Skip to main content

Wooster Campus Research Library

Research begins not in the laboratory but in the library

Popular Citation Managers

All citation managers do TWO basic things:

1) Import and organize references

2) Format citations for your papers and bibliographies  


The best citation manager is the one that works best for you.

All the citation managers listed below are good choices. Which one is "best" depends on your individual preferences and how you like to organize and share your information. Many of these tools are either free or offer free trials. Since saved citations can easily transfer from one manager to another, you can experiment until you find one that meets your needs. 

For more Citation Help and information on best citation manager setting for OSU users from see this guide OSU libraries see this guide.  Citation help


Popular Citation Managers

Zotero (Free) Zotero.org

Zotero is a solid workhorse of a citation manager. While it might not have the elegant interface of Mendeley or the features of EndNote, it also works well with a variety of formats (PDFs, websites, etc) and consistently pulls correct citation information.

ZoteroBib  zbib.org

ZoteroBib is a free online tool to let you create quick bibliographies. 

EndNote ($94.95) and EndNote Web (Free)

EndNote (desktop version) might be more challenging to learn than its free counterparts, but it also offers more features. It is a top-of-the-line citation manager with solid customer support.  $94.95 is the price for EndNote Desktop through OSU's TechHub.

EndNote web is free for OSU users, integrated into Web of Science, and offers write and cite capabilities.  Sign up for an account at myendnoteweb.com

Mendeley (Free) mendeley.com

Mendeley's attractive interface and social networking component makes it a good choice for saving, sharing, and discovering resources. While it doesn't pull non-PDF citation information as consistently as Zotero, Mendeley is a popular choice among students on the Wooster campus. 

Refworks (Free for OSU Users)

The real benefit with using RefWorks is how well it is integrated into Ohio State's Library system. Importing correct citation information is quite simple. Unfortunately you can't import  PDFs, unlike other available citation managers.

For more detailed information about each one, see our detailed comparison chart (below). 

Citation Manager Comparison Chart