Reference Management Software

When searching different databases, it is wise to collect the results and chosen records/references into one place, a reference management software.

What can reference management software be used for?

  • creating one one’s own reference database
  • saving search results directly from different databases and manual storing
  • removing possible duplicate sources
  • placing sources meant for different purposes into different folders
  • creating a list of references
  • inserting references into text

Reference management software are paid or free-to-use programs, such as Endnote, Zotero and Mendeley. The University of Eastern Finland provides support and guidance on Zotero and Mendeley. Both of them are free to use, although the free versions have limited attachment storage (300 MB in Zotero, 2 GB in Mendeley). Additional storage is subject to a fee. However, both have unlimited reference storage.   

Zotero is an open-source program that has a desktop version, browser version and a mobile app. The desktop version can be used without a personal account, but if you want to use the program on multiple devices, you can create an account for free. Zotero offers more than 10,000 ready-made bibliography styles, but you can also customize them to your personal needs.

Like Zotero, Mendeley is available as desktop, browser and mobile versions.  It requires you to create a personal account, unless you already have an Elsevier account in the Scopus database, for example. For the list of references, Mendeley offers nearly 7,000 reference styles, which can be edited for your personal use similar to Zotero. The free 2 GB storage in Mendeley includes both references and attachments.

Learn more about reference management on the website of UEF Library.