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Civil Engineering

Citation Management Tools

Citation managers are available to help you collect, organize, cite, and share references and sources (e.g. full-text articles). Tools such as EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero allow you to: 

  • Manage all of your sources in one place.
  • Upload and store full-text PDFs and other file types for your sources.
  • Generate formatted bibliographies in desired format.
  • Install plug-ins for word processors that allow you to insert citations from the reference manager as you write.
  • Organize your references into meaningful collection folders that may serve a variety of purposes.
  • Share collections with colleagues to collaborate in private or open groups.
  • Facilitate the removal of duplicate citations.

If you would like to learn more about citation management tools, visit our Citation Manager LibGuide or email us at to book a consultation with a librarian.

How citation managers work

Comparing Citation Managers

Detailed comparisons of citation managers can be found online and as published journal articles.

Table 1: Citation Management Tools at a Glance
Adapted from: Ivey, C., & Crum, J. (2018). Choosing the right citation management tool: EndNote, Mendeley, RefWorks, or Zotero. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 106(3), 399.

  EndNote Mendeley Zotero
Platforms Mac, Windows Mac, Windows, Linux Mac, Windows, Linux
Browsers Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox, Chrome, Safari IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari Firefox, Chrome, Safari
Browser plug-ins IE (Windows only) and Firefox (Windows and Mac) IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari Firefox, Chrome, and Safari 
Mobile apps iOS (iPad only) Android, iOS None; mobile-friendly site available
Word processing integration Microsoft Word
(Windows and Mac)
Microsoft Word (Windows and Mac), LibreOffice (Linux, Mac, and Windows) Microsoft Word (Windows and Mac), Libre Office (Linux, Mac, and Windows), [now compatible with Google Docs as well]
Importing references Refer/BibIX, tab delimited, RIS, ISI-CE, filters for hundreds of databases BibTeX, EndNote, XML, RIS, Zotero library, txt, Ovid (Medlars reprint), PubMed/MEDLINE (nbib), Mendeley web catalog Bibliontology RDF, BibTeX browser bookmarks, Citavi 5 XML, CSL JSON, EndNote XML, MAB2, MARC, MARCXML, PubMed/MEDLINE (nbib), MODS, Ovid tagged, Primo normalized XML, PubMed XML, RDF, Refer/BibIX, RefWorks tagged, RIS, Web of Science tagged, XML ContextObject
Add reference by identifier Available by searching external databases in application ArXiv ID, DOI, PMID ISBN, DOI, PMID
Offline availability Yes, references and files stored locally Yes, references and files stored locally

Yes, references and files stored locally

Retraction alerts Yes, integrates with the Retraction Watch database To be confirmed Yes, integrates with the Retraction Watch database



Citation Style

The ASCE citation style uses a variation of the author-date style.

Download Links

Pros & Cons

Zotero (Open-source)

Pros: User-friendly and great for beginners, compatible with MS Word and Google Docs, unlimited sharing groups with unlimited membership, can highlight and annotate PDFs within app, full-text searching within app, options to add images or websites, drag and drop to save PDFs

Cons: Limited free storage space for PDFs (300MB) 

Pick if... you use Google Docs, want to add non-traditional citations (images, webpages), and work in groups for many simultaneous projects


EndNote (Clarivate)

Pros: Embedded export options with many popular research databases, unlimited storage for PDFs, compatible with MS Word, can highlight and annotate PDFs within app, full-text searching within app, contains spellcheck, works off-line

Cons: Not compatible with Google Docs, no options for public groups (invite-only access), 

Pick if... you have a lot of citations that you need to manage, need to sometimes work offline, and frequently work in groups. Great choice for grad students and faculty or those with more robust research needs.


Mendeley (Elsevier)

Pros: 2GB of free storage, compatible with MS Word, annotate and highlight PDFs in app, full-text searching in app, private and public groups, works offline, social networking features, drag and drop to add PDFs

Cons: Not compatible with Google Docs, only one private group with free account, 

Pick if... you use MS Word, want to work in a small group, and collaborate via social networks