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Video Transcripts : Choosing a Citation Manager

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Do you need help choosing a citation manager to organize your research? This tutorial will introduce you to citation managers and help you select one that works for you. Choosing a citation manager title slide
Citation manager software can help you collect citations from materials you view on the web, in the library catalogs, ScholarOne Search, or in databases. Citation managers will store these references in one place. This allows you to organize your citations by project, class, subject or any other criteria that make sense to you. You can also share your citations with classmates, colleagues or other collaborators. Citation managers generate citations and bibliographies for you, which makes it easier to properly cite your sources. However, you always want to double check these citations and bibliographies to make sure they meet the standards of your instructor or publisher.  
While there are many different types of citation managers available, Snell Library offers support for four. EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero and Mendeley. EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero and Mendeley logos
There are a few core features that are available in all four of these citation managers. These include: the ability to share citations and your reference library with other users, the ability to organize citations by folders or groups, The ability to create quickly a single citation or a full bibliography, The ability to select your citation style, the ability to connect with Microsoft Word and a browser button that allows you to save references directly from your browser.  
EndNote is available through the software downloads page on my Northeastern, although you can also use an online version at You can sync the two versions if you use both. Screenshots showing Software and IT support list in MyNortheastern and the EndNote log-in page.
As a Thomson Reuters product, it plugs easily into Thomson Reuters databases like Web of Science, Science citation Index and other Thompson Reuters products. Web of Science Logo and red text that reads:
  • Science Citation Index Expanded
  • Arts and Humanities Citation Index
  • Index Chemicus
  • Medline (Web of Science)
EndNote is the most powerful of the citation and supported by a Snell library and includes numerous extra features such as: the ability to automatically scan a given a folder on your computer for new articles and upload them into your library, Share your library with up to one hundred and note users and track their work and store up to two gigabytes of information. EndNote requires a Northeastern email address to use and you will need to pay for the service if you'd like to keep using it after you leave Northeastern.  
RefWorks is a cloud- based citation manager available at Because it's cloud-based, it's available on any device with internet access. No syncing required. This makes it a great choice for someone who works across multiple devices. Unlike the other three citation managers, RefWorks is fully available on Chromebooks. RefWorks login screen and examples of several devices.
Because it offers fewer features than EndNote, RefWorks has a simple interface that many users find easier to navigate. It is a ProQuest product, so it plugs easily into many ProQuest databases like Criminal Justice, ERIC, Ethnic News Watch and ProQuest historical newspapers. RefWorks requires a Northeastern email address to use, but is available to alumni after they leave campus.  
Zotero is an open source citation manager that does not require an Northeastern email address. It can be downloaded from You can also access your Zotero library from the Zotero website and enable syncing between the desktop and web based libraries. Because it is freely available to anyone with an Internet connection, Zotero is excellent for users who work with non Northeastern collaborators. However, Zotero only offers three hundred megabytes of free storage. Larger amounts require a paid subscription. Zotero Your personal research assistant download page.
Because Zotero's code is open source, many developers have created plugins or added features for Zotero. These can help you use Zotero with blogging platforms like WordPress, content managers like Drupal and Omeka and word processors like Libre office. Wordpress, Drupal, LibreOffice and Omeka logos.
Mendeley is available for free download from Screenshot of
It also offers free online or cloud based version that can sync with the desktop version. You do not need an Northeastern email address to download the software or use the online version and you can keep access after graduation. Mendeley comes with two gigabytes of free storage with more available if you pay for a subscription. Mendeley users are able to create shared groups for group projects or to share references with a colleague. But without a subscription, the user can only create one private group. Like the other Citation managers available, Mendeley plugs easily into Microsoft Word.  
When choosing a citation manager to support your research, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Which citation manager is right for me?
EndNote is excellent for a large, complex project like a thesis or a manuscript, because it includes a large amount of storage space. It is used widely in the sciences because it connects seamlessly with Web of science and other Thompson Reuters products. It also includes many extra features. However, you will need to pay for a subscription if you'd like to keep using it after you leave Northeastern.
RefWorks is cloud-based and is perfect for someone who works across multiple devices and would like a cleaner interface with fewer features. It is available to Northeastern alumni after they graduate.
Zotero is open source and free and is therefore great for anyone who would like to share their references with someone outside of the Northeastern community. Developers have also created many plugins that can create increased functionality. However, space is limited unless you want to pay for more.
Mendeley is free to use and download without any Northeastern affiliation. It offers a large amount of free space with the option to pay for more. It is also available to Northeastern alumni after they graduate.
Still have questions? Need more help choosing a citation manager? Ask a librarian. You can call, chat, email or visit us in person. Closing Slide: Ask a Librarian
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