Citation management tools allow you to download citations from various websites and databases (sometimes with the full-text article), electronically store and organize the citations into your own library. They also allow you to pull information from your library into your paper as you write it.

You should consider using a citation management tool if:

  • You need to manage a lot of citations.
  • You are in a field where you will be writing lots of different research-based papers.
  • The research projects you do build on each other, and you need to reuse core sources.
  • You work in groups, or in a lab, where you need to share citations or sources with other people.

The library can help you with several citation management tools:

The library offers workshops on these tools every term.  Check this link for the current workshop schedule.

Comparison Chart

CriteriaZoteroMendeleyEndNoteEndNote Web
CostFreeFree$105, OSU discount @ bookstoreFree to OSU users
Web-based?YesYes, but not primarilyNoYes
Storage capacityUnlimited local storage and data syncing; 1GB free Zotero file syncing if you register with an OSU email address (larger syncing plans available for purchase); or can use WebDavUnlimited local storage and data syncing; 2GB personal and 100MB shared online space (larger online storage plans available for purchase)Unlimited local storageLimited to 10,000 citations
Group/shared librariesYesYes, free for up to 3 group members (larger group plans available for purchase)Yes, with EndNote Web account, but can’t share PDFs with the groupYes, but can’t share PDFs with the group
# of styles~7000 styles~5800 styles~5000 styles~5000 styles