Citation Management Software

What is a Citation Manager?

Citation management software saves you time and helps keep your references organized while writing a research paper. A citation manager will allow you to save the sources you reference in your research and will format a bibliography for you. Some citation managers also integrate with MS Word or Google Docs to allow you to cite and format citations within your text while you write. 

The EMU Library supports 2 different free citation managers: 

Other options are not supported by the EMU Library, but may still be good options for you.

  • Mendeley is another good, free citation manager. 
  • PaperPile Google Doc Add-On: For Google Doc users, PaperPile is a quick, easy and free Google "add-on" (plug-in), but it is not the most robust option. 

Which Citation Manager is right for you?

Picking the right software depends on how you would like to use it. 

  • Do you want to work online in Google Docs? If yes, we recommend PaperPile Add-On
  • Do you like to write in MS Word while both online and offline? And are you able to download and install software on your computer? If yes, we recommend Zotero
  • Do you have stable internet access? And do you like a standard web-based interface? If so, we recommend EndNote Basic



Endnote Basic (Endnote Web)

Endnote Desktop



Support Most supported by EMU Library Supported by EMU Library Not supported by EMU Library Not supported by EMU Library Not supported by EMU library


Free Free (for you) $$ (Discounted price for students) Free

Free Add-On
Additional functions at a monthly cost

Ease of Use Somewhat difficult to learn but easier to use in the long-run Somewhat easy to learn Somewhat difficult to learn Easy to learn Easy to use basic functions, complex functions can be tricky
Works offline Yes - With desktop program No  Yes Yes - With desktop program No
Integrates with MS  Word Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Integrates with Google Docs Yes  No No No Yes
Shared work folders Yes Yes Yes yes Yes with additional subscription
PDF Storage Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Citation Styles >10000 styles >6000 styles >6000 styles >6000 styles >6000 styles
Reference Storage Unlimited 50,000 Unlimited 2GB (total) ?
PDF Storage 300 MB (total) + additional storage for purchase 2GB Unlimited 2GB (total) With paid version
Web Importer Yes Yes  Yes Yes Yes
Reference import from PDF Yes No Yes Yes Yes


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Kelly Getz