Bibliography Management

Bibliography management tools (also known as citation or reference management tools) help you organize your research sources and generate bibliographies in muliple citation formats.

Stanford University Libraries support the following bibliography management tools:

Choosing a citation style

For most papers, you will need to format your bibliography according to the citation style specified by your instructor or publisher. Some of the citation styles used at Stanford include:

  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • Chicago (The Chicago Manual of Style)

For more information about citation styles see: Working with CitationsPurdue Online Writing Lab  and the Plagiarism section of the Stanford University Honor Code.

Choosing a citation management tool

All of the tools will help you organize your research references and all include a plug-in for word processing programs to format citations and create bibliographies. But some of the tools offer other features, such as support for collaboration, a web-based interface, and mobile applications.

The Stanford University Libraries provide campus-wide subscriptions to RefWorks and Mendeley. EndNote Web is part of the Stanford University Libraries' subscription to Web of Knowledge.  Zotero is an open source tool with basic features at no charge.

The following comparison charts may help you choose a tool that is best for you:


Bibliography management workshops

Several libraries on campus provide workshops and drop-in help sessions on citation management tools.

 Science and Engineering Libraries workshops

 Lane Medical Library workshops


Need more help?

For more help on citation management tools, join the Reference Manager Users list at Stanford. You'll have access to the daily digest of questions and answers to problems with various tools and can post your own questions for help from the campus community.