Reference management tools

Are you tired of struggling to manage that collection of references that’s accumulating in your office, inbox or USB stick?  Well, you can stop struggling now and use a reference management tool to help you. There are lots of tools available and this page provides you with information and support for:

  1. Endnote Online
  2. Mendeley Desktop
  3. Zotero

Referencing tools are very helpful but they only generate references based on the data they are given. It is essential that you still check and edit your references.

Before you decide which tool is right for you, do some research: consider how you work, your storage needs, if you require the PDFs to be saved in the software and editable, and your system and software requirements (Word, GoogleDocs, Pages etc). An online comparison table may help you decide.  

Also, if you are using a reference management tool that has a "cite" option within Word, you must ensure that you select the correct referencing style for your department twice - in the referencing software and in Word.

1) EndNote Online  

Register for a free account using your University email address (do this on campus or via VPN as this ensures you receive our institutional APA 7th settings). For more detailed information, including some video guides, visit Clarivate Analytics or see the Library's introductory Endnote guide (under Useful links below).

Features: Import references from databases, web capture tool, cite while you write
Best for: Those who want to use a reference management tool mainly to create instant bibliographies/reference lists

EndNote Desktop X6 is available via AppsAnywhere for students/staff with university laptops or pcs. It does not work on Macs and is not the latest version, so is not recommended for new users. If you are already using it, see the Endnote FAQs from IS.  If you are not already using it, please try EndNote Online, Mendeley or Zotero instead. 

2) Mendeley Desktop

Register for a free account using a personal email address (do not "sign in via your institution" as institutional accounts have limited options) and then download Desktop (or access from AppsAnywhere on University devices). When you download Desktop, your online Mendeley library is automatically created for you and will sync with your Desktop version. 

To cite while you write, Mendeley Cite is available for users of Word 2016 onwards (if you are using UoP software you will need an office account). The Word citation plugin is available for older versions but does not work well on Macs.  If you just want to use your Mendeley online library, note that you cannot easily generate bibliographies from this, it must be used in conjunction with Mendeley Cite in Word.  Zotero may be a better option for basic users who just want to generate references online, without adding any tools into Word.

Check which version you are using: Mendeley Desktop has full functionality but there is a cut-down version called Mendeley Reference Manager which is also available on AppsAnywhere.  The Library currently supports Desktop, as the Reference Manager has no additional functionality to your online Mendeley library. 

Mendeley has help pages for Desktop or see the Library's Mendeley Desktop guide (under Useful links below). 

Desktop Features: Downloadable desktop application, web capture tool, drag and drop, cite while you write, import references from databases, highlight and add notes to PDFs, view entries in citation format, watch folder
Best for: Researchers wanting to automatically upload PDFs and make annotations

3) Zotero

Register for a free account. For more help, use Zotero's own quick start guide or our online introduction (under Further Information below).  Please note that there is less free storage available with a Zotero account. 

If you have a new Mac, Zotero may be the best option for you as there have been reported problems with Endnote and Mendeley for some users.

Features: Download desktop application, install reference capture tools in your web browser, cite while you write, import references from databases
Best for: Mac users and those wanting to easily copy in-text citations and reference lists from an online library