Students, academics, authors, and researchers generally have to do a lot of online research. With so many different databases, online journals, and websites, it can be overwhelming to manage and organize so many references—especially if you’re doing it manually.
But did you know that there are programs that can actually manage and keep track of your references for you? If not, then you are in for a treat!
Many reference management software programs make the process of managing your references nearly effortless. Here are the top 6 as determined by Scribendi’s research.
Up Close: The 6 Best Reference Management Software Programs
Flowcite helps researchers manage every aspect of academic writing, including research, reference management, collaborative writing, annotating, editing, and publishing. It brings together all the most requested services for creating a research paper from start to finish.
Besides free core features, such as a knowledge library of almost 25 million sources, a reference manager, LaTeX and rich text editors, and a collaborative PDF viewer, Flowcite offers a number of top-notch services for editing and proofreading (by Scribendi), similarity checking, and publishing from leading service providers.
RefWorks is an exceptional reference management software program. Although it is not free, many colleges and universities have subscriptions to RefWorks, which means that you may already have it available to you through your school. Score!
RefWorks is great because it allows users to generate and format bibliographies and manuscripts in hundreds of output styles, including some of the most common (e.g., APA, MLA, or Chicago). It also allows users to manage more than just bibliographic data, which is why it’s great for academics and researchers alike.
Zotero is both free and open source, which means that you don’t have to pay for it and that its design is publicly accessible. Zotero is a great choice for a reference manager, especially for students, because it runs as both a web service and an offline service on your personal device (laptop, iPad, cell phone, etc.).
Zotero not only stores and formats your bibliographic information but also allows you to organize, tag, and search this information. It automatically and seamlessly extracts information from books, journal articles, and other online sources, making the entire process of creating a reference list effortless.
EndNote is great if you’re collaborating on a research paper. It lets you share with up to 14 colleagues anywhere in the world, so it’s definitely the top choice for collaborations. One of the highlights of this reference manager is that it includes reference types such as interviews, podcasts, conference papers, and press releases. It also lets you add citations to Microsoft PowerPoint slides, which is especially helpful if you’re creating a presentation with a group.
EndNote has a huge catalogue of format options with over 6,000 reference styles, so regardless of your discipline, you’re bound to find one that fits your needs. Although EndNote isn’t free, it is certainly high quality.
If you’re in a technical or scientific field, Mendeley is an excellent option for you. This reference management software allows users to generate citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and LaTeX.
As with EndNote, it’s great for collaborative work because it allows you to connect with colleagues and share your papers, notes, and annotations. It can be used on your computer via the web or through your iPhone or iPad, which makes it easy to do your work wherever you go.
Citationsy is a great choice because it’s so adaptable. You can access it as a page within your browser or download it as a Chrome extension or mobile app, which means that you can access your library from any device with an internet connection.
As with the other reference managers, it automatically extracts citation details so that you don’t have to type them in yourself. You can even use its mobile app to cite your books by scanning their barcodes.
Do you see the common trend with these reference management software programs? They make creating a bibliography easy! Be sure to take advantage of the features offered by these programs to make your research just a little bit easier.
If you would rather have an expert editor format your references correctly according to any style guide, check out Scribendi’s fast, affordable, and professional academic proofreading services.