All reference managers do the same three things:
1. Store information about books, articles, websites, etc. in one place.
2. Organize this information in a useful way and make it searchable.
3. Use the stored information to add in-text citations and a reference list to a document you are writing, or to create a bibliography.
Reference managers vary in many details.
We will focus on EndNote, Zotero and Sciwheel. We will support and teach Zotero and EndNote in the future (written January 2021). There are other available reference managers. Relevant alternatives include Sciwheel, Mendeley, PaperPile, Papers (now merged with ReadCube), Citavi, RefWorks, and more.
As I write this in January, 2021, UCSF does not provide EndNote, you will need to purchase it. The best price is $114 for students and $219 for faculty and staff. Zotero is free to all unless you need to buy extra cloud storage space. UCSF Library subscribes to Sciwheel, and is free to you while at UCSF. Mendeley is free for basic use, and costs money if you try to share your article library between a group of more than 3 people. Papers is now a subscription service costing $36/yr for students and $60/yr for academics. You pay a monthly fee for PaperPile and it only works with Google Docs. Zotero, Mendeley, Sciwheel, and PaperPile work with GoogleDocs.
We try to monitor developments in reference managers and will provide information about significant updates in this library guide.
These points refer to EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley:
This is an attempt to provide a brief overview of three popular reference management programs. The right software for you will depend on your work, your collaborators, and your environment.