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A guide to research resources on medicine and health

What are citation managers?

Commonly referred to as bibliographic, reference, or citation managers, these tools are freely available (you can upgrade for a fee) and allow you to build your own database of resources in a wide variety of formats. Each allows you to:

  • Upload citations from databases
  • Use plugins in Google and other browsers to add resources to your folders
  • Create bibliographies in a wide variety of styles, including many used by specific journals
  • Use a plugin for Word or Google Docs that inserts in-text citations and build your bibliography at the same time

Below you will find information for Zotero and Mendeley two of the commonly used citation managers. Though both work a bit differently they provide similar services and document outputs.


Zotero is an open-source bibliographic management tool that allows you to save citations directly from library databases in any citation format you choose. You can also use Zotero to create bibliographies and lists of references for term papers. Zotero is free, just for signing up, and you'll keep your account after you graduate. It requires a one-time download.

If you have a RefWorks account, you'll want to transfer your citations from RefWorks to Zotero. Zotero is available by clicking the red button above. A detailed guide showing you how to use Zotero will be available soon. 

Zotero FAQs:
Zotero - Support guides and information
Quick Guide - Creating bibliographies with Zotero