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Physics 009

Citation Managers

There are many different citation management tools. This guide will give you information about three of them: RefWorks, Zotero, and Mendeley.

All citation managers let you:

  • add citations from databases (PsycINFO; Web of Science; Academic Search Complete, etc)
  • organize your citations
  • add PDF files; annotate PDFs
  • format citations in multiple citation styles
  • format citations in Microsoft Word to create bibliographies
  • share your citations with colleagues / classmates



  • citation management tool
  • web, desktop, and mobile platforms


  • easily import citations from academic journals & the web
  • can format citations on Google Docs and Microsoft Word
  • allows for collaboration with team members
  • ZoteroBib provides quick citations 
  • Retraction Watch informs you when articles are retracted


  • free account with 300 MB of storage; purchase premium accounts to access more storage

Citation Styles

  • Offers over 9400 citation styles, in fields from anthropology to zoology
  • Import, edit, and save citation styles

Adding References

  • Drop and drag citation styles; Zotero will try to extract citation information
  • Export citation from databases
  • Import citations from the web
  • Add manually

Viewing Options

  • View references in folders or full library

Organizing References

  • Create folders and sub-folders

Sharing References

  • Share references through groups; invite via email
  • Groups can be open (public), or private

Linking to Full-Text

  • If available Zotero will attempt to download a full-text PDF when importing citations (you can also set Zotero to NOT download full-text PDFs)

Creating Bibliographies

  • Right-click to select citations and click "Create bibliography from items..."
  • Use Zotero's Microsoft Word or Google Doc plugins


Highlight: No cost, and includes a robust online community. Zotero can also be used to make quick citations. Includes a "Retraction Watch" feature.

Lowlight: No cost means that there is no designated customer service team.


Additional Resources & Notes

The charts below include additional information you can use to compare citation management tools.


This guide was gratefully inspired by and modeled on the Manage Your Citations (EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero, Mendeley) guide from UC Berkeley's Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library.