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Which Citation Manager Is Best For Me?




You will be amazed how many reference management programs are on the market. To see the variety of programs available take a look at this TABLE

An important question to ask is  which one is the best reference manager?  The answer is "it depends".  This is because different people have different needs specific to their research field and/or area of study.

Some criteria to consider:

  • Cost

  • System requirements

  • Mobile  access

  • Available personal storage for free

  • Compatibility with other citation managers (example:  If a researcher has an extended collection of articles created in RefWorks, can she/he import the collection  to a new reference manager?)

  • Who provides technical support 

All citation managers perform the same basic functions such as collect and organize your own library of citations, and insert bibliography into your document using proper citation style.  However, some programs offer extended options such as opportunities to share information, the possibility of creating a personal profile, and collaboration tools that let you work with your peers.

Check out this summary page to compare several of the most popular reference managers.

Important RefWorks announcement for account holders

As of June 30, 2015, access to RefWorks through Queen’s University Library has been discontinued. Since 2004, the Library has provided access to the RefWorks citation management system, through a consortial arrangement with the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). That arrangement is no longer available. After careful consideration, including factors such as declining usage, Queen’s Library has decided not to purchase an institutional subscription.

Other citation management options include free systems such as Zotero and Mendeley. The Library will continue to assist students, staff and faculty in the creation and use of citations, and with information about the systems available.

We regret any inconvenience.  Please contact with any questions.