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Research Guides

Citation Management Tools: Home

Why Use a Citation Manager?

Citation or reference management tools allow you to maintain a "personal library" of references, citations, and documents.

Citation managers enable researchers to:

  • Capture and organize reference and citations
  • Automatically create in-text references, bibliographies and footnotes in a variety of citation styles, MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.
  • Manage collections of various types of research materials, including citations, charts, documents, PDFs, links, equations, etc. 
  • Import citation information directly from the Library's Catalog, online indexes and databases, and the Web
  • Share your library of citations with other researchers

Which One Should I Use?

The Bowdoin College Library provides assistance with four citation managers, EndNote desktop, EndNote Web, Zotero, and EasyBib.  (Bowdoin College has a site license for EndNote desktop.)  Choosing a tool to use depends on your individual research process, methods, and needs.  In the chart below we have listed the most common uses for citation management tools and have provided our recommendations to meet each need. 

I want to                             We recommend you use.. Because...                   
Generate a bibliography of a few print resources Easy Bib...........
For MLA style
Will work on Firefox, but you have to download a plug-in
Quickly learn a citation manager for MLA if you need other styles


EndNote basic or Zotero.................

For MLA only

If you need any other styles

Work from several computers on and off campus


Both tools allow you to sync your library to an online account.
Work offline EndNote Desktop EndNote resides on your computer's hard drive
Do a major research project with many citations EndNote Desktop EndNote allows for an unlimited number of citations and storage capacity is based on the available space on a computer.   EndNote is best for managing large libraries of citations.


In-depth comparison of citation management tools

Help and Instruction

Citation, Zotero, and EndNote Workshops
Fall 2015 Schedule

(All sessions are held in the ECR, basement of HL Library)

We have concluded the workshops for the Fall semester, but individual instruction is available throughout the year at a day/time that is convenient for you.

For questions about EndNote, Zotero, and citation managers or to arrange an individual session, please contact:  Karen Jung