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Citation Style Guide: Citation Management and Formatting Tools

We encourage you to use Zotero, available at no cost here:

How to Use and Select Citation Management Tools

 What do Citation Management Tools do?

  • import citations from databases, websites, and library catalogs
  • manage, categorize, and organize citations
  • create and correctly format bibliographies and in text citations in most output styles (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)
  • attach PDF's, images, etc to citations in your collection
  • write notes or annotate PDF's attached to your citations

Citation Building Tools

How do I choose the right tool?

Decision tree for citation management. If more than 10 citations or going to reuse, use Zotero!

Comparison Chart

  Mendeley Zotero Easybib
Web Based No* Yes** Yes
Cost Free*** Free Free
Adding References      
Import from online databases Yes Yes No
Import citation information from web page No Yes Yes
Create in-text citations Yes Yes No
Create bibliographies Yes Yes Yes
Sharing Yes Yes Yes
Group ability to add references to shared folder Yes Yes Yes
Publicly share Profile/citations No No No
Storage 2GB (free) Yes, 100 MG, cloud based No


*While these tools are not Web-based, meaning you need to download a desktop application, they do have a web component (which can be used without being on the desktop download and which can be synced with the desktop).

**Zotero is a local client application that syncs data accessible on the web through a read-only interface. You cannot log into and edit/add citations; it must be done through your local application. The web access is primarily a read-only backup and group discovery tool.

***Can pay for a more robust subscription, but the basic package is free.