Literature management tools

Why use one literature management tool rather than another? Things that may need to be considered are:

  • Access to a licence: UC has a licence for Endnote, but will that licence still be available to you after the PhD, and is that important to you? To access UC Endnote licence go to
  • Support: UC provides support for Endnote users. Other programs only offer on line support.
  • Where the data (your references and literature) is stored. Are you happy to have the data stored online (and accessible from anywhere) or do you prefer to have it on your own computer?
  • Ease of use: Zotero and Mendeley seem to attract the most interest at the moment  – they are easy to use and free.
  • Writing software you use: users of LyX or LaTex tend to use BibTeX.

To help you chose you could check:

The following are some of the most used computer applications. They have been placed into alphabetical order – not in order of preference.


This software is designed to help organise reference collections, research notes, generate citations and a bibliography for publication, compile notes into an outline to generate a final draft with table of contents, search and capture references on the web, etc.


EndNote is a bibliographic management program (for Mac or PC) that is ideally suited to the needs of postgraduate students and research staff preparing theses or manuscripts for publication. This software is supported by most Universities, Including UC. It allows users to create, import and format bibliographic references, images or application files, and saves retyping references.  EndNote can be downloaded from the Library website, students and staff may also borrow the EndNote software on CD.

Training in Endnote is regularly organised by the Library, check  On-line training is also available from a Library Moodle site 

Endnote has developed a suite of resources to support users. Check or download a copy of the Little EndNote How-To Book (a booklet of instructions with screenshots for doing specific tasks in EndNote). Quick “refreshers” for many functions in EndNote are availabe from Shorter videos are available for download from  


Mendeley is a free software designed to manage references. A UC Mendeley users group has also been created and can be accessed by searching University of Canberra under Groups (in

These quick video tutorials will give you everything you need to get started utilizing Mendeley.


Papers is a software designed exclusively for the Mac. Papers allows to you to organise PDF files of scientific papers stored on your computer. With Papers you can create a personal library, use search engines, retrieve and archive PDFs, to read and study them from within Papers.


RefWorks is a web-based referencing tool which enables users to create and organise their own personal database of references and citations, and to cite those references correctly in assignments or other documents. RefWorks is accessible via the Library webpage, and is available only to currently enrolled students and UC staff. RefWorks is most useful for undergraduate students.

Refwork training sessions are organised by the UC library, as well as online training available.

Scholar’s Aid

The program helps you keep track of information stored on your computer and organise it in an hierarchical structure.


Zotero helps collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Information is stored on the web. According to some researchers this is the best. It is free software that can be downloaded. Many online tutorial are also available. There is a crash course at Using Zotero,