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Reference managers

This guide provides an introduction to three common Reference managers - EndNote, Zotero and Mendeley. It also provides a comparison guide and instructions to help get you started.

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Reference managers

Reference Managers allow you to collect, store and manage your references.  Three of the most common are EndNote, Zotero and Mendeley. This guide provides a comparison table to help you choose or change Reference Managers, as well as further instructions to help get you started.


Common features

  • Save references from library databases as well as library catalogues such as LibrarySearch
  • Auto-generate citations and bibliographies in word processing applications such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs and LibreOffice
  • Attach and annotate PDFs and other files 
  • Share collections of references with others
  • Available in a desktop version and an online version
  • Sync your references across multiple devices

Choosing a reference manager

The following may also help you to decide which Reference Manager suits your needs. If you are already using a Reference Manager and would like to change, please see the tab Changing Reference Managers for more details.

Overview of features:

Additional information:

Choosing a reference manager

The purpose of the module is to assist researchers in their decision making of which reference manager to use to organise their references in their work. The module explores the features of three popular reference managers – Endnote, Zotero and Mendeley – and helps in the decision of which one is best for research practices.

Access the Choosing a reference manager module.







"Research and Writing Skills for Academic and Graduate Researchers" by RMIT University Library is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0. Cover design By Dr. Lisa Cianci. Artwork ‘Luwaytini’ by Mark Cleaver, Palawa (underlayed), All rights reserved. Cover image: Human Skills by Vicons Design from Noun Project.