Reference Management Software

Reference Management Software Overview

Reference management software is used by students and professionals to source citation material with more accuracy and efficiency. Though commonly implemented for academic purposes, this software is also well suited for projects that involve business presentations and reports. It generally provides multiple options for citation formatting. This software acts as a single-use correct reference generator or as a repository for long-term projects.

When assembling research projects, an accurate citation page is crucial. Reference management software helps generate citations in the proper format. It saves time by automating the process of creating bibliographies, footnotes, and reference sections.

Reference management software is capable of integrating with other tools, which is useful for document creation, file storage, and file sharing. It also improves organization, allowing users to have a personalized research library in which resources can be saved for later use/retrieval.

Best Reference Management Software include:

Evernote, OneNote, Mendeley, Zotero, EndNote, ReadCube Papers, Citationsy, and Zenreader.

Reference Management Products

(1-25 of 31) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

Evernote

Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving. A "note" can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can be sorted into…

OneNote

Microsoft's OneNote is a digital note-taking app, supporting photos, annotating, web page clipping, emailing, and synchronizing notes across devices.

EndNote

Clarivate Analytics headquartered in Philadelphia offers EndNote, a reference library and management software.

Mendeley

Mendeley, an Elsevier company headquartered in London, offers their eponymous reference management software suite, including Mendeley Reference Manager, Web Importer, the Citation Plugin add-on, available in Premium package.

Zotero

Zotero is a free reference management tool developed as a project developed at Carnegie Mellon and supported by a small team at George Mason University.

ReadCube Papers

Digital Science company ReadCube now offers Papers, a reference management application.

F1000Workspace

Faculty of 1000 (F1000) headquartered in London offers F1000Workspace, a reference management and notational research tool.

RefWorks

RefWorks is a reference management service that supports the needs of students, faculty and librarians. Boasting a refined user experience, full-text management, collaboration and other reference management features, RefWorks aims to enable students and faculty to have a more efficient…

Cite This for Me

Cite This for Me (now merged with the former RefME service) is an online citation and refernece management solution now owned and supported by Chegg headquartered in Santa Clara.

scite.ai

Scite.ai helps users discover and understand research. Using Smart Citations, the user can check how a scientific article has been cited and if its findings have been supported or contrasted by others.

Sciwheel

Sciwheel is a technology that provides customizable, intuitive and accessible tools to progress research and discovery.

Cite4me

Cite4me helps with organizing all the in-text citations and reference lists.

Glasp

Glasp is a tool that enables users to highlight the web and share the gist with peers. Glasp Chrome Extension is presented as an easier and faster way to highlight text and leave notes on the web. With it, the content collected appears across all devices. 📚 Glasp organizes collections…

LINER

LINER is a productivity tool that enables users to highlight notes and search items to keep track of details and find information faster using search tools, as well as keep track of references. It is deployed through a web browser, and is available via iOS and Android mobile apps.…

Matter

Matter pulls everything a user wants to read into one place, with tools for curation, retention of audio, used for Internet research.

Weava

Weava is a workspace for academic research from the company of the same name headquartered in Hong Kong, that enables users to highlight, organize and collaborate on research and academic studies. The tool boasts over 700,000 users.

Swipenote

Swipenote is a clip tool that enables users to save web and social content in a click, so that they can organize and collaborate with others. Users can create teammates, share content, assign tasks using personalized Workspace (or subspace). Collaborate and track any assigned tasks…

Citavi

Swiss Academic Software, in Switzerland, supports Citavi, a reference management application.

MyBib

MyBib is a free and open source citation management tool for educators, from a collaboration of university researchers led by Harvard University.

wizdom.ai

wizdom.ai is a research database and analytics tool supporting researchers with intelligence for trend tracking, study design or guidance, grant seeking guidance, or bibliographic reference. wizdom.ai is an Informa property.

Sorc'd

Sorc'd is a reference management app from the small company of the same name in Chicago.

refbase

refbase is an open source web reference and research tool.

Qiqqa

Qiqqa is a reference manager app for researchers and institutions available free or on a paid plan which supports annotation report filtering, document sharing, sync with private intranet, .pdf conversion tools, and other conveniences.

BibDesk

BibDesk is an open source bibliography tool for Mac users.

EasyBib.com

Chegg headquartered in Santa Clara offers EasyBib.com, a bibliographic and reference mangement software service, as well as plagiarism checking tool.

Learn More About Reference Management Software

What is Reference Management Software?

Reference management software is used by students and professionals to source citation material with more accuracy and efficiency. Though commonly implemented for academic purposes, this software is also well suited for projects that involve business presentations and reports. It generally provides multiple options for citation formatting. This software acts as a single-use correct reference generator or as a repository for long-term projects.

When assembling research projects, an accurate citation page is crucial. Reference management software helps generate citations in the proper format. It saves time by automating the process of creating bibliographies, footnotes, and reference sections.

Reference management software is capable of integrating with other tools, which is useful for document creation, file storage, and file sharing. It also improves organization, allowing users to have a personalized research library in which resources can be saved for later use/retrieval.

Reference Management Software Features

Reference management software provides the following features:

  • Support for a wide range of citation styles (e.g. APA, MLA, etc.)
  • Automated creation of bibliographical entries, or whole bibliography
  • In-line citation creation
  • Add annotations, notes, to documents
  • Document or reference import from outside sources
  • Extraction of citation data (e.g. author, publication name, etc) from imported documents
  • Synchronize data across shared or stored documents
  • Create a research profile, add publications to a scientific database via the software
  • Style & accidental plagiarism check

Reference Management Software Comparison

When comparing reference management software, consider the following:

  • Use Case: Does your organization consist of a trained research staff or more non-research personnel? Some products are designed specifically for researchers, and they may have a steeper learning curve for other team members.
  • Integration: Whether you use Microsoft Word or Google Docs, ensure that the software integrates with your word processor.
  • Ease of Use: Since this software is meant to simplify the writing and research process, make sure the interface is user-friendly.

Pricing Information

Reference management software usually includes a free version for individuals who are working on a one-time project. These versions allow a limited number of collaborators and users. Paid subscriptions typically cost between $5 and $20 per month, depending on whether you are purchasing as a student or business professional. Some vendors may offer their services as a one-time purchase, ranging from $100 to $250. Most will offer a free trial.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does reference management software do?

Reference management software allows users to correctly cite sources in their papers. Also known as citation management tools, the software can create citations in your desired style (e.g. MLA, APA, etc.). It automates the creation of bibliographies, footnotes, or reference sections in research papers. This software organizes personal research libraries and manages access to an outside reference source (e.g. web magazines, literature databases).

What are the benefits of using reference management software?

Reference management software saves time on creating the proper works cited page. It also organizes resources for future access. This software enables users to focus on their research and the quality of their projects.

What are the best reference management software products?

How much does reference management software cost?

Reference management software usually includes a free version for individuals who are working on a one-time project. These versions allow a limited number of collaborators and users. Paid subscriptions typically cost between $5 and $20 per month, depending on whether you are purchasing as a student or business professional.