Citation management software can help you collect and keep track of the articles, books and other documents you reference in your academic writing. As you conduct your literature searches you can use your citation manager to capture and store useful citations and their PDFs.
Citation managers can also generate in-text citations and reference lists. The two citation managers recommended here have plug-ins for Microsoft Word, enabling you to drop citations from your account and into your paper as you write. When your paper is done, you can use your citation manager to create a reference list for just those citations you used. If you prefer, citation managers can also be used to generate a stand-alone bibliography.
All in-text citations and references created automatically by any computer program should be double-checked to ensure the formatting is correct before submitting the work.
There are many citation managers to choose from. Two of the most popular are Mendeley and Zotero. Both require you to set up an online account and install software on the computer(s) you use to conduct your literature searches. Your collection of citations and articles live ‘in the cloud’ and can be easily synchronized across the computers and devices you use to conduct your work.
We have created tools to introduce Mendeley and Zotero, but because both are robust services with extensive support communities you will also find lots of other instructional material on the open web.
For more information about Mendeley, please begin with our Mendeley help guide.
Note: Zotero does not work in Internet Explorer
Zotero is most commonly used as a FireFox extension (living within the browser) although you can also download standalone Zotero software (if you use Chrome, for example).
For more information about Zotero, please begin with our Zotero help guide.