Literature management tools

Bibliographic or literature management tools are increasingly used to help manage to large amount of literature researchers work with. They can help organise, memorise, retrieve, link literature automatically.

To choose from the many existing literature management tools, you may need to consider

  • Access to a licence (Tools like Endnote are not free)
  • Access to support
  • Preferences for storing references ( on a cloud, on a computer)
  • Ease of use
  • Compatibility with 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 not free, but is supported by most Universities,  It allows users to create, import and format bibliographic references, images or application files, and saves retyping references.

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 available from Shorter videos are available for download from  


Mendeley is a free software designed to manage references. Users groups can be identified via

Quick video tutorials at 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.

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,