What is Referencing?

The acknowledgement of other writers’ words or creations through citing and referencing is an important characteristic of academic writing.

Citing is the practice of quoting from, or referring to, other writers’ works and ideas  in the text of your work.
Referencing is the listing of the full details of the publications that you have cited so  that the reader can find the original sources.

Reference management tools

Reference management tools are used to store and organise references.

The University of Cape Town subscribes to both EndNote and RefWorks, reference management tools used to store and organise references. UCT staff and students can access EndNote and RefWorks on campus and off-campus. UCT Libraries provides support to EndNote and RefWorks only.


EndNote is a reference management software used to keep all your references and reference-related materials in
a searchable personal library.


EndNote is available for download from the ICTS Downloads page.

Download EndNote


RefWorks is a web-based reference management service used for storing and organising references.

New to RefWorks?
Access RefWorks with UCT email address

Register for an account on or off-campus. This includes all UCT staff, students and alumni.

No Access to RefWorks with a non-UCT email address
Presently, there is no option to use a non-UCT email address to open a RefWorks account. Please follow the steps above to create a RefWorks account using your UCT email address.

Write-n-Cite in the RefWorks Legacy version is no longer maintained. We recommend that all citations are migrated to the New RefWorks platform.


You commit plagiarism - intentionally or not - in written work when you use another person’s sentences, ideas or opinions without acknowledging them as being from that other person

UCT Plagiarism Guides & Policies

In addition to the referencing resources listed above, the UCT plagiarism guides and policies below will help you avoid committing plagiarism.

  • Guide to committees of assessors
  • Plagiarism in postgraduate research courses: a guide to examining bodies
  • Avoiding plagiarism: a guide for staff members
  • Avoiding plagiarism: a guide for students
  • Avoiding collusion in collaborative work: a guide for students
  • Senate policy on referencing conventions and declaration regarding plagiarism
  • Standard plagiarism declarations
UCT Plagiarism Guides & Policies

Plagiarism Declarations

The University's plagiarism declaration must be included with any work students submit for assessment. Download and attach the Plagiarism Declaration to your work.

Ref-Hack Game: Can YOU save the library?


Learn how to reference books, journals, newspaper articles and more correctly in a fun way!


Click on two blocks to swop them and put the reference elements in the correct order in the UCT Author-Date referencing style. The blocks shine green when they are in the correct place.