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Reference Managers

Add sources to your reference library:

Create a project:

  • Stay organized by creating a project. Projects are folders that house all of the reference information for an assignment.
  • The free version of Sciwheel allows up to three projects at any time. Therefore, you may need to a delete project before beginning a new one. 
  • Note: All articles/reference information from removed projects will remain in Sciwheel under the "References" tab. This means that you will not lose your research if you delete a project.

Add from databases:

  • Search a keyword or phrase in the databases.
  • Click the Sciwheel icon,   or , which is found at the top right corner of your browser.
  • Enable highlights and notes. If not enabled, you will not be able to make highlights and notes later on. 
  • A box will appear to the left of each article.
  • Check the sources that you want to add, choose a project, and hit "Add."
  • Selected articles will automatically be added to your Sciwheel project, as well as the reference page.  
  • This method works with Google Scholar, the library catalog, and Welder's databases.

Add from browser:

  • Add a source by clicking  or  
  • Enable highlights and notes. If not enabled, you will not be able to make highlights and notes later on. 
  • Note: When you add from a website, Sciwheel will often miss some of the reference data. To fill in missing content, click the  icon. From here you can edit and add any missing information.

Add a source manually:

  • Unique items, like emails, maps, and other sources are often cited manually.
  • To cite, click "Import References."
  • Fill in the citation information as prompted.

Add a PDF:

  • Add PDFs by clicking "Import References" ► "PDFs."
  • Once you upload you PDF, SciWheel will pull reference information and add it to your reference library. 
  • Note: This function works the best with journal articles. It may not pull sufficient reference information for other types of PDFs. 

Sync with Zotero/Mendeley: 

  • Upload sources from Zotero/Mendeley by clicking "Import References," ► "From other reference managers: Mendeley, Zotero, Endnote..."
  • Follow the prompts to upload all reference information. 
  • Note: If you upload folders from either of these reference managers, Sciwheel will add them regardless of how many projects you already have. You can use this method to have more than three projects at one time. 


Sciwheel. (2020, April 23). Getting started with Sciwheel [Video]. YouTube.

Searching New Articles:

With this searching function, you can find new sources without ever leaving Sciwheel.

  • Simply go to "import references," and "from search results." From here, enter keywords to search articles and add them to your library.  

Sciwheel. (2020, April 23). Getting started with Sciwheel [Video]. YouTube.

Always review your references, as no reference software is perfect. If incorrect, ensure that edits, (capitalizing proper nouns, for example), are made in Sciwheel. If edits are made in Word, the reference will revert back to an incorrect version because it will be pulling the information from Sciwheel. 

Set up:

  • Before you begin, the Word plugin must be activated. Visit the "Set Up" tab of this guide for more information. 
  • Open the "Sciwheel" tab in MS Word.
  • Select the appropriate style (you can change the style at any point).
    • Ex: 

Automatic in-text citations in Word:

  • To begin, click "Insert Citation." 
  • A search bar will pop up. Type in anything related to your source(s) and hit "Add."  
  • Lastly, admire your brand new in-text citation.

Add a bibliography in Word:

  • Go to the Sciwheel tab and select "Create Bibliography." 
  • Sciwheel will add a bibliography that is made up of sources from your in-text citations.
  • As you add more in-text citations to your paper, Sciwheel will automatically add them to your bibliography. 
  • For an error-free paper, review the references for mistakes.

Convert to plain text:

  • You may want to remove all Sciwheel coding from your document prior to submission. Although not necessary, you can convert your document to plain text (without losing your citations) by clicking on "Export" in the Sciwheel tab.
  • Next, select "Plain Text." 

Sciwheel. (2020, April 23). Getting started with Sciwheel [Video]. YouTube.

Use in Google Docs with the "Google docs add on." Simply click "add ons," followed by "Sciwheel." From here you can:

  • Insert citations
  • Get Smart Citations, which are article suggestions based upon your references up to that point
  • Select a formatting style
  • Insert a bibliography

Sciwheel. (2020, April 23). Getting started with Sciwheel [Video]. YouTube.

Editing your citation: 

  • Edit the metadata, such as the author name, title, etc., by clicking a source and hitting the  icon in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Click "Edit"► "Edit Metadata."

Adding an organization or institution as an author: 

  • Some citation styles require that you list an organization's name in place of an author's name when no author is listed. 
  • You can make an organization the author by editing the metadata. Type the organization's name in the "last name" blank.
  • Note: If you add it in the "first name" blank, only the abbreviation will appear and all automated reference information will be incorrect. 

Sciwheel. (2020, April 23). Getting started with Sciwheel [Video]. YouTube.

Highlights & notes on websites:

  • With the SciWheel icon, you can make highlights and comments and save them to your reference library.
  • Firstly, add a website to a project with the gray sciwheel icon or  blue sciwheel icon icon. 
  • Ensure that the "Highlight + notes" tab is on:
  • Note: All comments for a project can be viewed in SciWheel under the "Notes" and "Activities" tabs.

Journal Articles: 

  • For journal articles, upload the PDF to make highlights and comments.
  • Download an article PDF and upload it to Sciwheel. (See "Adding Sources" for assistance).
  • Click the "Open PDF" icon: Open PDF
  • Use the highlights and comments icon to highlight and comment.


  • Tags help you to organize articles into topics/sections for a project. For example, if you tag multiple articles "Intro," and then they will all appear under the "Intro" tab.
  • Make tags with the "add tag" button on the bottom of your reference. From here you can select a name and a color.
  • Note: Only tags with the exact same tag name will group together.
  • Note: All tags can be found in the left-hand column.

Sciwheel. (2020, April 23). Getting started with Sciwheel [Video]. YouTube.