References management software, client-based or web-based, offers similar functions.
- managing all of your interested references in one place
- creating required format references list from these references
- providing you "cite while write" (or "write while cite") function
Some (e.g. Endnote and Endnote on the web) can attach full-text of the aritcles within, others can't.
Some provide shared-references function in order to support collabration among authors.
You can choose whatever reference software you want to use, either buy it, or use free one: RefWorks from USC Libraries, Endnote Online, Zotero, BibTex.
When getting yourself familiarized with reference software, please make sure
- begin early and choose one that is suitable to your information needs
- master the procedures of importing interested citations to your software, creating in-text citations and reference lists, and any other reason why you want to use a references management software
- download all added-in software if there is any
- Always proof-read your references because they are produced by machines, e.g. check publishers' guidelines, check USC dissertations' reference requirements