Reference Management Tools to your Rescue!

Ivey Camille, Crum Janet. Choosing the Right Citation Management Tool: Endnote, Mendeley, Refworks, or Zotero. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2018.468

Academic publications are a huge task, involving rigorous procedures of sourcing good literature, collecting credible data, analyzing, putting it all down on paper, getting reviewed and giving credit where it is due. Much of the work you put in has to solely come from your effort and knowledge. But the last part- which deals with getting all your references in order can be a tedious, boring, manual necessity. There are tools out there to help you with this, and you should have a thorough idea about at-least one of them to be able to compile your reference list smoothly.

In their article, Choosing the Right Citation Management Tool: Endnote, Mendeley, Refworks, or Zotero”, Camille Ivey and Janet Crum discuss the most popular tools available to you. Citation Management tools have been out there since the 1980s, their use being for reference organization, database searching, and bibliography creation. New features, more in tune with technological advances, have been added to these existing tools as the years have gone by.

This article will give you an insight into the features of Endnote, Mendeley, Refworks and Zotero. You will learn about the versions that are operative now; and what they are compatible with, whether the online versions are free with full features and functions, what kinds of audience they are meant to help, and what will best suit your academic research needs. You will also learn which of these tools can offer social networking opportunities.

The authors discuss the core features available for importing, organizing and managing references and full text. You can import from a number of databases, produce endnotes/footnotes, in-text citations, bibliographies and associated information. All the tools come with an exhaustive list of citation styles, examples of the most used ones being Chicago Manual, Harvard, APA, and MLA. You will also learn the ways in which these tools differ from each other, and the associated pros and cons of each. The authors take you through all the detailed features and requirements one by one, starting from System Requirements, Browser Extensions and Mobile Apps right down to Offline Availability and Unique Features.

There are a number of factors that you have to take into consideration while choosing the tool that is the right fit for you- expenditure, institutional support, research requirements, whether you are already familiar with a tool, and accessibility. The authors take these factors into consideration. Most importantly, they do a thorough comparison of all the tools so that you know which one will suit your needs best. So, for a broad understanding of the tools out there and which one to use, do go ahead and read this article.

 

 

 

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