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EndNote and RefWorks5 Most Popular Managers
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Tips on choosing and using citation/reference/bibliographic management software.
Last Updated: Jun 18, 2014 URL: http://guides.ucsf.edu/citemgmt Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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What is citation management software?

Citation management software (also known as reference or bibliography management software) is a tool that allows you to:

  • collect and keep track of journal articles, books and other resources
  • store references on your computer or in a web-based account
  • cite references and create bibliographies in word processing software
  • link to full text

Some have additional features that let you:

  • share your references
  • automatically download PDFs
  • annotate PDFs
  • collaborate
  • use it for professional social networking

Until recently the most widely used citation managers on the UCSF campus were EndNote and RefWorks, so library staff are most familiar with these two applications. However, support is now provided for other popular softwere such as Mendeley, Zotero and Papers.

 

Which one is right for you?

Below are some of the common questions you should consider before choosing:

  • is it free or do you need to pay a fee?
  • do you plan to use it to just produce a biblography for the occasional paper or do you intend making it a central tool for managing your information?
  • are you prepared to spend some time learning how to use it effectively?
  • does it support the journal styles that you will need?
  • are help and support readily available?
  • does it allow you to easily share references with others?
  • do you want to store PDFs?
  • do you want to use it on a mobile device?

Table comparing EndNote desktop with RefWorks

Table showing comparison of main features of popular citation management software

Detailed comparison table on WikIpedia

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David Owen, Education & Information Consultant, Basic Sciences
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