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Citation Managers Comparison: Home

Use citation managers to create your own database of citations that you can re-use over and over again.  Citation managers will automatically format citations for you, so you will never have to manually format your in-text citations or bibliographies again. This guide should help you choose which citation manager is best for you.

Why Use a Citation Manager?

Get Organized
  • A place to keep all your favorite articles
  • May also be the place you keep your downloaded PDFs
  • Alternatively, may be a list of those articles with links to the full-text web versions.
Save Time
  • Insert citations as you write (or after you have completed your manuscript)
  • Automatically generate bibliographies
  • Change the citation style in one click
Collaborate
  • Share your library of your favorite articles with others
  • Collaborate on papers using the same "library" of citations

Definitions

Citation Manager: an application software designed to enable researchers to collect bibliographic references quickly and easily, cite them properly, organize them effectively, and share them with others. Proprietary examples include EasyBib, EndNote, Mendeley, and RefWorks. A free open source example is Zotero. Synonymous with reference management software.

"Library": your entire list of references​. The references in your library can organized in groups or folders

Results vs. References: turn your results (the online article you are reading, webpage, or a list of database search results) into a list of references in your citation manager.

Citation Metadata: ​the information about the item (title, author, year, place of publication, location on the Web, etc...)

Capture Reference: automatically send citation metadata from the webpage or full-text article you are reading by clicking a button in your browse.

Citation Style: the order in which your citation manager, Microsoft Word, or Google Docs, puts the citation metadata together to make properly formatted in-text citations and references (aka, APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver, AMA styles, etc...

 

Automatically Generate Citations

Cite While You Write:

  • Automatically format your in-text citations by inputting the citation metadata from your citation manager into your word processor
  • Example: click and drag references from EndNote into the text of the Microsoft Word Document you are writing
  • Example: insert citations from a synced list of your RefWorks account citations into a shared Google Document

Folders/Groups/Collections

  • A way to organize a subset of references in your library. 
  • You can share folders with individuals (your collaborators) and grant them different access/edit/modify permissions.

Insert Bibliography/ Reference List: 

  • Automatically create a bibliography/ reference list based on the citations you are using in your paper

Working in Bulk

Bulk Export: send dozens/ hundreds/ thousands citations (i.e. their metadata) from a list of saved results in the database you are searching to your citation manager

Bulk Import: import dozens/ hundreds/ thousands citations (i.e. their metadata) from a list of saved results in the database you are searching to your citation manager.

Switch Citation Managers

Switch Citation Managers: if you choose a new citation manager export all your references from the old one and import all of them into a new one.

  • Example: transfer all the citation manager references in you RefWorks account to EndNote and vice versa.
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