Who is this course suitable for?

This course may appeal if you are an author, academic editor, copyeditor, proofreader, production editor or project manager who works with (or would like to work with) academic material that includes a references list in some form.

Course description

The course helps you to:

  • learn how to deal with references
  • find out what you didn't know about references and fill any gaps
  • explore unfamiliar reference systems
  • use digital tools to style and check references
  • discover ways of referencing less typical sources

The course is very much focused on giving exercises to put into practice the lessons given in the Study notes, and the Study notes themselves, together with a 'Reference shelf', list a great many resources where further information about references and other relevant data can be found.

What you should know after the course

After working through this course, you should understand how the different types of reference systems work, be aware of the elements required by different citation systems, and be able to devise or follow consistent rules for styling and filing order. You should also know where to look for further information if a particular problem with a reference (or citation) is not explicitly covered by this course.

Curriculum snapshot

Availability, prices and upgrade points

Price (members)  
Price (non-members)  
CIEP upgrade points 5
  Book now

Other price discounts are available. See the fees page.

E-learning courses take between 10 and 45 hours to complete, depending on the course, but you have access to the course materials for 6 months.

Prices are exclusive of tax, which will be added automatically at your local rate at checkout.

E-learning course structure

Time allowed for access: 6 months CIEP upgrade points: 5
Approximate study time needed to complete the course: 25–30 hours

This is a self-assessed course. You will be assigned a tutor who will be available for up to 1 hour of support (usually by email), but the tutor does not mark any of your work. When you have finished the course you can download and print a certificate that states that you have 'Completed' the course.


The course is divided into six units:

  • Unit 1 Reference basics
  • Unit 2 Author–date system
  • Unit 3 Short-title system
  • Unit 4 Number systems
  • Unit 5 Tools for reference management and checking
  • Unit 6 Almost everything else

Book now All courses