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When you write academic papers you will need to give credit to the works you have consulted to support your argument. Because academic papers often require a lot of citations, you can use a citation management tool to make keeping track of your sources easier!
Use this guide to help you get started using citation management software. The tabs above offer specific advice on using Zotero, EndNote, and Mendeley, including: how to add references to specific software, how to include references in your writing, and how to generate a bibliography.
Selecting a Tool
Unless specified by your professor or academic discipline, you have a choice when selecting a citation manager. Use the charts linked below to see an overview of the features and functionality of a few options.
A comparison chart of citation management software from Wikipedia.
Things to Think About
All Citation Management tools have these basic features to help you...
Gather and transfer references from databases / resources / webpages into your personal research database
Organize, annotate, sort and search your references, images and PDFs
Insert in-text citations and reference lists into documents in a wide variety of styles (MLA, APA, etc)
Create stand alone bibliographies in a wide variety of styles
Before you choose, here are some questions to ask yourself:
Does the tool support the citation style(s) that you need? i.e.: MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.
Does the tool support the kinds of sharing capabilities that you need?
Is the tool compatible with the databases and/or websites that you use the most?
What kinds of file formats are you collecting? Does the tool capture webpage snapshots, and does it store PDFs?
Does the tool allow you to work off-line or from multiple places?
And remember: you can always change your mind! In the meantime, you might also consider whether you will need (or want!) the same citation manager after you leave Kenyon, or if you will need to use the citation manager to collaborate with internal and/or external researchers.