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Research Guides

Citing Sources: Citation Management Software

An overview of tips, tools, and resources for all your citation needs

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 or below.
  • View citation management tool webinars.
  • Make an appointment for one-on-one help.


What are citation management tools?

Citation management tools are useful for many citations that you will use again. These tools are perfect for long-term storage of multiple citations and longer bibliographies.

Sometimes called citation managers, reference management tools, or reference managers, these tools 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 three citation managers: EndNote Basic, Mendeley, 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 chart 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.

  EndNote Basic Mendeley Zotero
Desktop App  
Supported Operating Systems (Desktop)   Windows, Mac, and Linux Windows, Mac, and Linux
Web App
Browser Extension
Direct Export from UW Libraries Catalog    
Microsoft Word Integration
Google Docs Integration    
PDF Annotation   Unshareable outside program
Collaboration 500 Groups of up to 1,000 other users Free: Five groups of up to 25 members Unlimited members and groups
Web Page Snapshots    
Local Storage    
Cloud Storage Space 2GB $0: 2 GB personal / 100mb shared.
$55/year: 5 GB personal
$110/year: 10 GB personal
$165/year: Unlimited
$0: 300mb
$20/year: 2GB
$60/year: 6GB
$120/year: Unlimited
Pricing Free: $0
EndNote 20 available for purchase
Free (2GB): $0
Plus (5GB): $55/year
Pro (10GB): $110/year
Max: $165/year

Can pay per-month or per-year
300mb: $0
2GB: $20/year
6GB: $60/year
Unlimited: $120/year

Must pay per-year
Code Availability Proprietary (Clarivate) Proprietary (Elsevier) Open Source

Citation Tools

Make an appointment for a Zoom consultation to learn more about using and choosing a citation tool.

For quick answers to questions about citation tools, join our Slack Community.