Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research Guides

Water Resources: Citation Management

This Guide supports research in the UI graduate degree program in Water Resources.


Zotero is a free tool you can use with Firefox, Safari or Chrome that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's easy to use and lives in your web browser where you do your work. Zotero allows you to attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations, organize them into collections (or groups you can share with collaborators) for different projects, and create bibliographies using Word (for Mac or Windows) or OpenOffice.Creating a library from articles in a database with Zotero

Learn more about Zotero at this guide.


EndNote is a personal citation/bibliography manager software program that helps researchers organize references in a library.  References in the library can be used to easily create bibliographies and format references in word processing software.  The most robust and fully-featured version of EndNote is the client version, which is loaded onto an individual users machine (a multi-user option is also available). EndNote costs $105 for OSU users.Creating bibliographies in Word with EndNote

Learn more about EndNote at this guide or come to an EndNote workshop at the library (see schedule at right).

EndNote Web

EndNote Web is the web-based version of EndNote and can be accessed, for free, by any OSU student, faculty or staff.  EndNote Web is not as fully-featured as the client version of EndNote but all of the basic features are available:  references can be collected and organized in an online library and these references can be used to easily create bibliographies and format references in word processing software.  Additionally, EndNote client users can move references between their computer and EndNote Web and create group libraries with collaborators.

Creating Group Libraries in EndNote Web

Learn more about EndNote Web at this guide or come to an EndNote Web workshop at the library (see schedule at right).


Mendeley is free academic software (works with Windows, Mac & Linux) that allows you to manage, share, read, annotate and cite your research papers.  It is also a research network to manage your papers online, discover research trends and statistics, and to connect to like-minded researchers.  Using Mendeley you can also create in-text citations and bibliographies in many citation styles.

Take notes and highlight PDFs within your Mendeley library

Learn more about Mendeley using this guide or come to a Mendeley workshop at the library (see schedule at right).

Library Citation Manager Guide

Check out this library guide for more information on Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote.

Why Use Citation Managers?

Citation management software makes it easy for you to:

  • Keep all your citations in one place
  • Search the papers you collect by author, title, journal, subject headings or your own keywords
  • Insert footnotes or endnotes directly into your documents
  • Automatically generate bibliographies or works cited lists in particular style formats
  • Take searchable notes that are all stored in one place
  • Share group libraries of articles with collaborators (depending on your software)

Hanging file folders

Citation Manager Comparison

Many people like to know the pros and cons between the various citation management software choices before they start using a particular tool.  Here is a brief overview of the differences between Zotero, EndNote (and EndNote Web) and Mendeley.  A more lengthy comparison between EndNote Web, EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero is attached if you are interested.

Criteria Zotero Mendeley EndNote EndNote Web
Cost Free Free $$$  discount through book store Free to U of I users
Web based? Yes Yes, but not primarily No Yes
Storage capacity Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 1GB free Zotero file syncing  Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 1GB personal and 100MB shared online space (larger online storage plans available for purchase) Unlimited local storage Limited to 10,000 citations
Create group or shared libraries Yes Yes, free for up to 3 group members (larger group plans available for purchase) Yes, with EndNote Web account, but can’t share PDFs with the group Yes, but can’t share PDFs with the group
Number of Citation Styles ~8000 styles ~8000 styles ~5000 ~5000