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Research Strategies

Citation Managers: What are They and Why Use Them?

Citation Managers are bibliographic management programs that will help you keep track of articles and books as you find them, organize your references and create bibliographies in 100s of citation styles (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.)

They will also allow you to:

  • Import citations as you research from databases and catalogs
  • Save and organize citations
  • Attach PDFs of articles, when available
  • Embed citations (footnotes or in-text) into your word processing documents
  • Collaborate with others online
  • Discover the latest research

The most popular citation managers are EndNote and Zotero. Below are their differences. Remember to always check with your professor if you are not sure.

EndNote - Web version (EndNote Online or EndNote Basic) free to anyone; integrates with MS Word; the Instruction Labs at the Oviatt Library have the Cite-While-You-Write plug-in on Word for students to access their EndNote web accounts

Zotero - Free to anyone; integrates with MS Word and/or Google Docs; must be installed on your own computer 

Criteria Zotero EndNote and EndNote Web

EndNote Web:

Web based? Yes, works with Firefox browser and can sync with online account; connectors for Chrome and Safari available EndNote is a standalone app but it can transfer library to EndNote Web.
Operating System Windows, Mac, Linux Windows or MAC
Cost Free for basic account and the standalone app. Some cost for more online storage space Free for EndNote Web but $$ for the standalone app.
Import from databases Yes Direct export from specific databases
Import citation info from web pages Yes, also archives the page and you can add annotations only with EndNote Web bookmarklet
Attach associated files (PDFs, etc.) Yes, with option to attach automatically Yes, and can highlight and annotate PDFs

adapted from American University Library and Penn State University Libraries

 Zoom Workshops

Did you find creating citations time consuming, confusing, and even daunting? There are tools to help you stay organized and save time! Attend our workshop to learn how to use EndNote and/or Zotero in your research and writing. Not sure which one to choose? Check out this page for their differences and ask your professor for recommendation.



  • Description: This workshop will introduce EndNote Web (Basic, Online) using the Web of Science databases. Students will register for their FREE EndNote Web account using Web of Science's Login, Register. Students will learn how to create a free online account, import citations, add files, create groups and export bibliographies in a variety of citation styles such as APA.The EndNote Citation management software is one of several programs Clarivate Analytics offer. Important features of Web of Science databases will also be pointed out, as will the "Cite While U Write" plugin for Microsoft Word.
  • Date & Time: November 3 2-3PM 
  • RSVP:
  • Instructor: Marcia Henry, Specialist Librarian for Nursing, Physical Therapy, Communication Disorders & Sciences, Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services




  • Description: This workshop will introduce Zotero, a free, powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources. It can generate citation and a complete bibliography for you in different styles. Student will be able to create a Zotero account, download Zotero as a standalone app, add Zotero to browsers as plug-ins, practice importing different kinds of sources, generating citations, and managing folders and metadata.
  • Date & Time: September 15 2-3PM
  • RSVP:
  • Instructor: Yi DingKinesiology Specialist Librarian


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