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Citation Management Tools: Home

Tips and guidance on bibliographic and citation management tools


What is a citation management system?

Citation management tools are software clients loaded on your computer or web/cloud-based applications that are used to store, organize and utilize bibliographic citations.  Essentially, these tools are a database of the researcher's selected citations.

Most provide the following functions:

  • Means of adding citations to the database, either manually or be importing citations from bibliographic databases or other sources.
  • Methods for saving and organizing citations and/or searching within the database.
  • Integration with word processing or other document production software to incorporated properly formatted citations into scholarly writing.
  • Mechanisms for sharing citations with collaborators.
  • Methods to create a stand-alone bibliography


Which is best? That completely depends on your needs and preferences. They generally offer the same general functionality, but with different interfaces  ---  and with different "bells & whistles".


Currently, The WPI Gordon Library provides institutional access to EndNote Desktop/Client and Mendeley. We also support Zotero, a freely available, open source citation management system.

Switching Managers?

Every manager has a way to export its files or import new files. Search either the manager's website or the web to learn how to conduct the process.

Make sure you know which file types the manager you are importing into can read so you select the right one when you export.

Use with caution!

Always check that a manager is using the most current edition of your style. 

Citations generated by managers are not always correct, due to a variety of reasons including inaccurate or incomplete metadata, citation manager errors, and more.

Double check all citations for accuracy!