RefME Developer Documentation

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RefME is a platform that allows users to create fully formatted citations in over 7,000 referencing styles. Join our Widget and API community to to help make referencing easy for users all around the world. 


Create and export citations using RefME.

The RefME API is a simple, powerful and free API that allows anyone to create citations for display on their website. We can create citations as html or any other citation representation.

Use Cases:

  • A journal wanting to encourage their users to cite the material.
  • Academic search providers needing to provide citations alongside e.g. book/journal/video results.
  • Databases that need to be able to export citations.

Create a Reference

Here’s how to create a reference.

We need two pieces of information, the reference data and the style identifier, which can be found using the style API, we will then return the citation as html.
The specification for the reference data is available here.


POST /format-reference
    "citeproc": {"ISBN": "1234567", “title", “RefME is awesome”},
    "style_id": “refme-harvard"


  "status": "ok",
  "html": "Smith, J. and Wainwright, M. (2014) The Importance of Referencing, Made Easy. 9th edn. Edited by K. Patel. RefME."

All done! You can now use the HTML in the response to display the citation to the user.

Find a Style

If users need to find their style (we support over 7,000 and keep them all up to date), you can submit a query to /styles.


GET /styles?query=harvard


  "status": "ok",
  "styles": [
      "id": "refme-harvard",
      "title": "Harvard",
      "popular": true

Now you have the list of styles!
You can use the style id in the /format-reference request, to give the citation in the users style


The API can export citations to Word, BibTeX, Mendeley, Endnote or RefWorks (We are happy to add more, just let us know!).


POST /export-references
  "references": [
        "citeproc": {
          "ISBN": "1234567",
          "title": "RefME is awesome"
 "style_id": "refme-harvard"

The supported export formats are :

  • Word (docx)
  • BibTeX (.bib)
  • Mendeley, Endnote, Refworks (.ris)


A file containing the output of the formatting

Cite Widget

The Cite Widget allows user to generate a citation of the current page in the the website. For the user, it works much like a Twitter or Facebook "like" button.
The users can select their style, view the generated citation and export to their reference tool of choice - It is that simple.

The Cite Widget can be installed with only two lines of HTML, as described below.

Installing the RefME Widget

The Cite Widget itself loads into an iframe on your webpage via an async script and div element. The iframe itself will take 100% width of the div element it is contained in, meaning it is versatile to your sites needs. It will also auto resize height relative to its content inside.

Code to insert:

<div id="refme-widget"></div>
<script type="text/javascript" src="//"></script>

Please insert this code wherever you wish the widget to appear in your website. Apply whatever width constraints you wish to have on the div.


The div must have an id of refme-widget, this is the id to which the iframe is initialised and loaded in.

Hopefully your installation of the widget will be a seamless experience, however if you do have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact us here at RefME through Mike (