Citation managers will help you collect, organize, cite, and share the resources that you are considering for your paper.
Which citation tool is right for you? The comparision chart below highlights the main features and differences.
Revised from the University of Florida Libraries LibGuide citation manager comparison chart.
|Access||Free to all UW Colleges students||Web-based. Available through Web of Science.||Desktop software that lives in Firefox web browser||Web-based|
|Allows users to share citations||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Where are my files stored||Hosted web server||Hosted web server||Locally to your computer / hosted web server||Locally to your computer / free web storage space|
|Word processing integration||Works with Google Docs.||Works with Word through Write-N-Cite feature and with LaTex through BibTex||Works with Word and Open Office and with LaTex through BibTex and Google Docs||Works with Word and Open Office, BibTex and LaTex. Annotations &highlights for PDFs|
|Import from online databases||Yes, using iCyte.||Yes||Yes||Depends|
|Import web pages||Yes, using iCyte||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Import from RSS feeds||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Types of records you can import (PDF's, images, etc.)||Good for organizing records for articles and books.||
Books, articles, patents and webpages.
Can also store PDF's web screenshots files and images in records.
You can make PDF's searchable by choosing to index them in the preferences menu.
|Managing and maintaining a large citation library (1,000 records plus)||Not recommended.||Not complex; EndNote Web is a good option for maintaining fewer than 50,000 citations.||More difficult; takes more time to sort duplicate records and to verify that the records are complete.|
|How many output styles?||MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian||Many||Many||Many|
|Modify and create output styles?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can you export your citation library to a different tool?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Mostly an educational tool that helps students learn the elements of citation. Includes support for organizing and writing papers, with options for notecards and annotations.
Instructors can set up drop-boxes within Noodletools for receiving class assignments.
Web-based solution which allows you to access your files from the Internet and does not restrict access to a single workstation.
Allows users to easily share lists of citations.
Good for organizing citations for papers.
Simple to download records.
Good for managing a variety of formats including web pages.
Offers the most functionality in a free open-source product.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
There are tools that quickly format citations for you with fill-in-the-blank programs. The difference between them and citation managers is that you can't save your work. It's just for quick help. Be careful when using these--errors are common. Keep in mind that you may need to correct a citation after it has been formed.