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Citation Management Tools

This guide will help you get started with managing the information you find online, organizing your citations and writing your research paper.


Bibliographic citation managers (e.g. EndNote Web, Zotero, etc.) help researchers keep track of their references for research papers, theses, dissertations, journal articles, publication lists, course reserve lists, or any other writing needs. The software also facilitates the downloading of citations directly from the Web, online databases, and online library catalogs. Using bibliographic citation managers helps researchers create bibliographies or lists of references and easily format them in a wide variety of styles.

As you write academic papers, you will need to use citations in order to give credit to other works you have used to support your argument, show background research, and provide a context to your studies.  Higher level academic papers require you to use a lot of citations, and you can use citation management tools to make keeping track of your sources easier. 

A citation management tool is an online tool that allows you to store, organize, and export citations according to whatever style you need.  The University of Maryland subscribes to many tools that can make organizing your sources easier. 

Not Sure Which Citation Management Tool to Use?

Comparing Citation Managers

The following videos provide some tips on how to investigate and decide on the best bibliographic software for your needs. The speakers touch on criteria such as collaboration, system compatibility, free vs. cost and functionality.


How to Choose Reference Management Software

Comparison of Citation Managers    Zotero vs. Mendeley


This Citation Manager Comparison guide provides a quick reference to the following most used citation managers and can help you pick the tool that is most suited to your needs.


Where do I sign up?

Through the database Web of Science or myendnoteweb

Get Mendeley

Register for Zotero


Free for UMD Faculty, Staff, and Students.

Free for everyone.

Free for everyone.

Available after I leave UMD?

No, unless you go to another institution with a subscription or you purchase a personal subscription.




Only available online.

Accessible online and on your workstation.

Accessible online and on your workstation.

Can I share citations?



 Yes, in theory, but I have    encountered a known bug  when trying to add things to a shared folder.

Ability to directly export from the catalog and many databases




Attach associated files (PDFs, etc.)




Link to documents (articles, reports, etc.) with UMDs "Find It"



Yes, but it must be manually configured.

Word processor compatibility

(requires downloading a plug-in)

MS Word

MS Word, Open Office, and LaTex

MS Word, Open Office, and Google Docs

Link to Help / Support pages

EndNote Web Help page and Tutorials

Mendeley Support and Tutorials

Zotero Support and Tutorials