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Citation Style Guide: Citation Management and Formatting Tools

This guide provides citation and bibliography assistance. Includes APA, MLA, and Chicago style examples.

Citation Management Tools enable you to:

Import   citations from databases, websites, catalogs
Organize  citations using folders and tags
Attach  PDFs, images, etc. to your citations
Annotate  your citations and/or PDFs
Output  auto-formatted bibliographies and in-text citations (APA, MLA, & hundreds more styles)

How do I choose the right tool?

It depends on your personal needs and preferences. This comparison chart can help.

Library Classes

Bobst Library offers (one-shot) classes that cover citation management, data use and management, high performance computing, and general research skills.

Just need to format a few references?

Backing Up Data in Refworks, Endnote, Zotero & Mendeley

1. In your desktop Zotero, go to File > Export library

2. Make sure both notes and files are clicked so you export everything! 

3. Pick which format you'd like to export. We recommend exporting as a CSV for your archival copy, and also as BibLaTex, particularly if you want to import your library into other programs. BibTeX files can be used with LaTeX software to create citations and bibliographies also. 

1. Go to File > Export

2. Pick your export format. We recommend using BibLaTex as your archival copy. BibTeX files can be used with LaTeX software to create citations and bibliographies also, and most other bibliographic managers allow import of BibLaTex files.

1. Open the library of references you want to export.

2. In the toolbar at the top of the screen, click "Select Another Style" and select BibTex Export. BibTeX should be your archival copy. These files can also be used with LaTeX software to create citations and bibliographies.

3. Go to File > Export and save the file. 


1.  Go to References > Export or Tools > Export, depending on your version.

2. Select All References or a specific folder of references you want to export.

3. Under "Export Formats" select BibTex and XML. XML will be your archival copy, and BibTex will be the secondary copy, one which you can import into other reference managers or use with LaTex software.

4. Click "Export to Text" and save.


Citation Management Tools

For help choosing: See comparison chart
For help using: See schedule of RefWorks, EndNote, and Zotero classes (coded in pink)

Features and Functionality of Citation Management Tools

  RefWorks EndNote Mendeley Zotero
Web Based Yes No* No* No*
Cost Free** Free** Free*** Free
Adding References        
Import from online databases Yes Yes Yes Yes
Import citation information from web page Yes Yes (Web Component) Yes Yes
Create in-text citations Yes Yes Yes Yes
Create bibliographies Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sharing references Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sharing PDFs No Yes****
(up to 17 group members)
(up to 3 group members)
(unlimited group
Group ability to add references to shared folder No Yes Yes Yes
Publicly share Profile/citations No Yes Yes Yes
Storage 5GB 5GB 2GB (free)

Yes, 300 MB cloud based and unlimited on desktop****


*While these tools are not Web based, meaning you need to download a desktop application, they do have a web component (which can be used without being on the desktop download and which can be synced with the desktop).

**NYU Libraries licenses the use of RefWorks and EndNote for NYU students and faculty.

***Can pay for a more robust subscription, but the basic package is free.

****PDFs may be shared in private groups (size of group depends on tool, as does the amount of free storage available for PDFs).