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Citation Management: Welcome!

Better manage your papers by utilizing citation management tools that will allow you to format collected and generated citations in addition to other beneficial features.

Learning About Citation Software

What is Citation Management Software?

Citation management software collects and organizes citations from numerous sources and gathers them into a bibliography, or a list of sources used when conducting your research and when referenced within your work. These tools often have helpful features that allow you to easily change your citations from style to style!

Resting on a brown table is an open book that has a few of its pages marked with colorful tabs.

Resting on a brown table is an open book that has a few of its pages marked
with colorful tabs. Photo by cottonbro from

Is it necessary?

Although not completely necessary, a citation management tool can be a beneficial tool in both the research and writing process of any paper, project, or assignment. It simplifies the maintenance of sources used and keeps them neatly in one place for you. It is especially useful for both creating and formatting your bibliography--This saves you the headache of searching to collect your citations from your notes, and formatting them in the appropriate style before a deadline.

How is it useful to you?

As a student, scholar, or casual researcher, there will be many moments where works used must be approrpiately cited to avoid plagarism and give the author of the materials used their credit. 

Using the tools within this libguide will reduce the amount of time needed to create and compose those citations while storing them in an easily accessible location. In addition to the bibliographic creation feature, some of the software discussed have extra features that allow you to collaborate with other researchers; have your papers published in respected journals; and even apply for open positions posted within their job database.

Where Do I Start?

Where Can You Go?

Its important to note that since these are all citation management software, most will largely operate to help with your citations. However, they won't have the same user interface and functionality. Moreover, some software will have exclusive features that may be beneficial to you.

Here is a small description of all four tools:


RefWorks: Available through ECU's Libraries, all ECU students and faculty are able to use RefWorks for free because of its institution subscription attribute.

This software allows you to add and edit your references, keep your bibliography in sync, and allows for easy collarboration by allowing users to create shared folders, discuss articles, and more.

Additional quick features:
- Able to operate within Microsoft Word and Google Docs through an installed add-on.
- Allows for author discoverability specific to your institution.

Please note: RefWorks older version is still up and operable. To avoid confusion, I've included it below for you to familiarize and distinguish it from its current model.

Zotero Logo

 Zotero: Zotero is a free to use citation management software that allows you to automatically save each material used to your collection as you're searching for it.
Think: articles, news stories, or even a book researched on a library's website.

Additional quick features:
- Over 10,000 citation styles
- Keeps your data synced across multiple devices
- Able to operate within Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs
- Allows for free collaboration such as co-writing a paper or distributing course materials to your students.


EndNote Clarivate: While not free through ECU, EndNote is available through a one-time purchase. This tool allows you to insert in-text citations while silmultaneously creating a bibliography through its Cite While You Write feature in Microsoft Word.


Additional quick features:
- There is a 30 day free-trial 
- Keeps your data synced by utilizing the Cloud
- Easy collaborations with others 
- Allows you the opportunity to get published by enabling you to match your paper with relevant and reputable journals.

Mendeley Logo


Mendeley: Mendeley is also a free to use citation management tool that allows you to import your documents and keep them synced across various devices. Similar to the other tools, this resource allows you to generate citations and bibliographies in multiple styles.


In contrast to the other software, Mendeley houses its own Careers database with over 600,000 jobs available in science, technology, and health fields.

Jeanne Hoover

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Jeanne Hoover
1205 Joyner Library

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