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How Can I Manage My Citations?
Bibliographic management software packages help researchers collect and manage citation information about papers, books, web sites, and images. As you collect more citations and papers, it will gradually become harder to keep up and keep track of them. Bibliographic software makes it easy for you to:
- Keep all your citations in one place
- Search the papers you collect by author, title, journal, subject headings or your own keywords
- Automatically generate bibliographies or works cited lists in particular style formats
- Insert footnotes or endnotes directly into your documents, depending on the software package you have.
Tim Morgan, May 2007, flickr.com
Which Software to Choose?
There are a number of choices, but the main commercial software packages are EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, and RefWorks. There are also some free choices that might work for you, such as Zotero or EndNoteWeb (free only to current OSU students and faculty). See this comparison chart of several of the more popular options.
As you are exploring the web pages and specifications of the software packages, consider these questions:
- What bibliographic software do colleagues in your field use?
- Do you use a Mac or a PC? Some packages are not available for Macs.
- Do you usually use the same computer, or do you use many different computers to do your research writing? Some packages are web-based (Refworks, Biblioscape, Zotero and EndNoteWeb) which easily facilitates the use of multiple computers.
- What kind of software support is available? OSU Libraries has EndNote and Zotero guides, as well as instruction and classes offered at OSU Libraries for EndNote, Zotero and EndNoteWeb (view the workshop schedule), but OSU does not offer any other software support.
- Is there a university discount? EndNote is the only package available at an educational discount at OSU .
- How big of a database do you need? Some allow more individual records than others.
- Do you want to store images? Some packages, such as EndNote 10 and higher, offer this capability.
- Is there a demo version? Try it out first to see if you like it.