App of the Week – RefME

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

This wlogoeek’s app, RefME, is a reference citation generator, which sounds incredibly boring–but trust me, it’s a game changer. As those of us who conduct research know, constructing bibliographies and reference lists for papers/articles in the desired citation style is a time-consuming affair. However, there dozens of citation programs out there, and a growing number of free/freemium websites out on the web. What makes RefME stand out among the other citation tools? In a nutshell–scanning technology and automation. RefME simplifies research organization in a way some reviews are calling “revolutionary.”

RefMEbarcodescannerMost Helpful Features:

  • Free! Software like RefWorks and EndNote are great assets to research, but they usually require expensive institutional subscriptions. However, if you happen to have a subscription to one of those already, you can actually export your citations from RefME.
  • Barcode scanner! Scan the barcode on the back of any book, print journal, or other resource, and your resource will magically appear on your bibliography page.
  • Easily find any citation by typing a few keywords. You can search by book/journal article title, DOI, ISBN, or ISSN. You can also copy and paste any website URL to create a reference in seconds.
  • Contains 6,500+ referencing styles (did you know that many citation styles even existed?).
  • Switch between styles with one click. So if you discover that you’ve completed your reference list in APA instead of MLA, your entire list will update automatically with no extra effort on your part.
  • If you do have to enter your citation manually, RefME supports dozens of types of sources–anywhere from “song” to “interview” to “scientific dataset.”
  • When you create an account, your list is synced and saved with and stored in the cloud, so you can access it from anywhere.
  • You can export your references from your app to email, Microsoft Word, Evernote, Mendeley and more.
  • The interface is incredibly easy to use.
  • According to RefMe, PDF, OCR and other features are coming soon.


  • None that I’ve found so far. If you need help finding work to scan into RefME, USMA librarians are always ready to assist you with your research!

Bottom Line:

RefME is the citation management app we’ve been waiting for–correctly citing sources is only going to get easier from here on out. Remember, of course, to ALWAYS double check your work with an official citation manual. This is a great tool, but don’t leave your grade/professional work up to any one app. If you try RefME for your next project, let us know what you think!

Further Reading:

RefME is probably the best free app for university students out there

New app means students can create essay footnotes and references in seconds

RefMe app review: bibliographic entries made simple

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren D. Hall, Circulation Librarian