Answered By: Lorena O'English
Last Updated: Apr 21, 2020     Views: 1470

Bibliographic or reference management software allows the user to capture citations, PDFs, and more from scholarly databases such as JSTOR, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, and PubMed, in addition to resources found on Google Scholar and the open Web. These "databases of you" allow users to organize references, write notes, and use the application to "cite what you write" using common word processing software such as Microsoft Word.

At the WSU Pullman campus, librarians support two specific reference management services, EndNote (which costs money, but has a big discount for WSU students) and Zotero (which is free). Learn more about dates of upcoming classes, online assistance, and librarian contact information:

Learn more about Endnote

Learn more about Zotero

Learn more about Zotero (Vancouver campus link)

WSU Pullman students, faculty, and staff interested in a bibliographic software program other than EndNote or Zotero (i.e. Mendeley or CiteULike) should contact Lorena O'English at

Which one is best for you? That's a good question. Check out this Wikipedia page: Comparison of Reference Management Software - it will give you an idea of the costs, platforms, and functionalities of the many reference management programs available. In the end it comes down to what fits into your workflow and what you just like. Another factor may come in to play if you work in a research group with others: although references can be shared between different applications, sometimes its easier if everyone uses the same thing. One idea is to come to both an EndNote and Zotero class and check them out for yourself. If you are interested in one of the other options, contact me (Lorena) at the email above.


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