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Mathematics and Statistics

Find resources, databases, and writing and citation help for research in math and statistics in this guide.

Reference Managers and Citation Plugins

Which reference manager is right for me?

Which reference manager is right for me?

All the reference managers listed have access to many thousands of citation styles. They all also are bundled with citation plugins for word processors and with a variety of browser extensions for citation and reference management. All these reference managers have the ability to share their libraries with others and work collaboratively as well.

EndNote Online is free software published by the company Clarivate. While EndNote Online is free and runs on your web browser, a paid license for EndNote X20 gives access to a desktop client with significantly more features, including the ability to automatically abbreviate journal titles. However, EndNote Online alone has a robust citation plugin and is deeply integrated into Web of Science, a large multidisciplinary database with many features itself.  EndNote Online requires some setup but is simple afterward. For more details, please see our guide to EndNote Online.

If you:

  • frequently use Web of Science as your primary literature search location;
  • collaborate with other Web of Science and EndNote users;
  • or you would like to use a citation plugin with Word that is easy to navigate once set up, you might prefer EndNote.

Zotero is a free open-source software published by the Corporation for Digital Scholarship. Additional cloud storage can be purchased for Zotero for a subscription fee, but Zotero can store files locally on your computer instead if you download the desktop version. The program also has a built in PDF reader and PDF annotation features. Zotero's citation plugin is easy to set up but can be slightly difficult to navigate for new users. Zotero is not integrated into databases, but it does come with a Zotero Connector browser extension to allow for easy reference capture. For more details, please see our guide to using Zotero. 

If you:

  • use abbreviated journal titles in your discipline and want to automatically generate these in citations;
  • frequently use many databases for literature searching and need to save resources from many places;
  • prefer to take notes on articles as you read them;
  • or you want to take advantage of open-source software and add plugins or other features, you might prefer Zotero.

Reference managers are all about your preference! Try different tools and find what works best for you.