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HES 227: Health Program Planning: Citation Management Tools

Citation Management


If you are doing lots of research, you may want to choose a citation management program that will store the references you find. Each of these citation managment programs can be used to save, sort, and format citations. Each one has a bit of a learning curve, but in the long run using one of them can save you time. Essentially, they let you create a personalized database of sources that are ready to use in future projects. All of them will format bibliographies in a number of styles, but you always have to proof the results carefully.

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Zotero is a free program for saving citations, taking notes, and formatting reference lists. Once you download Zotero and install a browser connector, you can use it to save webpages, articles in databases, and book references from the library catalog, library databases, Amazon, or Google Books. Your collected references can be synced from one computer to another and can be accessed online through any web browser. Sort your references into project folders, tag them, add annotations and, when you want to create a reference, simply drag them into a document and choose a format. See the Zotero Quick Start Guide to get started, try our very brief general guide to Zotero, or see Jason Puckett's guide for more tips and strategies.

A note for Zotero users - you can set up Zotero to recognize content in our databases by clicking on Edit > preferences > Advanced, and adding under Resolver this URL:

Zotero works with Google Docs. An optional plug-in for Word (or Open Office) is also available. Open Zotero and install the plugin found under Tools - Options - Cite. The plugins will then be found in Word under the Add-Ins tab (PC) or under the scripts menu (Mac).

Want more information? Contact a reference librarian.

NOTE: Though Zotero originally was developed as a Firefox plugin, it now must be downloaded as a standalone program with a Firefox connector installed as an add-on.


Mendeley is a tool you can download to your computer to manage citations and pdfs of articles. It's also a social network that lets scholars share the references they find particularly interesting. Scientists are the heaviest users of Mendeley.

EndNote Web

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