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Research Guides

Citation Styles & Tools: Citation Management Software

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

3-Minute Intro to Citation Tools

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

  • Keep reading below
  • Use the links to the right to check out the guides or make a one-on-one appointment 
  • View recordings of our citation tools webinars here.



Citation tools help you store, organize, and share your research citations. They also automatically format your bibliographies and in-text citations into whatever style you need (APA, MLA, Chicago, and many more). 


UW Libraries supports four citation managers: EndNote Basic, Mendeley, RefWorks, and Zotero. These citation managers provide the same basic features -- they allow you to save citations, organize them into folders or libraries, and generate bibliographies and citations as you write.

To decide which tool is right for you, review the charts below and talk with people in your department about the tools they use and why. Once you choose a tool, know that you can always change your mind; sources can easily be transferred between tools. (Please note that attachments don't always transfer.)

The best way to figure it out is to set up an account on one of the tools and try it! It can also help to make an individualized appointment with a graduate student librarian at the Research Commons to learn more about choosing and using the tools. We are here to help!


*EndNote also has a desktop version available for purchase from the UW bookstore

**Save to widgets have varying levels of functionality. Zotero and RefWorks seem to be the best at gathering data from various sources

For a longer of list of citation managers and their features, see Wikipedia’s Comparison of Reference Management Software

Table last updated: 11/14/17

Academic Social Networks

Some of the citation managers supported at UW (Zotero, Mendeley) include social networking aspects. Here are some other services that facilitate communication with academic colleagues who share research interests: