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Citation Tools / Bibliographic Managers  

Automate your gathering of bibliographic information, and create your own database of resources using one of these computer-aided bibliographic/citation managers
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Other Citation Tools

The library currently supports RefWorks and Zotero, but there are a number of good tools out there, and we are happy to help you find the right tool for the job!  While Zotero and RefWorks support a wide variety of disciplines, there are some disciplines which may need specific citation tools.  If you would like us to put together  a guide on a citation tool for a specific discipline, please be in touch!

Why use Citation Tools?

In general, a bibliographic manager will help you to

Build your own database:  Bulid your personal electronic library of references and articles by importing citations directly from subscription databases, websites, a library Catalog...add the articles (imprted or uploaded)  and take all the content with you after you graduate.

Organize references:  If you are doing your research in stages you can search for articles, organize them into folders and read them at a later time.  One resource/article may be stored in one folder or in several folders simultaneously – ex: an article could be saved in different folders for two different classes and/or also be in a folder for curriculum committee discussion and review.  

Add notes/annotations:  You can edit the citation records in your bib-manager account, create notes on the resource, and/or select a few resources and save them as an annotated bibliography! 

Incorporate references directly into your paper:  Using an applet that lets your citation manager "talk" to Word, you can incorporate both parenthetical and footnote bibliographical citations directly into documents.

Use multiple citation formats for customized output:  Choose which citation style you need and generate a new bibliography on the fly!  Decided to send it to a different Journal that requires a different style? change at the click of a button.

Search:  because you have built a database of research that is all relevant to you, how better to retrieve that article you read two years ago than through a search feature on your database?  Searches authors, titles abstracts and notes fields.


    Refworks vs. Zotero

    Both Zotero and RefWorks have all the features listed under "why use citation tools" at left -- While there are benefits to both, some standout features include:


    • lets you import/download the article as well as the citation, on the first click
    • because it relies on the source code of a web-resources, Zotero is better at capturing the citation info from non-proprietary databases, e.g: Amazon, DPLA, etc,
    • because it reads the metadata in PDFs, if you have a folder on your hard drive that is full of articles that you downloaded from a database 4 years ago, but didn't grab all the citation info at the time, Zotero may be able to retrieve all the info automatically from the metadata (note: this will not works with "scanned" photocopies)
    • Because it is open source, it improves at a very quick rate always


    • Has a much more substantial number of output styles -- down to the journal-level
    • while citation information imports very cleanly, articles do not automatically import, they must be downloaded to the computer and uploaded manually into Refworks


    Take a bibliography that you created for a paper 6 years ago, and automatically search for those citations


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