Store: You need a safe place to store your papers.
Manage: You need to be able to organise your papers so that you can find them again e.g. within folders, using tags.
Cite: You need to be able to cite the papers you have read, quickly and easily.
Powerful reference management software is available to help you store and organise all the references and other items you find during your research. It can help you cite your references easily as a bibliography and can even cite them in the style required when writing for a particular journal, using a Microsoft Word plugin.
Reference managers mostly have the same features and functionality but with some differences that may or may not suit your particular workflow. We advise that you compare them by watching screencasts and videos and reading online guides (which are usually provided on the product websites), and experimenting with exporting your references to other managers.
There are free trials and/or basic versions available for most reference managers but you will have to pay for advanced versions; please see the product websites for pricing.
3 popular reference managers
- Published by Thomson Reuters
- EndNote Basic, online version, free
- Desktop version: student discount (~£85+VAT) from UIS (University Information Services), and installed on MCS machines
- EndNoteWeb: free via University’s subscription to Web of Science (Raven login to WoS, then register for EndNote library)
- Transfer records between versions (synching)
- 10,000 references can be stored in your EndNote library
- Add references directly from Web of Science
- Cite-while-you-write plugin for MS Word
- iPad app
EndNote is installed on all MCS machines (i.e. all those in the library) under a University site licence. EndNote basic, which is a cloud version of the software, can be obtained here: http://endnote.com/product-details/basic. Free (30 day) trials of the paid for software can be found here: http://www.bilaney-consultants.co.uk/free-trials.html. If you want to buy a discounted copy of EndNote for personal (i.e. non-commercial) use only, the latest full version (full boxed copy or download for either Windows and Mac) is available direct from Bilaney Consultants: http://www.bilaney-consultants.co.uk/our-products/endnote.html. The supplier will require a copy of your University Card as proof of "Student ID" for the "Student" version (but the discount is definitely available to all members of the university with a valid University Card).
EndNote videos are available.
- Free, from Elsevier
- Import and organize PDFs from your computer, EndNote, Papers or Zotero
- Web Importer add-on, installed on your Favorites Bar to import from citation databases
- Read and Annotate
- Sticky notes and highlights on PDFs
- Create Private Groups or share with colleagues
- Generate citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word, Libre Office, and LaTeX
- Sync machines / devices
- iOS and Android app
Mendeley is installed on all MCS machines (i.e. all those in the library) under a University site licence.
- Free, independent
- Store, manage, and cite bibliographic references e.g. books, PDFs, websites, images, audio, video etc.
- Standalone version and extension of Firefox browser
- Connectors for Chrome, Safari, Opera
- Mobile version
- Bookmarklet to save items from your mobile device's browser directly to your zotero.org account
- MS Word plugin
- Third party apps recommended by Zotero (iOS and Android)
- Synchronise machines/devices
Others to consider
RefWorks (free trial but then there is a subscription fee)
Papers (for Macs & PCs) (free trial but then there is a subscription fee)
Qiqqa (free but a premium account requires a subscription fee)
- Wikipedia comparison of reference management software
- Mendeley comparison of its functions with Endnote, Refworks, Zotero and Papers
- University of Oxford LibGuide on Managing your references (see the Comparison tab, but note that access and subscription information is specific to Oxford)
Citing your references
The University has a subscription to Cite them right online which helps you to reference just about any source, and understand how to avoid plagiarism.