How to Use ReferenceChecker
- Open the text document
references to be checked.
- To start
click on the button labelled ReferenceChecker
the eye logo) from just below the top of the menu (or hit Alt+F2 or Alt
Gr+F12) – see screenshot below.
- For ReferenceChecker
to run properly:
Word document should contain a reference list with
either name+date or
numbered references, and the associated citations.
- The name appearing next to References section
dialog box should be the same
as the title of
section containing the list of references in the Word document. This is
“Further Reading”, etc., but can be anything you
wish. The default setting for ReferenceChecker
“References” (see screenshot below).
- Next to Heading
style (top left) in the ReferenceChecker
box enter the name of the style of the heading of the document
section containing references in the Word document (the default setting
2”). The quickest way to do this is to click on
the section heading (before the list of references) and see what
appears in the
drop-down menu in Word, top left, just below
“File”. If “Normal”, for
example, or anything else other
than “Heading 2” appears, click on the down arrow
to the right of the button next to the Heading level, and select
“Heading 2”. Note: This may change the appearance
of the actual References section heading, so you should remember to
change the style back to how it should be, if applicable, after running
(see screenshot below).
author names associated with references should be in
upper and lower case, e.g. Smith, or in caps and small caps, or a
mixture of the two. ReferenceChecker
may not be able to distinguish between names and acronyms if
entire author names are in caps, e.g. SMITH.
number citations should be in square-brackets or in
- There should be
no text containing citations after
last item in the reference list.
- Each item in
the references list should consist of
exactly one paragraph in Word. You might
like to check the
reference list before running, to ensure that none of the reference
split across more than one paragraph (this occasionally happens in Word
- In documents with numbered
references/citations, all the
citations in the body
text, including those in
tables and figure captions, must be in the
intended final order (as they will appear
in print). By implication, tables and figure
captions should be placed as close to their final (print
lay-out) location as possible.
- Ideally, ReferenceChecker
should be run after cleaning up and editing a text
Word. While ReferenceChecker
is flexible in its
approach to checking items, extraneous
characters in surnames will cause ReferenceChecker
to report a mismatch.
- When you run ReferenceChecker,
notice that it stays on top of your document (even if you work on the
document); you can also move it around by clicking and dragging the
of the dialog box. You might find it useful to drag the window to the
top right of Word’s main document area and just to the left
of the scroll bar
on the right-hand side.
you click on Go:
do you want ReferenceChecker
case sensitivity in author names? If you want ReferenceChecker
to ignore case,
leave the box ticked (in the “Compare” section). If
you want ReferenceChecker
to alert you if it spots differences between, say, “van der
Waals” and “Van Der Waals”, untick the
box (or hit
Alt+i). The default setting is to ignore case (see
- How do you want ReferenceChecker
alert you of any errors? If you want ReferenceChecker
to list all citations and
references checked, leave All marked
(a black circle will appear to the right of All)
or hit Alt+a. If you want ReferenceChecker
you only of the errors it finds, click on the grey circle to the right
of Errors only (or hit Alt+e) in the Output section
that a black dot appears in the circle (see screenshot below). When you
click on Go, ReferenceChecker
list any references not cited
and any cited references not listed in the Reference list.
- How do you want ReferenceChecker
deal with field codes in the Word document? These usually appear in a
grey colour or blue/underlined format and may include such elements as
Internet/e-mail addresses and linked references and/or citations. If
you want ReferenceChecker
to remove such codes but
leave the text intact, keep the box
ticked (see screenshot below). If you run ReferenceChecker
with the box unticked and ReferenceChecker
detected field codes in
the document, ReferenceChecker
will notify you that
codes have been detected
and ask whether you wish ReferenceChecker
proceed and remove the codes or
whether you wish to exit ReferenceChecker
with the codes manually.
now you’re ready to Go.
click on Go
bottom left of the ReferenceChecker
box (or hit Return
or Alt+g). ReferenceChecker
will now perform that
all-important reference-checking procedure. As ReferenceChecker executes,
it displays status information (text indicating the current task) and
the time elapsed in seconds. You will see this at the bottom of
user interface, below the buttons.
In most cases, the status
information consists simply of text indicating the current task ReferenceChecker
performing. When ReferenceChecker
reads or parses references, the status
field indicates both text describing the task and a number
showing how many references it has read/parsed. Similarly,
scans body text for citations, it displays how many it has found. The
status information normally changes too quickly to be read, but,
together with the timer, it is
designed to indicate ReferenceChecker's
a number of seconds
(depending on the speed of your computer, the size of the reference
number of reference citations to check, and the number of mismatches
will provide you with the
results of what it has found in your
document, in two main sections:
will list all the reference citations found in the main text (as well
footnotes, endnotes and tables). If you have asked ReferenceChecker
output All, you will see long underscores to
indicate that the reference
following has been found and has a matching item in the Reference list.
position in the text at which that individual citation was found is
parentheses, by page and line number. A “NO REF”
message indicates that ReferenceChecker
what appears to be a reference citation with no
match in the reference list. If you have asked ReferenceChecker
to output Errors only, you will see a list of uncited
references only in this section.
Click on a line reporting a
to jump to the part of the main text where that citation appears
(highlighted/selected). You can also use the up and down cursor keys to
go through the list of citations and reference items in order.
Note that if "Track Changes" has been turned
may wish to accept all changes before running ReferenceChecker,
otherwise some hyper links in the list of results may not work
uses the following
system to indicate the position
of the citation in
p = page
l = line
e = endnote
t = table (number citations
r = row (number citations
superscript (after the text of the citation, number citations only)
lists all the items from the References list which have a matching
or not. If you have asked ReferenceChecker
output All findings, you will see a long
underscore, followed by the
reference details and the position of that item indicated by page and
number in parentheses. This indicates that the reference item has a
citation in the main text. You will also see listed any
“UNUSED” items from the
Reference list, i.e. items that are listed but not cited. If you have
to output Errors
you will see a list of unused references only in this section.
Click on any reported
reference item to jump to that item in the reference list (a small
highlighted letter marks the reference item).
Note that if "Track Changes"
has been turned on, you may wish to accept all changes before running
ReferenceChecker, otherwise some hyper links in the list of results may
not work correctly.
- A note on
numbered references: If ReferenceChecker
encounters a numbered reference that is out of sequence with the
it will alert
you by stating that the preceding reference is missing. For example, if
reference to be mentioned is, say, "", ReferenceChecker
you in the
following way: CHECK_"2" : 1 is not cited (this means that it was
"1" to occur before "2", so it is informing you that "1" was not cited
finds a sequence such as "[4,
6, 2]", it will inform you
that "[4, 6, 2]" is not ascending.
results reported by ReferenceChecker
might look as in the following screenshot:
you can see that ReferenceChecker
picked up discrepant spellings of “Barber” /
“Barbers” (cited as “Barbers”
but listed as “Barber”) and discrepant years for
Yang and Burns reference (cited as 2004 but listed as 2003). At this
point, the copy editor
would query the author or look up the definitive details and amend the
Under the “References” section of the
Results box, if the reference is so long that you are unable to see the
rest of the reference (as in the example above), simply click and drag
horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the Results box (just above the
six action buttons).
- If no anomalies have been
picked up by ReferenceChecker,
you can simply close
(click the X top right,
hit Cancel bottom right, or Alt+c).
If mismatches have been reported,
at this point you can copy (hit Copy
or Alt+o) the contents of ReferenceChecker’s
findings and paste them (Ctrl+v) to another document. This is useful if
want to query the author about the mismatches or simply want to have
window open so that you can go through the paper again to find and
correct the mismatches.
While checking any mismatches, if you wish to see the line
numbers in the text document, from the Word drop-down menu select:
Print Layout. Then, in ReferenceChecker,
click on Toggle Line Nos or Alt+t. Once you have
finished with ReferenceChecker,
remember to switch off line numbers (again click on Toggle
Line Nos or Alt+t), unless you want these to appear in the
final form of the document.
will run and remain
fully functional for a trial period of 10 days from the date of the
installation. After this time, if you wish to continue using ReferenceChecker,
you will need to purchase a licence key. The procedure is explained on
our Buy a
page. When you have received your licence
key, simply click on the
button labelled Register in ReferenceChecker,
and enter your user name and licence key exactly as
supplied, click on OK, and
you’re ready to go. Please be sure to keep your
user name and licence key safe in case you need to re-enter these at a
date, e.g. if you need to reinstall ReferenceChecker
on the same machine. You
can enter your licence details before or after the trial period expires.
These notes on using
also included in ReferenceChecker’s
file. If you have
problems with ReferenceChecker,
please visit our FAQ
does not require special notation or mark-up to recognise references
and citations, but it does expect consistency of usage, including
consistency of punctuation in references. We strongly recommend that
you edit each paper at least once before you run ReferenceChecker on it.
Use punctuation consistently in references - if a comma
first surname from the following initial(s), a comma must separate any
subsequent name from its initials in the same reference (this helps ReferenceChecker
work out what is a citable name and what is not). For example, the
reference "Jones, C.A., Martin, B. and Ball A. 1999 ..." will not match
the citation "Jones et al. 1999", because the surname "Ball" is not
followed by a comma.
Make sure that the year of publication (or
year-equivalent, such as "in press") in body text citations is either
enclosed in parentheses or that the whole citation, including name(s)
or a series of citations including names is enclosed in parentheses. ReferenceChecker
identifies name-date citations by locating first a year or
year-equivalent left of a closing parenthesis and then by locating the
name(s) to the left of the year. For example, in the citation "(Arkell
1999, Brown 2001)", ReferenceChecker
recognises both "Arkell 1999" and "Brown 2001" as separate citations,
but in "Arkell 1999, Brown (2001)", it sees only "Brown (2001)" as a
citation and ignores "Arkell 1999".
If a reference is, for
example, a periodical spanning more than a year, so its year of
publication is given as "2001-2002" or "2001/02", the corresponding
citation must indicate the year in the same way, i.e. "2001-2002" or
An asterisk before the year makes ReferenceChecker
ignore a citation. For example, "(Brown *2001) will not be
seen as a citation by ReferenceChecker.
If a reference contains a year with a forward slash before it, which is
not preceded by another year, ReferenceChecker
ignores that year. For example, the year is ignored in "Findlay,
R.H/1987, Title…", but not in "Findlay, R.H., 1986/1987, Title."
a reference year is followed by a letter, there must be no space
between the last digit of the year and the letter, but a letter can
stand on its own after a comma. Examples: "2000a, b" (here ReferenceChecker recognises
two citations, "2000a" and "2000b"), but in "2000 a, b" ReferenceChecker sees only
"2000" and "2000b".
does not take into consideration initials to distinguish between
references, so if initials appear in body text citations, ReferenceChecker ignores
them. For example, ReferenceChecker
sees "Palma A. T. et al. 2006" as being the same as "Palma W. et al.
2006", but "Palma et al. 2006a" is not the same citation as
et al. 2006b".
In references, initials should either follow the
surnames to which they correspond or precede the surnames. One or the
other style should be used consistently in all references in
When analysing citations, ReferenceChecker
locates the year (or year-equivalent) left or a closing parenthesis
first, then it tries to find the names that correspond to the year
further to the left. ReferenceChecker
does not see names that follow the year as being part of the citation,
for example "Jones" in "In his paper (1999), Jones..." In this case, ReferenceChecker
will report that it found a citation with the year 1999, but no
corresponding name, or it will take the first plausible (capitalised)
word to the left of the year as the cited name.
Please bear in mind that ReferenceChecker extracts
information about references and citations from the document text, but not from
revisions and comments. To ensure that it scans all the text you expect it to
check, accept the revisions that should be part of the final version of the
document before you run ReferenceChecker.
The program does
not and cannot do this automatically, because it cannot guess which revisions
should be incorporated in the final text.