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Reference Managers

Multiple free and subscription software applications are available to help you organize your references and create bibliographies for large projects.

For details about reference managers, see Wikipedia's Comparison of Reference Managers.

Features of Mendeley

  • Has desktop component for most functions and an online component for mobile devices and networking
  • 2 GB of web storage included for free
  • Works on Macs or PCs
  • Comes with 15 citations styles and many more can be installed
  • Provides ability to annotate and store full text documents with their references
  • Has add-in for Microsoft Word that enables inserting in-text citations and dynamic bibliographies as you write
  • Export files are compatible with BibTeX, EndNote, RefWorks, and Zotero
  • Has many literature discovery and collaborator features for researchers

Sign up for your free account at You can upgrade to premium packages if you need more space. A comparison of reference managers is available in Wikipedia.

Drawbacks of Mendeley

  • Not entirely online
  • Web Importer does not consistently capture references and full text documents. You will have to import references and download/attach full text documents about 80% of the time or drag and drop downloaded pdfs.
  • Cannot generate standalone bibliographies. You either have to create one while writing a Word document, or copy and paste the references you want from Mendeley desktop into a Word document.

Installation and Basic Functions of Mendeley

Learn how to sign up for an account online, install Mendeley on your desktop, install additional tools, and use the basic functions of Mendeley in less than 6 minutes. Find out more from Mendeley's collection of video tutorials and online guides. See also the handout from the Introduction to Mendeley graduate workskhop.

Additional Links