In this paper, the METAREF project is presented. It consists in an application that allows University students to read bibliographic references and comment on them. Metadata techniques are used to store the information that the students provide and the design of the application is based on the HTTP protocol. Thus, the application runs like a web service and any web browser can act as user interface. The project is also concerned about the students’ learning process. In this sense, the passive role that students take, relying only on their notes for passing their exams, is analysed, and how METAREF can help them, by encouraging them to take a more active role, consulting and commenting on the references the lecturers propose.