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Notes From the Library…Citation Managers

What is a citation manager?

At their most basic, citation managers are software programs that allow you to store and organize your references, and insert formatted citations and bibliographies into documents.

What citation managers are available?

There are several citation managers available; the library supports EndNote (and EndNote online), Mendeley, RefWorks and Zotero, which are all popular and well-established programs. Other available programs include Papers, Sente and Paperpile.

Which citation manager do you recommend?

It depends! While all citation managers have the same basic features, some citation managers are better for storing and annotating PDFs, working on multiple devices or computers, and collaborating with others. If I had to choose one, then I would recommend EndNote. This robust, widely-used citation manager has a bit of a steeper learning curve but several nice features such as automatically finding full text for references, annotating PDFs on your computer or mobile device, and thousands of citations styles.  If you need help choosing a citation manager, then ask your colleagues what they are using, or ask me (

How can I get a citation manager?

I will focus on the four programs that the library supports: EndNote, Mendeley, RefWorks and Zotero. All of these programs works on both Macs and PCs. An EndNote app is available for iPads; a Mendeley app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

EndNote: Available for installation on Tufts-owned or personal computer for anyone with a primary affiliation of student, faculty or staff in the Tufts White Pages. Bring your laptop to the Tufts Technology Services desk on the 5th floor of Sackler (Monday-Thursday 9AM-6 PM, Friday 9AM-7PM) or call 617-627-3376 for remote installation.

Mendeley: Freely available to anyone. Create account and download at:

RefWorks: Available to Tufts students, faculty and staff. Create account at:

Zotero: Freely available to anyone. Create account and download at: