How to prepare a bibliography

While writing a research paper, such as a term paper or the final thesis, the source search and the compilation of a bibliography turn out to be fundamental. First of all, do we know what is a bibliography and what is it for?

A bibliography is an alphabetically ordered list of all the documents consulted during the research (books, articles, encyclopedia articles, statistical reports etc.). Bibliographic citations show essential information on the works consulted, providing references to the paper you are writing: this will allow the readers to identify the sources used and possibly find them.

It’s important to always verify and cite your sources in order to guarantee the copyright, promote and disseminate the work of other researchers and avoid plagiarism.

To plagiarize means to present someone else’s work as it were your own. In documentary research and academic writing (thesis, papers, essays and so on…) it’s obviously possible to take an author’s idea, as long as you remember to cite the original work.

Here are some suggestions for avoiding plagiarism:

  • Re-elaborate the concepts using your own words
  • Use more than one source to get your own idea
  • Use quotation marks for direct quotes
  • Note the bibliographic information of the sources you’ve consulted
  • Cite your sources in the bibliography

The following online guides are recommended:

From our discovery, through the "Cite this item" tool, you will be able to create citations using different International Standard formats. 

Additional information may be found thorough the Mendeley Citation Hub with a very useful citation guides:

Reference Management Systems

BMS (Bibliography Management Systems) or RMS (Reference Management Systems) are specialized tools that help with storing and organizing bibliographic citations to create and manage bibliographies according with the most popular and accepted styles.

Most of these tools are compatible with the main operating platforms (Windows, above all, but also MAC OS, Linus, Unix, etc.). The output of the collected data is usually in rtf, doc, txt, html, xml, odt files, etc. Among the free software are Endnote basic, Mendeley and Zotero.

Endnote basic

Endnote basic è la versione gratuita di Endnote di Clarivate Web of Science per la gestione dei riferimenti bibliografici. 

Una volta approdati su Web of science (banca dati in sottoscrizione accessibile anche da remoto) il programma è accessibile dal menu della barra in alto. I riferimenti possono essere collezionati direttamente navigando in Web of science oppure tramite il plug-in per la cattura dei metadati dal web. La registrazione online è richiesta per l'accesso e il download del plug-in per l'integrazione in Office Word che abilita l'aggiunta delle citazioni nel testo e di redigere bibliografie.

Per approfondimenti consulta la online guide.

YouTube Tutorial:


Mendeley is a system provided by Elsevier for the management of bibliographic references which also functions as a social network for academic environments. Usage requires online registration for the account creation and local download of a data synchronization program. It allows you to import documents or folders of documents in pdf and to extract their bibliographic references.

The tool is perfectly integrated into Scopus, a database also accessible remotely which contains abstracts and citations from scientific literature and authoritative web sources in the scientific-technological and human and social sciences fields.

Luiss users with an institutional account can register on the platform directly by clicking on "Create account" and then on "it is possible to access through your own institution" by entering the Luiss e-mail address or the name of the University. 

For further information visit the online guides.

YouTube Tutorial:


Zotero is an open source software made for helping in the harvesting and collecting references on the web. To access it is required the online registration and the free download of the software.  

For further information visit the quick start guide.

YouTube Tutorial: