Social Work *: Citation Managers

Randall Information Center | USC School of Social Work

Which citation manager is right for me?

Citation managers allow you to save your references, organize them into folders and create bibliographies using a citation format like APA. These tools will help you keep track of the numerous articles and other resources you're using for your research assignments and projects. 

The table below will help you decide which one is right for you. Some of the more commonly used citation managers are:

The information below has been adapted from Penn State University Libraries

Which citation manager is right for me?

I Need to:

Use:

Why?

…work from multiple computers or locations.

Zotero
Mendeley
RefWorks

Zotero saves your citation library to your local computer, but syncs with multiple computers so you can work from home, work, or school.
Mendeley is a program that can be downloaded to your computer, and allows you to sync to a web account.
RefWorks is entirely web-based and can be accessed from any computer with internet access.

…work without an Internet connection.

Zotero
Mendeley

 

Zotero and Mendeley store your citation libraries on your computer.

…save web pages and import citations from mostly web-based publications

Zotero

Zotero allows you to easily save snapshots of web pages and annotate them within your citation library. It is a great tool for getting citation information from commercial and social networking sites.

…work on a group project or share my citations with others.

Zotero
Mendeley
RefWorks

Zotero allows you to share your citations through shared folders -- with individuals or groups. 

Mendeley allows you to share citations and documents with a group of up to 3 other users, or create a public reading list that is open to all. 

RefWorks allows you to share your citations through shared folders by inviting up to 10 individuals and giving permission to read, annotate, or modify the entries.

…save mostly print based citations for materials that may not be accessible online

RefWorks

Mendeley

Mendeley and RefWorks allow you to enter references manually for print-based citations.

...create a bibliography or works cited page with different styles

Refworks 

Mendeley

Zotero

They all allow you to generate bibliographies in various citation styles such as APA, MLA and Chicago Style.
...attach and search PDFs

RefWorks 

Mendeley 

Zotero

RefWorks allows you to attach, highlight and annotate PDFs
...be able to insert citations into my Word or Google document

RefWorks

Mendeley

Zotero

RefWorks, Zotero and Mendeley are compatible with Microsoft Word.

Zotero and RefWorks are also compatible with Google Docs.

... access the citation manager for free or after I am no longer affiliated with USC

RefWorks 

Mendeley

Zotero

RefWorks is free when you register with your USC email. You can keep access after graduation.

Zotero is free but there is some cost for additional online storage.

Mendeley is free but there is some cost for additional online storage.