What is a Citation Management Tool?
Citation management tools allow you to create personal collections of all your research sources (books, articles, websites, etc.) including the citations for each source and as well as your own research notes.
Most citation management tools allow you to:
import and organize sources from library databases and other online spaces
save links, pdfs, citations and other critical information all in one place
automatically format citations according to a chosen style
create bibliographies of selected sources in a word document format
Citation management tools are particularly helpful for large research projects with many sources and for ongoing research into an area of interest.
The Olin Library does not endorse or support any particular one of these, but we will assist you in configuring your chosen citation tool to work with our resources.
Zotero: A plug-in for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari; also available as a stand-alone Windows application. Free, with additional storage available for purchase.
Mendeley: A desktop and web program that stores document PDFs. Free, with additional storage and premium features available for purchase. Mendeley is particularly strong working with articles in the sciences.
EndNote: EndNote is the most elaborate and well-established citation management tool, with many advanced features. It must be purchased, and has a steeper learning curve than the other tools listed here.
Other citation formatting tools merely help you word your citations in the appropriate format (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). These tools are useful when you won’t need to return to your list of sources after completing an immediate project.
Son of Citation Machine: Free web tool for MLA and APA style citations.
EasyBib: Free MLA citation formatting, with APA and Chicago/Turabian formatting for a paid subscription.
NoodleBib: Part of Noodletools, a suite of tools for note-taking, outlining, and other writing tasks. Noodle tools requires a paid subscription, but has limited functionality with a free “MLAlite” account.