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Reference Management Tools and Citation Styles

Learn more about reference management tools and citation styles

Status Alert

The State Library previously offered classes and support for Zotero, a free reference management tool. The class is not being offered at this time and we cannot offer support for specific tools. If you have general questions about reference managers or would like help identifying an appropriate tool, please reach out to the librarian embedded at your agency.

What is a reference management tool?

A reference management tool, also known as a reference or citation manager, helps you keep your research organized by storing bibliographic information. Most tools also have features that link to a library's research databases as well as to word processing programs on your computer.

There are a variety of reference management tools on the market and each cater to different research and writing needs. Some of the most popular tools, like EndNote and Mendeley, have both free and paid versions while others, like the open-source tool Zotero, are entirely free.

Check out the Free Reference Managers tab to see a table comparing product details and technical specifications, as well as a flow chart to help you decide which tool to use.

Learn More!

Check out O'Reilly, the State Library's professional learning platform, to learn more about reference management tools, research methods, and more.

Managing Scientific Information and Research Data
Research and Technical Writing for Science and Engineering
Business Research Methods
Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Edition
Research Methodology
Research Methods for Cyber Security
Applied Research Methods in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
Qualitative Research: An Introduction to Methods and Designs
Organizational Research
Research Methods for Studying Groups and Teams
Management Research Methodology: Integration of Principles, Methods and Techniques