Reference Management Tools for Research and Writing
A critical part of the student and faculty research process is keeping track of relevant literature—journal papers, books, web pages, images, quotations, etc.—so that they can be utilized and properly cited in the writing process of research. In an increasing online research environment reference management programs can assist by:
- Collecting references 1) from online sources, e.g., the HSU Library Catalog, research databases, web pages, and other sources; or 2) by manual input.
- Storing and managing these references in searchable folders.
- Capturing related PDFs, web pages, files, or images; or linking to available fulltext.
- Adding personal notes and indexing PDF fulltext.
- Generating standalone bibliographies or inserting references into papers composed in Microsoft Word, OpenOffice and other word processors and automatically formatting them in a required publication style, e.g., MLA, APA , or CSE.
- Creating user groups and sharing references for class and other collaborative research work.
The HSU Library provides support and instruction for the following four programs. References created in any of these can be ported to any of the other programs as well as to other reference management programs.
- Zotero -- free open-source application that is available as a plug-in for the Firefox browser or as a standalone program with plug-ins for the Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox browers. Portability options allow one's personal reference library to be accessed from any computer. See Using Zotero at HSU for details on installing and using the program.
- EndNote Web -- web-based program available free to all HSU students, faculty and staff as part of the HSU Library’s subscription to Thomson/Reuters databases. The program is available wherever there is Internet access. Continuing access to this program is available for up to one year after leaving HSU. See Using EndNote Web at HSU for details on how to use the program.
- Endnote -- full-featured desktop program available for sale in the HSU Bookstore for approxmately $110. Included with the purchase is a permanent license to EndNote Web. The Library supports Endnote Connection Files that allow database searching and importing of references directly from within the desktop program. See EndNote Web versus EndNote for a comparison of the features of these two related programs.
- Mendeley -- free reference manager and academic social network that can be downloaded as a standalone application. One's personal reference library can be accessed from any location using Mendeley's cloud server.
For other reference management programs see:
- Bibliography Management Software (Dell'Orso) Compares 6 major reference managers.
- Citation Management Tools (DIRT: Digital Research Tools Wiki)
- Comparison of Reference Management Software (Wikipedia) Compares over 25 web-based and desktop reference managers.
- Bibliographic/Software and Standards Information (OpenOffice)
In addition there are social networking sites aimed at scholars and researchers that are 1) designed for storing, tagging and sharing web-based information (journal articles, books, web pages, etc.); 2) discovering others with similar interests; and 3) exporting references into "reference management programs" for use in the writing process of research. Their basic operation is similar to social networking sites designed for the general public, e.g., Del.icio.us.