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Citation Managers

What's a Citation Manager?

Citation managers -- also known as "bibliographic management software" -- are programs that store and format scholarly references and citations.  They can be used to keep track of books, articles, websites, and other sources of information; for formatting citations properly using a variety of citation styles; for sharing research; and sometimes even offer outlining, notetaking, or even paper formatting services.

Most citation managers will help you to do the following:

  • Store citations
  • Organize citations
  • Create bibliographies or reference pages in a variety of styles
  • Take notes on articles or create annotated citations
  • Export and share your citations with others

Citation Managers

There are many different citation managers out there.  Some are free and some have a cost attached to them.  Below are a few of the options that CGI students, faculty, and staff have found useful.

Important:  The APA has updated to the 7th edition.  Each citation manager will convert to APA 7 on its own schedule.  Be sure to check which edition the service is formatting citations in.

  Zotero Mendeley EndNote Basic Easybib Pro PERRLA
Website http://www.zotero.com http://www.mendeley.com http://endnote.com http://www.easybib.com/  https://www.perrla.com/
Cost Free for basic account; some cost for more online storage space Free for basic account; some cost for more online storage space The basic version is free; there is a paid subscription option. $9.99 per month for the "Pro" plan. A free version is available that only handles MLA citations. $59 per year
Access Options

Browser plugin

Desktop Utility

Word integration

Mobile app

Browser plugin

Desktop Utility

Word integration

Mobile app

Browser plugin

Word integration

Mobile-friendly (responsive; works across all devices)

Chrome extension

Google Docs integration

Online version and Word integration for Windows/Mac included with fee
APA Citation Formatting Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Import Records from Databases Yes Yes Yes Yes No; it requires that you use its own citation builder.
Notes

Sync your library with multiple computers

Uses tags to organize/search

Annotated bibliographies can be created using the "Extra" field

Sync library with multiple computers

Sync with Zotero library

Can annotate/highlight PDFs

Insert figures and charts using word processor integration Built-in functions for notetaking or creating annotated bibliographies A more comprehensive product than just a citation manager -- you can write your entire paper directly in PERRLA.
Why Choose This One? Single-click capture works with more databases and websites than Mendeley.  Uses metadata to create citations just from dragging a PDF into Zotero.  Open source. Strongest website and community platform; best if you are primarily creating citations from PDFs. EndNote is the old man in the neighborhood.  Best if you work with unusual or complex citation styles, and then those are available only through the paid version. 30 different citation styles to choose from.  Can find your source from external databases or websites, fill in the information,and automatically format the citation.   Works best if you also need help formatting an APA-style paper.  
Research Guide Zotero Mendeley EndNote Basic -- --

 

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