Skip to Main Content

PhD Nursing Student Resource Guide

Recommended resources for Nursing PhD students

What is a Citation Manager?

Citation Managers are tools that will help you keep your citations organized and create bibliographies in APA, AMA, or other formats. Take a look at the chart below to compare features between citation managers like EndNote, RefWorks,and Zotero.

Recommended Citation Managers

The following are all bibliographic/citation management programs that let you build your own library of citations, organize & share your citations, build reference lists with the click of a button, format papers with in-text citations, and more. If the program isn't free, it likely offers a free 30 day trial. This is just a handful of citation managers available. 

Comparison between Citation Management Systems

Characteristics RefWorks EndNote Online EndNote Zotero
Strengths

Many databases include direct exporting features to it.

Good tech support.

 

Can use some of EndNote's features without paying for a license for the desktop version.

UIC Library commends using EndNote Online with Web of Science: can be accessed through UIC Library's Web of Science subscription.

There are two other versions:

EndNote Basic: freely available version

EndNote online through desktop users: included with desktop version subscription.

 

Excellent for organizing citations for papers and theses.

Good customer support.

Highly customizable.

Simple download of records.

Good for managing a variety of formats, including web pages.

Easily share citations and documents with others.

Weaknesses

Metadata may need to be cleaned up.

Platform can be unstable.

Not as robust as RefWorks or Zotero.

Has different versions which have significant differences. 

Expensive.

Learning curve may be greater than others.

Has different versions which have significant differences. 

 

Must pay for additional storage.

Type Web interface Web interface Desktop software; also has a free web interface, EndNote Online. Desktop software and browser add-on.
Cost Free (library subscribes) Free. Features vary depending on how you access EndNote Web. Please see the comparison chart for more details.

Discounted version available through the UIC Webstore.

EndNote Basic is free, but isn't as robust.

Free with 300 MB of storage. Additional storage and group upgrades are available for a fee. 
Learning curve Quick to learn; simple design. Takes longer to learn, but not difficult with training. Takes longer to learn, but not difficult with training. Quick to learn; simple design. Many online user guides and demos.
How does it work? Export references from compatible databases; also has browser plugin to save from the web. Export references from compatible databases as mostly RIS files; also has browser plugin to save from the web. Export references from compatible databases. Can also search databases within EndNote Zotero detects bibliographic information on the web and allows you to save it.
What kind of records can you import and organize?

Best with traditional formats (articles, books, etc.).

PDFs and other file types can also be stored in records.

Best with traditional formats (articles, books, etc.).

PDFs and other file types can also be stored as attachments to records.

Please note that there is an attachment size limit for EndNote Basic and EndNote through Web of Science.

Best with traditional formats (articles, books, etc.). 

PDFs and other file types can be stored with records.

Traditional formats as well as web pages.

PDFs, screenshots, and other file types can be stored with records.

Can you search within PDF files? Yes. No. Yes, but search isn't intuitive. Yes. Make PDFs searchable by choosing to index them in the preferences menu.
Are records in your library viewable by others? Yes; you can share folders within an institution or create a public URL. Yes, if you choose to share your groups. Yes. Starting in version X6, EndNote libraries can be shared with other users. EndNote Online can also be synced to the desktop version for sharing citations. Yes, if you choose to share them. You can set up individual and group profiles to share records.
Does it work with word processing software? Yes. Includes add-in for Word and Google Docs. Two options, depending on software: Write-n-Cite or RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM). Yes. Has their own version of Cite While You Write that works with Word. Yes. Powerful formatting and customization features in Word through Cite While You Write; also works with Google Docs, LaTeX through BibTeX, and Open Office. Yes. Works with Word, LibreOffice and Google Docs. Also works with LaTeX through BibTeX.
Can you annotate PDFs? Yes. No. Yes. Yes.
Other important features Has a "find full-text" option to download full-text for records (when the library has access).   Has a "find full-text" option to download full-text for records (when the library has access). Starting in version X7, PDFs can be uploaded into EndNote from a folder on your computer.

Can be used for collaborative work with groups.

Will automatically attach PDFs.

If you back up records, you can sync multiple computers.

Does it have a mobile site or app? No. No. Yes; an iPad app Yes, a mobile site through zotero.org. There's also an iPad app called ZotPad.
Link to vendor support/documentation. RefWorks support EndNote Online support EndNote support Zotero support