Online technologies for document creation and publishing continue to re-shape the wcry in which post-graduate candidates manage their dissertation research and writing. In particular, automated referencing and bibliographic programs are now essential tools of dissertation writing that continue to developing in power, flexibility and integration with Word processing programs. But many post-graduate and doctoral candidates arrive unprepared for the culture shock of online, automated referencing and bibliographic tools since their previous under-graduate exposure to citation and bibliographic principles is often solely in a manual context. Automated tools now expose them to a much richer set of citation possibilities, bibliographic organisation and search engine capabilities not possible in manual principles or processes. This paper reports on the experiences of a group of post-graduate students in learning the principles, procedures and capabilities of an online, automated referencing and bibliographic tool and proficiency in its use. An analysis of the group's preconceptions, attitudes and responses suggests several factors that influence learning process efficiency.