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Academic Resource Center (ARC) Research & Writing Resources

Citation Managers

Keeping track of all of your articles for a research project (and creating references in your paper) can be overwhelming but there are research management tools that can help.

There are two types of tools we will discuss here:

Citation management toolsBrowser based: (Mendeley, Zotero)

They can:

  • Provide a central electronic folder to hold the research you have collected
  • Work with all of the library databases and external sources (Google Scholar and individual web sites)
  • Insert citations into your paper
  • Create a reference list (bibliography)
    • Remember to always check the output of these tools to make sure the reference style is correct and each reference is complete

Gathering data tools; (Ebscohost: My Ebscohost, Proquest: MyResearch) These tools available on databases have:

  •  Folders to store research queries and results
  •  Save searches to run again
  •  Automate searches- let the database rerun a search and notify you of new articles  

Mendeley vs. Zotero

Mendeley versus Zotero

Which Citation Management Tool to Use?

Browser based tools:

Mendeley                               Zotero                            


  • Save and Annotate PDFs (highlighting, notes)
  • Save Citations
  • Insert citations into paper (via Microsoft Word plug in)






  • May not automatically import citations from all sources; may require manual loading of files- better to save PDFs to computer folder and then upload to Mendeley


  • Save PDFs
  • Save Citations
  • Insert citations into paper (via Microsoft Word plug in)
  • Smoother interface with Ebsco and other databases (automatically imports citation data and PDFs from a wide variety of sources



  • No annotation tools available for PDFs
  • Supports only Chrome, FireFox, and Safari web browsers.



Mendeley is a tool for managing your research and getting references and citations into your document.

Additional Mendeley Tutorials (Videos)

Follow this link to learn how to use Zotero to store references.

Zotero Quick Start Guide