Free Bibliography Reference Manager Help

Citation Styles:

The main styles used at AU are as follows - if you need to use another style click here. Those with large research projects should strongly consider a citation manager like Zotero or Endnote. Students can use citation generators like BibMe, Citation Machine, or EasyBib, but you must ALWAYS check your citations using the resources below:

  • Easy Writer (in the reference collection, PE1408 .L852 2016) by Andrea Lunsford has excellent guides and sample citations/papers for MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian Styles.

APA (American Psychological Association) - used in the social sciences

  • Recommended Purdue OWL APA Style - Includes a tutorial for citing in APA style as well as sample papers and bibliographies.
  • Recommended - Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th ed. - (Call number: Reference PN 147.A4 2010.)
  • Frequently Asked Questions about APA Style - Official APA style site containing tutorials and other FAQ's.
  • APA style blog - Need help citing a odd source or a sample paper? Check out the official APA style blog.

Chicago Manual of Style - used in the humanites and social sciences 

  • Recommended - Chicago Manual of Style - Official online version of the Chicago manual 17th edition.
  • Recommended - Purdue OWL Chicago Style - Includes a tutorial for citing in Chicago style as well as sample papers and bibliographies.
  • Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition - (Call number: Reference Z253 .U69 2010.)

MLA (Modern Language Association) - used in literature and the humanities 

  • Recommended - Purdue OWL MLA Style - Includes a tutorial for citing in MLA style as well as sample papers and bibliographies.
  • Recommended - The MLA Style Center - Official MLA style site, containing tutorials and other FAQ's. Updated for MLA 8th edition.
  • MLA Handbook - 8th ed. - (Call number: Reference LB2369 .M52 2016.)

Turabian Style - a variation of the Chicago style used in many disciplines in humanities, social sciences and natural sciences​

  • Recommended - Turabian Quick Guide - From the publisher, University of Chicago Press.
  • Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations 8th ed. - (Call number: Reference LB 2369 .T8 2013.)

The following tables compare reference management software. Researchers using the tables below for comparison in order to evaluate and choose reference management software should note the product's "latest stable release date." An older release date suggests the product is not currently being supported and users may encounter technical issues and little to no technical support.

General[edit]

In the "notes" section, there is a difference between:

  • web-based, referring to applications that may be installed on a web server (usually requiring MySQL or another database and PHP, Perl, Python, or some other language for web applications)
  • a centrally-hosted website
SoftwareDeveloperFirst public releaseLatest stable release dateLatest stable versionCost (USD)Free softwareLicenseNotes
AigaionAigaion developers2005-012013-05-082.2FreeYesGNU GPLweb-based (Apache, PHP, MySQL)
BebopALaRI Institute2007-11-082009-11-101.1FreeYesBSDweb-based BibTeX front-end (Apache, PHP, MySQL)
BibBaseChristian Fritz20052013-07v3FreeNoProprietarycentrally hosted website, intended for publication pages
BibDeskBibDesk developers2002-042017-11-281.6.13FreeYesBSDBibTeX front-end + repository; Cocoa-based; integration with Spotlight
BiblioscapeCG Information19972015-06-2210.0.3.6US$79-299[1]NoProprietaryODBC; web access in Pro ed; optional client/server
BibSonomyUniversity of Kassel2006-012016-12-023.7.0FreeYesAGPL, GPL, LGPL[2]centrally hosted website
BibusBibus developers2004-06-032009-12-011.5.1FreeYesGNU GPL
BookendsSonny Software1988 (Mac) / 1983 (Apple II+)2017-11-1013.0 [3]US$60[1]NoProprietaryintegrated web search, pdf download, auto-completion
CitaviSwiss Academic Software2006-02-132018-02-206.0US$70-949 / Free for projects up to 100 references[4]NoProprietarydata can be saved locally on the computer, or, for team access, in the Citavi Cloud or an intranet Microsoft SQL Server;[5] search databases from interface[6]
CiteULikeOversity Limited2004-11?FreeNoproprietary[7]centrally hosted website
colwizcolwiz Ltd20112016-05-09Free / Online storage free up to 3 GB / Additional storage space availableNoProprietaryDesktop (Win, Mac, Linux) & Web components, iOS and Android
EndNoteClarivate Analytics19882018-01-09X8.2US$299.95[1]NoProprietaryThe web version EndNote basic (formerly, EndNote Web) is free of charge
F1000WorkspaceF1000/Science Navigation Group2015-05Continually updated onlineInstitutional access – varies with size of institute / Personal subscription $9.99/month / Free Trial VersionNoProprietaryWeb-based, Microsoft Word plug-in (Win, Mac), Google Docs add-on, browser extension(s) Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer 11, mobile app available
JabRefJabRef developers2003-11-292017-12-234.1FreeYesMIT licenseJavaBibTeX and BibLaTeX manager
KBibTeXKBibTeX developers2005-082015-08-090.6FreeYesGNU GPLBibTeX front-end, using the KDE Software Compilation
MendeleyElsevier2008-0820171.17.10Free / Online storage free up to 2 GB / Additional storage space availableNoproprietary (OS API clients exist)Account required, Desktop & Web components, Windows, Linux, OS X, iPhone & iPad, Android
PaperpileStefan Washietl, Gregorgy Jordan, Andreas Gruber2013Continually updated onlineUS$2.99/month for academics, 9.99/month otherwiseNoProprietaryweb-application, integrates with Google Docs, collaboration & sharing features, currently only on Google Chrome
PapersLabtiva20072016-05-113.4.5US$79[1]NoProprietarysearch repositories from interface; supports plug-ins, Universal iOS app
Pybliographerpybliographer developers1998-10-30 (0.2)2017-10-061.2.18FreeYesGNU GPLPython/GTK2
QiqqaQiqqa2010-042016-09v79Free, Freemium and Premium versionsNoProprietaryDesktop; Tablet; Web; Intranet
ReadCubeLabtiva2011-102016-09-20v2.22.13732Free desktop & mobile app / Cloud Storage $5/month, $55/yearNoProprietaryDesktop (Mac/PC) & Web components, personalized recommendations, private group sharing, integrated web search, enhanced PDF reader, iOS App, Android
refbaserefbase developers2003-06-032014-02-280.9.6FreeYesGNU GPLweb-based for institutional repositories/self-archiving[8]
RefDBrefdb developers2001-04-252007-11-050.9.9FreeYesGNU GPLnetwork-transparent; XML/SGML bibliographies
Reference ManagerThomson Reuters1984201012.0.3Not for sale anymore, sales ceased December 31, 2015NoProprietarynetwork version; built-in web publishing tool; discontinued
ReferencerReferencer developers2008-03-152014-02-271.2.2FreeYesGNU GPLBibTeX front-end
RefWorksRefWorks / ProQuest20012013US$100 per yearNoProprietaryweb-based, browser-accessed, centrally hosted program
RefMERefME2014Shut down on March 7, 2017FreeNoProprietaryWeb, iOS and Android; Chrome and Safari Extensions available; discontinued
SciRefScientific Programs20122015-07-261.5US$38.90 / Free trial versionNoProprietary
SenteThird Street Software, Inc.200420156.7.9US$60–80[1] / Free for libraries up to 100 refsNoProprietaryDesktop and iPad, centralized backup/synching
WikindxMark Grimshaw2004-022014-084.2.2FreeYesGNU GPLweb-based
WizFolioWizPatent2008-062011-01AvataraUS$25 / Free Basic versionNoProprietarycentrally hosted website; discontinued, service ends December 2017
ZoteroRoy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at GMU20062017-075.0.4 [9]Free / Online storage free up to 300 MB / Additional storage space availableYesAGPLMulti-platform desktop version with connectors for Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Web-based access to reference library also available.

Operating system support[edit]

In the case of web applications, this describes the server OS. For centrally hosted websites that are proprietary, this is not applicable. Any client OS can connect to a web service unless stated otherwise in a footnote.

SoftwareWindowsMac OS XLinuxChromeOSBSDUnixiOS AppAndroid AppWindows App
AigaionYesYesYes?YesYesNoNoNo
BebopYesYesYes?YesYesNoNoNo
BibBaseN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A???
BibDeskNoYesNo?NoNoThird-party - PocketBib??
BibSonomyN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A???
BibusYesExperimentalYes?YesYesNoNoNo
BookendsNoYesNo?NoNoYes??
CitaviYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
CiteULikeN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A???
colwizYesYesYes?YesYesYesYesNo
EndNoteYesYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
F1000WorkspaceYesYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNo
JabRefYesYesYesNoYesYesNoNoNo
KBibTeXExperimentalExperimentalYes?YesYesNoNoNo
MendeleyYesYesYesNoNoNoYesYesNo
PaperpileYesYesYesYesNo
(requires Chrome)
No
(requires Chrome)
NoNoNo
PapersNoYesNoNoNoNoYesthird party - EZPaperz[10] or Aziz, Lite![11]No
PybliographerPartial[12]Partial[12]Yes?YesYesNoNoNo
QiqqaYesNoNo?NoNoNoYesNo
ReadCubeYesYesNo?NoNoYesYesNo
refbaseYesYesYes?YesYesNoNoNo
RefDBYesYesYes?YesYesNoNoNo
Reference ManagerYes[13]NoNo?NoNoNoNoNo
ReferencerNoNoYes?NoNo???
RefWorks[14]YesYesYes?YesYes???
SciRefYesNoNo?NoNo???
SenteNoYesNo?NoNoYes[15]??
WikindxYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
WizFolioYesYesYes?YesYes???
ZoteroYesYesYes?YesYesthird partythird party - Aziz, Lite![11]No

Export file formats[edit]

This table lists the machine-readable file formats that can be exported from reference managers. These are typically used to share data with other reference managers or with other people who use a reference manager. To exchange data from one program to another, the first program must be able to export to a format that the second program may import. Import file formats are in a table below this one.

SoftwareBibTeXEndnote/Refer/BibIXMedlineMODS XMLRISOther
AigaionYesNoNoNoYesnone
BebopYesNoNoNoNounAPI
BibBaseYesNoNoNoNonone
BibDeskYesNoYesYesYesEndnote XML, user customizable
BibSonomyYesYesNoNoYesvarious [2]
BibusYesYesYesNoYesSQLite
BookendsYesYesYesNoYesvarious user-customizable
CitaviYesYesYesYesYesvarious
CiteULikeYesNoNoNoYesCOinS, Delicious
colwizYesYesNoYesYesEndNote XML, CSL formatted HTML
EndNoteYesYesYesNoYesvarious[16]
F1000WorkspaceYesNoNoNoYesCSV
JabRefYesYesNoYesYesBibTeXML, DocBook, HTML, OpenDocument for OO.o, RTF, SQL database, user-customizable
KBibTeXYesYesNoDepends[17]YesPDF, PostScript, HTML, XML, RTF
MendeleyYesYesNoNoYesEndnote XML
PaperpileYesNoNoNoYesnone
PapersYesYesNoNoYesBookends, CSV, Endnote XML, PDF
PybliographerYesYesYesNoNoOvid
ReadCubeYesYesNoNoYesnone
QiqqaYesNoNoNoNonone
refbaseYesYesNoYesYesCOinS, OpenDocument for OO.o, SRW XML via SRU, unAPI, Word XML
RefDBYesYesNoYesYesSRW XML via SRU web service, DocBook, TEI
Reference ManagerNoNoNoNoYesMEDLARS, TSV, CSV, Reference Manager XML, user-customizable
ReferencerYesNoNoNoNonone
RefWorksYesYesNoNoYesvarious[18]
SciRefNoNoNoNoYesPlain text, RTF
SenteYesYesNoNoYesuser-customizable
WikindxYesYesNoYesYesCOinS, RTF, HTML, ADS, Word BIB
WizFolioNoNoNoNoYesNo
ZoteroYesYesas of version 4.0[19]YesYesCOinS, CSV, Several RDF format standards, TEI, Wikipedia citation templates, Endnote XML, CSL JSON, Refer/BiblX, RefWorks tagged

Import file formats[edit]

This table lists the file formats which may be manually imported into the reference managers without needing to connect to one particular database. Many of these database companies use the same name for their file format as they do for their database (including Copac, CSA, ISI, Medline, Ovid, PubMed, and SciFinder). For the ability to retrieve citations from the particular databases (rather than the file format), please refer to the database connectivity table that is below this table.

SoftwareBibTeXCopacCSAEndnote/Refer/BibIXISIMedlineMODS XMLOvidPubMedRISSciFinderOther
AigaionYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNonone
BebopYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNonone
BibBaseYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNonone
BibDeskYesYesNoYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesMARC, JSTOR, Reference Miner
BiblioscapeYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYes ?
BibSonomyYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoFirefox bookmarks
BibusYesNoNoYesYesYesNoNoNoYesNonone
BookendsYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesvarious [3]; user-customizable
CitaviYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesvarious
CiteULikeYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNonone
colwizYesNoNoYesYesYesNoNoYesYesNowith built-in browser, bookmarklet
EndNoteNoNoYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesvarious[20]
F1000WorkspaceYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNoYesYes

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