Citation Management

About Citation Managers

Citation managers, also known as reference or bibliographic managers, can help you stay organized during the research process. Citation managers allow you to:

  • Gather and organize citations for a variety of resources, including journal articles, reports, books, websites, videos, and more
  • Store PDF copies of journal articles and reports
  • Generate a bibliography or reference list in a specific citation style
  • Insert citations or footnotes while writing
  • Share citations and collaborate with colleagues

Create a Bibliography Quickly

Choosing a Citation Manager

There are many citation managers to choose from, but Zotero and Mendeley are freely available and approved for use on computers connected to the Nova Scotia Health network. When choosing a citation manager, you may want to consider the following: 

Storage space

Do you need to save PDFs and other file attachments to your citation library?

  • File attachments (e.g. PDFs) can quickly eat into your available storage space
  • Mendeley offers more free storage than Zotero

Do you intend to collaborate and share citations with others?

  • Both Zotero and Mendeley allow you to create shared folders between team members
  • Zotero is less restrictive than Mendeley in terms of creating and managing shared folders
Operating system

Do you typically use a Windows or Mac device?

  • Some components of Mendeley (e.g. Mendeley Cite) may not work well on Mac devices

Microsoft Word

  • Both Mendeley and Zotero have plugins for Microsoft Word
  • Currently, you may be unable to download Mendeley Cite on Nova Scotia Health network computers. Download the MS Word plugin from the 'tools' tab in Mendeley Desktop. 

Google Docs

  • Mendeley currently does not offer a Google Docs plugin.
  • When using a browser with a Zotero connector installed, you will see a Zotero (Z) option in the Google docs menu. There is no need to install a separate plugin but you will be asked to integrate with your Google account.

See this Zotero vs Mendeley Comparison chart from York University Libraries for a full comparison of Zotero and Mendeley features.