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Managing Your Research References: Citation Managers Are the Answer

So many references, so little time... This guide will help you choose a tool to manage your references, make them searchable, make them shareable, and best of all-- generate bibliographies or reference lists


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Instruction Team
Visit us at the Access Services Desk!
Just ask for Jacob Galindo, Jennifer Urban-Flores, Maya Conde-Kalmijn, and Marissa Testerman, the Instruction Team.

Why You Should Organize Your References

  • Create bibliographic records for your citations, manually or electronically, from databases, catalogs or the Web.
  • Manage data through annotations, self-assigned tags, author-specified keywords, and attachments.
  • Create your own critical abstracts.
  • Search and organize your own database of references according to your personal preferences (Folder, subject, item type, etc.).
  • Link to word processing documents and insert footnotes, endnotes, or in-text citations.
  • Create a standalone reference list using sources within database of references.

Choose Your Manager

  RefWorks Zotero Mendeley EndNote
Best Use Long-Term Storage and Management of Many Sources Web-Based Research Storage and Management of PDFs and annotations Sophisticated Management of Sources
Best Features Ease of Sharing and Collaboration Review and Management of Large Numbers of Sources User-Friendly Design Screenshot capture of Web material Ease of Adding Sources Recognized by Zotero Ability to Search Full-Text of Attached Files iPhone App (coming soon) User-Friendly Design Review and Management of PDFs Ease of Adding Sources Recognized by Mendeley Web Compatible Customization Review and Management of Large Numbers of Sources
Disadvantages Separate Log-In and RefWorks Window Not as intuitive as Zotero More complicated to import references Works best with traditional resources Searching citations is robust - but cannot search the full-text of attached files Somewhat difficult to manage large numbers of sources

No Direct Export from databases that are not owned by Elsevier

Not ADA compliant

Tied to your desktop Steep learning curve Complicated to import references Works best with traditional resources
Adding Citations to Word Documents Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access UTEP Library Browser plug-in Online or downloaded software Desktop
Format Web-based Web-based Web and Desktop based Software/Web-based Version (reduced features)
Mobile Yes, iPad app Yes, a mobile site through There's also an app called ZotPad for iPhone/iPad. Yes, an app for iPhone/iPad. Yes, an iPad app.
Space Limits Unlimited 300 MB 2 GB  Unlimited*
Cost Free for UTEP affiliates Free for anyone Free for anyone Must purchase (~$300)

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