RefME generates citations by scanning book or journal barcodes and syncs them with

App of the Week
Formats: Website, app for iOS and Android


What grade and age range?  All ages. Students in K-12 and undergraduates through to postgraduate researchers use the app and web platform.

What does it help with?  

RefME supports students on their research and writing journey by accurately automating the citation process and building bibliographies. Students can scan book or journal barcodes using the iOS or Android app and, use a smartphone’s camera to turn printed text into digital text to save as quotes for their research. All citations and work is stored in the cloud and accessible from the app or web platform.

Is this core/supplemental/special needs/extracurricular/professional development or what?

RefME is important as a tool that helps students learn about the citation process and accuracy that lies within it. Inserting citations and building a bibliography list is the utmost important when writing short essays or researching for large projects. Ultimately, RefME serves as an educational utility that provides support and accuracy to those who need to cite.

RefME is a free app that supports basic referencing needs and RefME Plus is the premium product that offers users more features and functionality beyond the basics. RefME Institute is an edition for the whole university community – offering support to librarians, site licenses and customized referencing styles.

What subject, topic, what standards is it mapped to?

RefME is LTI compliant, enabling a simple Learning Management System/ Virtual Learning Environment integration.

What lesson time does it use?

RefME can be used as a support tool for lesson delivery, showing the sources referenced within the lesson and/or as a research tool for essay writing and dissertations. It’s used in a variety of ways for different types of assignments by educators, students and researchers.  

What is the pricing model?

Students can create an account, download the app and use RefME for free for their basic referencing needs. RefME Plus is available at $32.99 for a yearly subscription for those who require features beyond just creating a citation and RefME Institute is available to institutes to license for their students for a fee.

What makes RefME unique?

It’s accurate, automated and helps to cite any source, even the challenging ones like YouTube videos, websites, and Twitter. RefME also generates bibliographies in more than 7,500 citation styles, including APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard and many more.

RefME’s app is the only of it’s kind. It uses OCR technology to allow students to capture research by taking a photo of printed text and converts it into digital text. Another popular feature of the app is that students can scan a book or journal barcode to generate a citation, enabling a smooth process to research collection.

As well as being easy to use, RefME is easy to teach, so educators can implement the tool within their classrooms, lectures, and libraries easily.

A description of the characteristics--how is it designed for user interface, user experience? What instructional design principles are at work here?

A key feature that improves the user experience and eases the research collection and writing journey is RefME for Word. RefME integrates with Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows, Mac and iOS, allowing students to cite as they write. Users can also cite from the free referencing generator pages online or on the app.  RefME also allows group work, so students can share sources they’ve gathered and projects being worked on. Its use is simple:

1. Create a free account on

2. Select a project

3. Click the source you want to reference (book, journal etc.) and either search via ISBN, URL or article’s DOI or enter your reference manually.

4. Once the fields have been filled, click save and collect your research in the cloud or export.


Teacher reviews:

"RefME helps students be responsible information consumers. And, helps proper citations in many styles." Jody Urbas, Teacher, Hinkley High School, Denver, Colorado

"RefME’s simplicity and intuitive citation capability already receives positive reviews from our students, and I’m confident that the passion behind the creation of its advanced features will have a significant impact on the student experience with a long-term emphasis on why we reference, and the quality of information literacy." Claire Ridall, Head of Library and Student Support Management Services at Sheffield Hallam University

"RefME my students love you. This tool has taken a weight off my mind. My students now feel they can cite properly." Sheila WIlliams, Librarian, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh