Citation managers are indispensable for serious academic research, allowing users to keep organized records of the sources they find and include in their research.
Citation managers allow you to create and track references, or 'citations', and to create bibliographies or reference lists formatted in the style appropriate to that discipline, such as APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, and many others. Citation managers allow you to import resource records directly from academic databases such as Academic Search Premier, PsycINFO, JSTOR, Web of Science, and most others. You may organize your records into folders and groups and add notes and other metadata, such as abstracts, keywords and often documents themselves (pdfs) to enhance and improve the efficiency of your research.
Note: Currently no citation manager handles legal citation formats
Citation managers are tools which see heavy use by serious researchers, and it's important to use an application that you find easy enough to use and powerful enough for your needs. You may wish to begin by using what your colleagues are using—most citation managers allow the limited sharing of reference libraries. Using the same application as your colleagues may mean you can ask them for help in learning the ins-and-outs of the application. However, the library offers workshops and other training, and librarian experts are available for one-on-one instruction.
|Cost||Free to ND & Alumni||Freemium||Freemium||Freemium|
|Platform||Web||Web / Client||Web / Client||Web / Client|
|Library Sharing, Collaboration||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Storage||Unlimited||?||300 MB||2 GB|
|ND Catalog Integration||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Word Processor Integration||Word, Google Docs, Hangul (see details)||Word, OpenOffice, LibreOffice (see details)||Word, LibreOffice, Google Docs (see details)||Word, LibreOffice (see details)|
|Mobile Site or App||Refworks Mobile||EndNote Mobile||Zotero Mobile||Mendeley Mobile|
All comparison data based on freemium price points (basic version). See Wikipedia's "Comparison of reference management software" for more detailed comparisons of these and many other citation managers.
Google Docs recently released its own built-in Citations tool, which allows you to insert citations into a Doc using MLA, APA, or Chicago (author-date). Learn more about Google's Citations tool. Full reference managers, like RefWorks or Zotero, can integrate with Google Docs and give you additional tools to manage your reference library and cite sources in a wide variety of styles.