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Research Guides

Citation Styles & Tools: Citation Management Software

Quick help on citing sources and tools for storing and organizing sources.

RefWorks Cancellation Information

Due to budget pressure, declining use, and increasing subscription cost, the UW Libraries has decided to cancel the subscription to RefWorks effective June 30, 2021. Some considerations that went into this decision include:

  • Budget pressure both from insufficient funding for the 2019-2021 biennial budget and further COVID-19 related budget reductions;
  • Declining usage of RefWorks and continuing cost increases;
  • Availability of free alternative citation management tools such as Zotero and Mendeley available to students, faculty, and researchers.

The UW Libraries is committed to supporting though this change and providing documentation and assistance with migrating from RefWorks to another citation management too. Please visit the RefWorks Page or use this PDF migration guide to get started:

Introduction to Citation Management Tools

Ready to get started? Here are some options to learn more:

  • Keep reading below.
  • Check out the guides for each tool using the links on the right.
  • View citation management tool webinars.
  • Make an appointment for one-on-one help.

What are citation management tools?

Citation management tools—sometimes called citation managers, reference management tools, or reference managers—enable you to store, organize, annotate, and share your references for research. They can also be used with a word processor to automatically insert in-text citations and format bibliographies according to your desired style, such as APA, Chicago, MLA, and many more. 

Which tool should I choose?

UW Libraries supports four citation managers: EndNote Basic, Mendeley, RefWorks, and Zotero. These tools provide the same basic features: saving citations, organizing them into folders, and generating in-text citations and bibliographies as you write.

To decide which tool best suits your needs, review the charts below and talk with colleagues in your department about the tools they use and why. Once you choose a tool, know that you can always change your mind. Citations can easily be transferred between tools, but please note that attachments don't always transfer.