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Citation Management Software: Home

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What can citation management software do?

Citation management software can take some of the hassle out of the research process! With a citation manager, you can:

  • Keep track of all your references, including a full text pdf
  • Organize your research using folders and tags
  • Annotate pdfs that you would be able to access across devices
  • Share resources across department, lab, or research team
  • Use word processor integration to make in-text citations and bibliographies

The video below from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries offers an introduction.

Choosing a citation manager

Choosing a citation manager that fits your needs is important because they all have slightly different capabilities. Some factors to consider are: 

  • cost -- is it free? 
  • collaboration features -- can you share folders? create shared groups? 
  • access -- do you want to be able to access your citations in a web browser from any device? do you want a software that will have an app compatible with your tablet? 
  • research context -- do your colleagues, department, research team, or lab already use a specific software? or will they have their own factors to consider? 

There are a lot of great comparison charts for citations managers. My friends at the University of Wisconsin-Madison made this great one that compares 4 really common options: EndNote Desktop, EndNote Basic, Zotero, and Mendeley.  The Wikipedia comparison chart compares many, many more options across all the features you may need. However, it may be overwhelming! 

The video below walks you through the features of the four options listed in the UW-Madison comparison chart, but keep in mind that some details about the university license and discount price is specific to UW-Madison. 

Information Literacy Librarian

Katlyn Griffin's picture
Katlyn Griffin
Office: 324 Kent Library
Office Phone: 573-986-4967