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Citation Management Tools for Scholarly Papers: Introduction

About Citation Management Tools

What are Citation Management Tools?

At their most basic, citation management tools help you collect articles, books, webpages (and lots more) for use in research & format and create bibliographies using a particular citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, and many more) to export into a research document. More advanced features in citation management tools allow you to:

  • Link to & store source materials
  • Insert in-text citations and bibliography entries while writing in a word processor
  • Create formatted Works Cited/ Reference lists/ Bibliographies
  • Collaborate with others
  • Annotate within PDFs

3 Minute Intro to Citation Management Tools

This video was created for UW, and lists a number of citation managers. The instructor uses Zotero to give an example of the type of things citation managers can do. UA Libraries recommends Zotero and Mendeley as two very functional, no cost citation managers.

What Tool Should I Use?

UA Libraries currently provides limited help and support for these three citation managers:

  • Mendeley
  • Zotero 
  • EndNote (including EndNote Basic)

All  provide the same basic features:  save citations, organize them into folders or libraries, and generate bibliographies and citations as you write.

To decide which tool is right for you, review the information in this guide and talk with people in your department about the tools they use and why. 

Consider setting up an account on one of the tools and try it!  Once you choose a tool, know that you can always change your mind; sources can  be transferred between tools. (Please note that attachments don't always transfer.)  

It may also help to make an individualized appointment with a liaison librarian at the Main Library or the Health Sciences Library (HSL) to learn more about choosing and using citation management tools. We are here to help!

Engineering Librarian & CAPLA Liaison

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Paula C Johnson
Main Library A403