Reference manager software


Should you use reference manager software?

You do not need to use reference managers. However, if you use some reference managers then, check if some of these options are included in the software program:

  • Can a pdf copy of your article be linked to the reference itself?
  • Can you organize references into logical groups (areas, subjects, disciplines, sub-disciplines) by utilizing folders and tags?
  • Can you one-click save articles and organize them from your browser? This is invaluable in saving time on organizing.
  • Can you sync across multiple devices like desktops, laptops and tablet? Cloud based? Costs?
  • Can you read your articles inside the reference manager and then do useful things like highlighting and annotations which can then be saved as notes for future reference?
  • Can you export to specific citation styles?
  • Is it free of charge?






Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

A personal research assistant.

Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content in your web browser, allowing you to add it to your personal library with a single click. Whether you’re searching for a preprint on, a journal article from JSTOR, a news story from the New York Times, or a book from your university library catalog, Zotero has you covered with support for thousands of sites.

Store anything.

Zotero collects all your research in a single, searchable interface. You can add PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages, and really anything else. Zotero automatically indexes the full-text content of your library, enabling you to find exactly what you’re looking for with just a few keystrokes.

Word Processor Plugins

Of the different ways to automatically generate bibliographies (as well as in-text citations and footnotes), the easy-to-use word processor plugins are probably the most flexible. These plugins, available for Microsoft Word and LibreOffice/OpenOffice/NeoOffice, create dynamic bibliographies: insert a new in-text citation in your manuscript, and the bibliography will be automatically updated to include the cited item. Correct the title of an item in your Zotero library and with a click of a button the change will be incorporated in your texts.

Zotero for Mobile

The mobile version of allows you to access and edit your Zotero library on your tablet or mobile phone.




ZotPad is an iPad/iPhone client for Zotero reference management software. The purpose of ZotPad is to allow accessing Zotero libraries from mobile devices. The software provides read and write access to Zotero files stored on the Zotero server, WebDAV server, or Dropbox. ZotPad contains a basic file reader that can be used to open the most common file types and can send attachment files by email. Annotation workflow can be easily set up with third-party PDF annotating software.

The app comes with an in-app user guide and support features.

ZotPad is available for free through App Store.




Research Management Tool: Zotero

Harvard Library @ Harvard University recommends Zotero

Go read the guide…




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