Introduction to Citation Managers
Citation managers are database managers which allow you to create your own database with the bibliographic references you gather during your research work. Most citation managers make it possible to:
- download references automatically from library catalogues and bibliographic databases (but some references have to be entered manually anyway);
- search for references, sort them, eliminate duplicates;
- create independent bibliographies or insert references in a text while you are writing. You can choose between many different styles, change the style during the writing process, and produce automatically the bibliography at the end of your dissertation.
Using a citation manager will allow you to save a lot of time, to avoid tedious and uninteresting tasks, to better the quality of your bibliographies, and to concentrate on research and writing.
Which One Should I Choose?
There are many different citation managers. In this guide, we will concentrate on two of them, EndNote, a proprietary programme which is the leader on the market, and Zotero, a free programme with many advantages. Both work on Mac and PC.
The best way to know which one best suits your needs is probably to test them. Zotero can be downloaded free of charge, and there is a 30-day free trial period for EndNote, or, if you are a Graduate Institute student, you can test it on the computers at your disposal on our premises (All Programs -> Databases). If you change your mind, it is always possible to transfer your database (which by the way is called a "library") to another programme.
Here is a small choice of Web pages comparing citation managers:
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