Zotero is a popular free open source citation management tool that makes saving and citing online resources, including websites, YouTube videos, news articles, and scholarly database results, a breeze. Some of Zotero's strengths include its ability to capture a multitude of resource types with the click of a button, and its group library function, with no limit on group membership. For more about Zotero, see this guide.
This other Zotero guide has great video tutorials; be mindful that the interface has changed somewhat but the content remains the same.
Mendeley (and other software for citation management)
Mendeley is online software for use in citation management.
Important features and things you need to know about Mendeley:
- Mendeley is one of the primary citation manager for students in science and engineering fields
- The basic version is free, premium add-ons are available that will give you more online storage space or which can enable you to collaborate and share your references with large numbers of other people.
- There is a desktop client and a mobile app, both of them online-enabled - Once you've created a new account, you will probably want to download the desktop client to your personal computer. This will enable you to begin adding references and creating bibliographies in no time. You also can add Mendeley's app to your smartphone and/or tablet (the iOS version is here). All instances of Mendeley--client or app--keyed to a single user will share data, enabling you to access your citations anywhere.
- It supports group work - You can share your citations and lists with up to 3 other users (sharing with more requires purchasing a premium add-on).
- Uploading is easy! - You can simply drag and drop a PDF of an article to Mendeley and it will automatically extract much of the necessary citation information from the text (we'd recommend that you review it to make sure it's correct though - author name, article name, etc.).
- Mendeley will format your citations for you in a variety of styles
Managing your information and research
Citation management tools for organizing your research
Effective citation management is critical to performing a comprehensive or systematic search of the literature. In the process of doing research, you will encounter a multitude of resources including books, articles, and websites. Keeping all of these organized as you progress, creating bibliographies or lists of resources, and collaborating and sharing information can be a daunting and time-consuming task.
Citation management tools can be a great way to do all of these things and more. With a relatively easy-to-use tool, you will be able to organize and save the resources you find in databases and on websites. And with virtually the click of a button, you will be able to generate bibliographies in nearly any citation style.
There are a number of citation management tools available that are compatible with many of the databases and resources you'll use. Visit the citation management help page to get started. It only takes a few minutes to set up an account with such tools as Zotero and Mendeley. If you are affiliated with the College of Human Ecology or CALS, you can download an Endnote license (see box to the left).
Image credit: Tony Hammon, from Flickr at https://flic.kr/p/fHKmRP