What are Reference Management Tools?
Reference Management Tools are software which can help you to:
Why should I use Reference Management Tools?
When writing academic papers, it is a scholarly expectation for you to refer to someone else's work or idea by adding a citation. Adding in-text citations and references also help you to avoid plagiarism. Many stumble with references when writing their paper because they either do not remember where the reading is taken from, or they are unfamiliar with citation styles. Hence, Reference Management Tools like EndNote is useful because they:
Free up your time from managing references manually and spend more time on your research and writing!
Which tools are available to me?
Three commonly used reference management tools at PolyU are:
No single tool is perfect - they all have their distinct strengths and weaknesses.
Major strengths of different citation management tools are listed below:
|EndNote||: Easily customizable citation output styles.|
|Mendeley||: Strong PDF management.|
|Zotero||: Strong ability in capturing reference from diverse sources including webpages.|
Sometimes you may need to use more than one reference management tool for different purposes if one tool cannot meet your specific needs. This is made easy because references can now be easily transferred between different tools. For example, you may use Zotero to help you capture your webpages and you may use EndNote to help you when writing of your paper
You can use the table below to help you decide which tool is the best for you. Also, there will be greater ease in sharing and collaborating if you select a tool already used by your peers.
Comparison of EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero:
citation output styles
|Strong ability to capture information from diverse sources including webpages|
|OS Compatibility||Window & Mac||Window, Mac & Linux||Window, Mac & Linux|
(Retired on 15 Mar 2021)
|Storage Capacity||No limit||Desktop: no limit
Web: 2GB for free
|Desktop: no limit
Web: 300MB for free
|Import Citation from OneSearch||✔||✔||✔|
|Import Citation from Databases||✔||✔||✔|
|Import Citation from the Web||✔||✔||✔
(extremely robust but only works
for Firefox, Chrome and Safari)
|Find Full-text||✔||Rely on Mendeley
|Rely on Zotero
|Create Citation from PDF||✔
(for PDF with DOI only)
|Work Collaboratively with Others||✔||✔||✔|
|Create Formatted Bibliographies,
In-text Citations in MS Word
|Format Bibliography||6,000+ styles and can create your own style||8,000+ styles||8,000+ styles|
|Edit Citation Styles||✔||By specific computer
|By specific computer
|Leaving PolyU||Can keep the references, but subscription is required for version upgrade in future||Can keep the references and free to upgrade to the latest version||Can keep the references and free to upgrade to the latest version|