshot of an exported .ris file
  4. Now log in to RefWorks ( and click on “References” > “Import”. Screenshot from RefWorks
  5. In the “Import References” window, set both “Import Filter/Data Source” and “Database” to “RIS Format“. Use the “Choose File” button to select the exported .ris file you saved to your computer in step 3.
    Screenshot from RefWorks
  6. RefWorks will import all the items from the reading list into your RefWorks account, and you can then use them in your bibliographies formatted according to whichever referencing system you want to use (including the University of Lincoln Harvard system).
    Screenshot of a reference list
  7. Protip: use Write-N-Cite software (already installed on the University XP and Cloud desktops, and available to download to your own computer for free) to add citations from your RefWorks account to a Microsoft Word document as you go along, and create bibliographies directly within Word.

If you have any questions, please email:

Linking to different parts of a reading list from Blackboard

Posted on September 12th, 2013 by Paul Stainthorp

All 2013-2014 Sites in the University of Lincoln’s Blackboard VLE contain a menu button which links to a reading list page for that module (or award, etc.)

Blackboard button image

When a user clicks on this button, Blackboard checks the reading list system for available lists, by taking the Blackboard Site ID (e.g. SOW3007M-1314), stripping off the academic session suffix (-1314) and polling to see if one or more reading lists is associated with the module/award code (SOW3007M).

The lists are then displayed in a table, with links out to the reading lists themselves – these links open in a new browser window, rather than within a Blackboard frame.

Screenshot from Blackboard showing available lists

As well as these standard menu buttons, it’s possible to add direct links to reading lists or parts of reading lists, from within a Blackboard “Learning Materials” section or similar.

General points:

  • Pretty much all internal URLs in the reading list system are stable – so if you find a URL which begins “…” you’re pretty safe to link to it from Bb.
  • It’s better to set links to open in a new window. Reading list pages within a Blackboard frame don’t always display very nicely: it can also sometimes cause problems with authentication.
  • See the Blackboard help guides page for instructions on adding links to Bb.

Here are 6 different things you can link to in a reading list:

  1. Directly to the whole reading list itself, bypassing the information page that you see when you click on a Bb menu button. Just go to the reading list (via the Blackboard menu or by searching, and copy the URL from the address bar. This can then be pasted into Blackboard.
  2. A section of a reading list, where the list is divided into sections. This might be helpful with linking to week-by-week reading from different parts of the Bb site. To do this:
  3. An individual item on a reading list. Within the reading list, right-click on the link to the item and select “Copy link address” (Google Chrome) / “Copy Shortcut” (Internet Explorer) – or navigate to the item page and copy the URL from the address bar. Then paste the link into Bb. You will see that it’s made up of two parts: the URL of the item itself, and a referrer back to the whole reading list.
  4. For journal articles* where an “Online Resource” button exists, you can copy a direct link to the full text of the article. These links are a useful way of creating a stable URL to a full-text article which can be used outside of the reading list itself. *Don’t use this method to link to ebooks. Ebook links aren’t constructed in the same way as article links (which are OpenURLs) and are not as stable. Link to the item page (point 3) instead.
  5. A downloadable “RIS” file of all items on the reading list which students can import into their RefWorks account. This will provide a much more accurate bibliography/citation style than the reading list software itself provides. To get this link, go to the reading list and click on “Export“, then right-click on “Export citations” and select “Copy link address” (Google Chrome) / “Copy Shortcut” (Internet Explorer). Paste the URL into Blackboard. Alternatively, just stick “.ris” on the end of an existing reading list URL instead of “.html”
  6. A downloadable PDF version of the reading list, better for printing off. Go to the reading list and click on “Export“, then right-click on “Export to PDF” and select “Copy link address” (Google Chrome) / “Copy Shortcut” (Internet Explorer). Paste the URL into Blackboard. Alternatively, just stick “.pdf” on the end of an existing reading list URL instead of “.html”

Has anyone got any other ideas of useful parts of a reading list that can be linked to from Blackboard?

I’ve deliberately left out the “View bibliography” option (which is still in beta) because we’re not happy with the citation style. Instead, use point 5 above, and refer your students to use RefWorks and the new referencing guide and app.

Write-N-Cite III on the XP and Cloud Desktops

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by Paul Stainthorp

After a few glitches, and a lot of work by ICT Services to resolve them, both University of Lincoln corporate Windows desktops are now running the same version of RefWorks’ Write-N-Cite application – version III.

This replaces v.2 of Write-N-Cite which was available on the XP desktop until recently. ICT services and the Library are also working on a plan to upgrade the Cloud Desktop to the newest version of Write-N-Cite (version IV) in the near future.

Now that students & staff can connect to the Cloud Desktop from their own computer or device remotely, they can use Write-N-Cite III from off campus without having to install the software locally.

If you’re used to using Write-N-Cite v.2, you’ll find that there a few differences with version III. In particular:

“…Write-n-Cite III works with one Word document. You can make changes in the document and then click ‘Bibliography’ again. RefWorks will make the changes. Write-n-Cite v.2 works with two versions of the Word document; when you click ‘Create Bibliography’ a new Word document that contains the references is made. This new document automatically gets the name Final-(title of original document).”

(Taken from the website of Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.) There are also differences in the way you use text switches / the Edit Citation feature to modify in-text citations between the two versions.

How to log in to Write-N-Cite:

1. On the Windows XP corporate desktop

  • Click on the “Start” menu, then on All ProgramsResearch Software > Write-N-Cite.

    Screenshot from Windows XP

  • Click on “Athens users” to begin the login process.

    Screenshot from WNC III


2. On the Cloud Desktop

  • Click on the Windows icon, then on Research Software > Write-N-Cite.

    Screenshot from the Cloud Desktop

  • Click on “Athens users” to begin the login process.

    Screenshot from WNC III


3. Alternatively, you can download Write-N-Cite IV to your own computer

To download Write-N-Cite IV:

  • Log in to RefWorks via the Library website;
  • Go to ToolsWrite-N-Cite;
  • Download and install the appropriate version (Windows/Mac) of Write-N-Cite IV;
  • Copy-and-paste the Write-N-Cite Login Code – you will need this to access Write-N-Cite once it is installed;
  • There is a help guide for working with Write-N-Cite on the RefWorks website.

ICT services and the Library are working on a plan to upgrade the Cloud Desktop to Write-N-Cite IV in the near future.

If you have any questions or problems with Write-N-Cite, please email:


RefWorks citation output styles for the University of Lincoln – added IEEE

Posted on May 4th, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp

At the request of the School of Engineering, we have added a new citation output style to the ‘University of Lincoln Specific‘ list of styles preferred and/or supported at the University of Lincoln.

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) citation reference style is a broadly-recognised format for writing research papers in technical fields, including computer science as well as engineering.

Screenshot of RefWorks create bibliography options

It’s now available to select within RefWorks’ “Create Bibliography” menu, as well as in the Write-N-Cite application. The list of Lincoln-specific output styles now consists of five options:

  1. APA (American Psychological Association) style, used by the subject of psychology.
  2. Harvard (University of Lincoln) – a generic version of Harvard created by the Library which you may have to modify using the Output Style Editor to meet the preferred referencing style for your course;
  3. IEEE, commonly used in engineering;
  4. ISO 690 numeric style, which is permitted as an alternative to Harvard by some subjects;
  5. MLA (Modern Language Association) style, used in some humanities subjects.

For help with referencing style and with using RefWorks, contact your subject librarian or email:

Harvard referencing system guide

Posted on October 4th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

In his blog (restricted to University of Lincoln users), my colleague Bernie Russell says:

This is a very user-friendly guide to the Harvard referencing system published by Anglia Ruskin University.

I’ve talked about this to a couple of colleagues over email from the school and from the library, and the general view is that it might be worth looking at as a possible resource.

I like the interface. It’s easy to read and easy to use. And there’s a refworks hint, which is very handy.

…and he’s right. Claro?

Adding manual ‘switches’ to Write-N-Cite to modify citations

Posted on June 17th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

I was asked how to do this today, and it seemed worth recording here.

N.B. These instructions are valid for versions of Write-N-Cite v.2. (Things work slightly differently in WnC III for Windows!)

Here’s how to manually edit the in-text citation created by WnC using a ‘switch’, in order to suppress the author’s name in the citation. I’m assuming here that we’re using the Harvard (University of Lincoln) citation output style.

  1. Click on the ‘Cite‘ button in WnC to enter the citation into your Word document, e.g.:
    {{115 Cohn,Mike 2010; }}
    When you generate the bibliography, this would appear as (Cohn, 2010).
  2. Modify the citation by typing /a (RefWorks calls this a ‘switch’) before the semicolon, i.e.:
    {{115 Cohn,Mike 2010/a; }}
    This will suppress the author’s surname in the in-text citation, i.e. it will reduce the citation to just (2010).

Now, you can use the author’s name in the sentence without it looking odd (e.g. “…according to Cohn (2010) the most effective method is…“). There are several such switches which modify a citation in various ways. For a full help guide on using WnC switches, see:

Email if you have any problems.

What to do when Write-N-Cite chokes.

Posted on June 7th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

This is an issue that gets reported to the Library a few times every year… it’s a rare problem, but a devastating one if you’re 24 hours from dissertation hand-in day.

Students using Write-N-Cite to add references to a long Word document (usually a dissertation/thesis) occasionally find that WnC isn’t happy about processing the document. When they click on the ‘Create Bibliography’ button, the application thinks… for a… while…
Screenshot of the WnC application
…before finally spitting out one of the following two error messages:

  1. Errors were encountered while processing your file: / The following error occurred attempting to read your document
  2. Your manuscript was processed successfully, no errors / System error 602. Cannot download formatted document from the server

Either way, no bibliography.

Most of the time, this seems to be caused by the size of the document. Write-N-Cite just will not cope with MS Word documents of >10MB, and who can blame it?

Word documents are often only so big because they contain (raw, uncompressed) images such as screenshots or digital photos. I’ve found it’s usually possible to reduce the file size of the dissertation document by compressing any images in the file, to print quality.

You can do this (in the version of Word on the University of Lincoln’s corporate desktop, anyway: instructions for your version of Word might be here…) by right-clicking on the image and selecting ‘Format Picture…’.

Screenshot of the Word compress pictures process

Then, in the ‘Format Picture’ window which appears, select the ‘Picture’ tab, followed by the ‘Compress…’ button (at the bottom of the window). Choose the option to apply to ‘All pictures in document’ and the ‘Print’ resolution (200 dpi), then click OK.

Screenshot of the Word compress pictures process

Other tips that seem to have helped in the past:

  • Instead of using Write-N-Cite, process your document within RefWorks itself by going to the ‘Bibliography’ page, selecting the option: ‘Format Paper and Bibliography’, and uploading the document directly.
    Screenshot of the RefWorks Bibliography page
  • Make sure you’re using the right version of WnC for your Operating System and version of MS Office/Word. Generally, Write-N-Cite III seems to suffer from fewer problems of this sort than v.2 (which, unfortunately, is the version we’re using on campus).
  • If all else fails, try removing appendices, tables etc. from your dissertation, before you process it (then stitch it back together after WnC has done its business). I call this the ‘throwing everything out of the hot air balloon’ method.

Anyone else know of any tricks for getting Write-N-Cite to play nice with overweight Word documents?