Choosing a bibliographic tool.

When it comes to research, dissertations, thesis’ and other projects, there are many bibliographic tools out there which can be used for reference managing. Sometimes it can be difficult to choose which one to use, especially if you are new to the world of computerised bookmarking. This short guide will give an insight into the popular bibliographic tools available and will hopefully serve as a platform to allow you to pick the one that suits you the best.

If you are looking for a quick reference guide, Wikipedia offers an extensive reference management comparison guide here.


  • Free
  • Allows you to connect with other researchers and
    view the articles they’re collecting
  • Uses Mendeley Importer bookmarklet to import
    papers from research databases
  • Drag and drop .pdf’s into Mendeley and it
    generates bibliographic details from the .pdf
  • Mendeley Toolbar for Word allows you to insert
    citations and bibliographies into your research


  • Free
  • Mac and PC compatible
  • Integrates with Word to allow you to insert citations
    and bibliographies
  • Captures more than just articles. You can also add
    citations for books, web pages, images, etc.
  • Must use Firefox


  • Free
  • Mac and PC compatible
  • Purely online
  • Allows exporting to Zotero and Endnote
  • Promotes collaboration between groups and individual users


  • Is not free and can be costly (some University’s give access to students for free)
  • Mac and PC compatible
  • Can export citation libraries as plain text, Rich Text Format, HTML or XML.
  • Can organize PDFs on the user’s hard drive (or full text on the web) through links to files or by inserting copies of PDFs.
  • Has various plugins for Microsoft Word such as Cite While you Write.


Sarah Lester. (2010). Citation Management. Available: Last accessed 10th Oct 2011.
Wikipedia. (2011). Comparison of reference management software. Available: Last accessed 10th Oct 2011.


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