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Manage your citations with one of several citation (aka reference) managers.
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2014 URL: http://guides.lib.virginia.edu/referencemanagers Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Citation Manager Overview

Jump to RefWorks  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley  |  EndNote

A reference manager application can be a useful tool for anyone doing research. Reference managers allow you to:

  • Create bibliographies quickly and automatically format in-text citations with word processing software (Word, Google Docs, Open Office).
  • Collect citations as you research, and save them in a personal account.
  • Add citations automatically from UVA's Library's Virgo catalog and databases without having to cut and paste or retype the information.
  • Annotate citations and link them to full-text documents.
  • Organize citations into folders.

While a number of reference manager applications exist, UVA researchers generally use one of four: RefWorks, Zotero, Endnote, or Mendeley.

Please look at the descriptions below to decide which is best for you.  One thing to keep in mind is that it can be hard to switch from one platform to another.  You can export your citations, but transferring tags or folders will be difficult.

More extensive comparisons can be found at:

*  In Zotero and EndNote, configure the Open URL Resolver option to use http://re5qy4sb7x.search.serialssolutions.com/

 

RefWorks

RefWorks Logo

RefWorks

How it works:

  • Web-based application.  Citations are saved online in your RefWorks account.  You can also create a backup on your own computer.

How to get it:

  • UVA Library provides access to RefWorks.  See our RefWorks guide to set up an account and to log in.

Strengths:

  • Works best for users who need to switch between computers, especially using public or shared computers.
  • You can share citations with other users using the RefShare feature.
  • Some library catalogs and databases, such as UVA Library's VIRGO catalog, can be searched directly within the RefWorks interface.
  • The Attachments feature allows you to save articles as well as citations on the RefWorks server and access them from any computer.
  • Connect back to articles using the Find@UVA button.
  • UVA alumni can continue to use RefWorks after graduation.  If you attached the full text for articles to the RefWorks record for a given citation, the articles will remain after graduation.

Weaknesses:

  • Available to UVA users only as long as UVA Library subscribes to RefWorks.  (Citations can be exported to other reference managers or to a Word or text file.)
  • Alumni must use their RefWorks account within three years of graduating, otherwise the account will be deleted.  
  • Alumni accounts will not see the Find@UVA ubtton in RefWorks, as this feature is limited to current UVA students, faculty, and staff only. 

How to get help: 

 

Zotero

Zotero logo

Zotero

How it works: 

  • Desktop download and browser plugin.  Citations are saved on your computer and to the Zotero server, and may be synced across devices.

How to get it:

  • Download at https://www.zotero.org/download/.  Options to download "Zotero for Firefox" or "Zotero Standalone" with Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browser plugins. 

Strengths:

  • Easy to access and use from within Firefox (Zotero for Firefox), or Desktop and either Chrome, Safari or Firefox (Zotero Standalone); importing citations can be accomplished with one click. 
  • Share citations with other users and the public using the Groups feature.
  • Excellent for capturing information about web resources.  Allows you to save and annotate websites.
  • You can save attachments to Zotero’s server or your personal computer.
  • Connect to articles using Find@UVa.*

Weaknesses:

  • Use on more than one computer requires syncing; not designed for use on public or shared computers.  

How to get help:

 

Mendeley

Mendeley Logo

Mendeley

How it works:

  • Software application available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS devices.  Also available via a web interface.

How to get it:

Strengths:

  • Manages not only citations, but also creates a well-managed library of your imported papers. 
  • Regularly syncs content between machines and with the web version, keeping you always up to date. 
  • Mendeley is the most social of citation managers.  You can form groups to share resources and citations within your lab/study group/cohort. 
  • Integrates with MS Word for easy inserting of citations/bibliographies.

Weaknesses:

  • ?

How to get help:

 

Endnote

Endnote logo

Endnote

How it works:

  • Software application, available for Windows and Mac OS.  All data is saved to your computer.  Also available in a web-based version called EndNote Web.

How to get it:

Strengths:

  • Allows greater customization of output styles and import filters.
  • Stored data can be accessed without an Internet connection.
  • Some library catalogs and databases, such as UVA Library's Virgo catalog, can be searched directly from within the EndNote interface.
  • Connect back to articles using Find@UVa.*

Weaknesses:

  • Expensive.
  • Hard to switch between multiple computers.
  • Can’t share libraries with other users. 

How to get help:

 

Get help with your research

Don't hesitate to contact us at any time for help with your research.  Contact Jennifer Huck, Emerging Technologies & Government Information Librarian, or contact a reference librarian using our Ask a Librarian page.


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