Reference Management

Why Use Reference Management Software?

Reference management tools help you collect, manage, cite, and share bibliographic references. These tools can be used to automatically generate both in-text citations and bibliographies, organize PDFs, and share references between team members. 

Lane Library recommends Zotero, which can be downloaded and used free of charge, for most users.

Reference Management Software helps you:

  • Save time
  • Stay organized
  • Easily save references from databases and the web
  • Create citations automatically
  • Quickly change citation styles

This guide includes information about four reference management tools: Zotero, Endnote, Mendeley, and Refworks. For each program, we have included information about getting started with the software and accessing tutorials and help. This guide also includes information about using reference management software with Covidence for systematic literature reviews.

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Comparing Reference Management Software

Word Processor Plugins
Browser Extensions
Online Storage
Zotero Free  Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, Google Docs, and a variety of other word processors and writing systems Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge 300 MB for free, more (including an unlimited storage option) available for a fee
Endnote  A free, limited, web-based version is available. Academic pricing on a full license is available through OneHub. Microsoft Word Chrome, Firefox, and Safari 2 GB with a free account, unlimited with a desktop account
Mendeley Free Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and other web browsers 2 GB for free, more storage options available for a fee
RefWorks Free via Stanford's site license Microsoft Word and Google Docs "Save to RefWorks" bookmarklet available for any modern browser Unlimited number of references