Citation Managers

Citation managers are software tools that help you collect, organize, cite, and share references. They take your collection of PDFs, source citations, and other references and organize them into a personal library. They also can integrate with writing tools like MS Word to create citations from your library as you write. Anyone working on larger writing projects or trying to manage collections of PDFs will benefit from using a citation manager.

UW-Madison Libraries support three main citation managers:


EndNote is available as EndNote Basic, a free browser-based tool, or as EndNote Desktop, an installed application with more advanced functionality. EndNote offers discounted pricing to students and for version upgrades.


Mendeley is a free citation manager which can be using in a browser or installed on your computer. Users can opt to pay for additional cloud storage and collaboration options.


Zotero is a free, open-source citation manager that runs primarily as an installed application on your computer. At this time, it is the only tool we support that can integrate with Google Docs.


Librarians teach hands-on classes about citation managers at locations around campus.


Library staff are happy to assist you in determining the best citation manager for your information needs or in answering any questions you may have. Please contact your liaison librarian or a member of the group of citation managers consultants.

Tutorials and Assistance

For a general overview on citation managers, please see our What is a Citation Manager tutorial.

Specific citation manager user manuals and information are listed on the EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero pages linked above.