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Citation Managers: An Overview

This research guide gives introductory information on EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley.

What is a Citation Manager?

Citation Manager Software helps you:

  • Collect, Organize, Cite, and Share your research sources (This is your personal database)
  • Automatically create citations using a variety of referencing styles
  • Effortlessly build bibliographies to properly cite the information that you use
  • Save and organize articles in PDF format, graphs, images, or other files for your research

Recommended Citation Managers

The WVU Libraries recommends these citation managers.

Follow the links below to introductory guides and videos.

1.  Mendeley - Mendeley is a free citation manager and academic social network that enables you to manage citations and PDFs using a desktop client or through your account on Mendeley also includes plugins for Word or Open Office, so you can easily create citations and/or bibliographies as you write your papers. Mendeley users can connect with other researchers in their field and discover what they are reading. There are also groups you can join that focus on particular subject areas or research projects.

    Get Started with Mendeley

2.  EndNote Online EndNote is a reference management solution with both a desktop and online component. When used on the desktop, it may be called “EndNote Desktop” or “EndNote on the desktop.” When used online, it may be called “EndNote Online.” EndNote Desktop users can synchronize all the references in one desktop library to their online library, and share the entire library with other EndNote users.  Their online library can contain an unlimited number of references and unlimited attachments.

EndNote Basic - EndNote Basic is a more limited reference management solution that is only available online. EndNote Basic users can create an online library with a maximum of 50,000 references and up to 2GB of attachments.  

  • The free version of EndNote Basic has 21 styles and a limited number of filters and connection files. This version is available to anybody, with no other purchase required.
  • The version of EndNote Online available as part of the Web of Science has thousands of styles and hundreds of filters and connection files. This version is accessible by those whose institution has a subscription to the Web of Science.

     How to Use EndNote in Six Minutes

3.  Zotero Zotero is, at the most basic level, a reference manager. It is designed to store, manage, and cite bibliographic references, such as books and articles. In Zotero, each of these references constitutes an item. More broadly, Zotero is a powerful tool for collecting and organizing research information and sources.

   Getting Started with Zotero