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Information Research Strategies: Citations

Citation management

In the "old days" graduate students and researchers used index cards or notebooks to keep track of citations. Now there are many web-based programs that can help you store, organize and add your citations to research papers.  

What you can do with a citation management program:  

  • Create a personal database of citations and articles available to you anywhere.
  • Create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.
  • Annotate citations.
  • Attach article PDFs and other types of files to individual citation records.

Compare citation management programs

There are a number of free and licensed citation management programs with similar functionality and features.

Review the following comparison guides to select the citation management tool that matches your needs. 


There is two versions of EndNote, both are available to UA staff and students. 

  • EndNote 20 – syncs with EndNote Online, and the EndNote iPad app.

  • EndNote Basic –  Notable features include storage for 50,000 references and 2 GB for document storage. You can export citations directly to EndNote Basic and format citations in Word documents.

Compare EndNote 20 and Endnote Basic. 

Get Started - Choose Mac or Windows version

EndNote Basic

Create an account: EndNote Basic is free for UA faculty, students and staff.
Get Started:



Zotero is a free and easy-to-use Firefox extension program that can help you collect, manage, cite, and share research sources. 

Download Zotero
Download as a web extension or as a stand-alone program to connect to Chrome and Safari browsers.

Zotero Quick Start Guide
Brief instructions on installation, importing citations and creating bibliographies.

Use Zotero on any Computer

  • If you have set up an account in Zotero and synced your library on their server, you can also view (but not modify) your library from any computer through your online account.
  • Another option for using your Zotero library on multiple computers is to use portable Firefox with Zotero on a USB flash drive.


With Mendeley, in addition to organizing your citations, you can upload PDFs and make annotations.

You can also use the Mendeley Suggest feature in the desktop version for locating related articles.

Free for UA faculty, students and staff.

Sign-up and download the Mendeley Desktop program    

Mendeley Desktop: Install this first. This is where you import citations and documents, manage files and create bibliographies.   

Mendeley Web and Mobile: Useful for connecting to your Mendeley account to read and annotate documents on the go.

Get Started With Mendeley  

Choose one of the following Quick Help Guides:

Useful for connecting to your Mendeley account to read and annotate documents on the go.