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Cite & Manage Sources: Reference Management Software

Resources to help you cite sources and manage references.


Zotero iconThe Library recommends Zotero as the best reference manager for students.

Free • Works on Mac / Windows / Linux •  Microsoft Word & OpenOffice  • Library Support

Zotero is an open source reference manager that collects all your research in a single, searchable interface. You can add PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages, and really anything else. Zotero automatically indexes the full-text content of your library, enabling you to find exactly what you're looking for with just a few keystrokes.

  • Keep track of references as you research a topic
  • Create bibliographies
  • Insert references and bibliographies into your research papers.

Zotero  can be downloaded from

Zotero does charge for storage exceeding 300MB. However, you can use Zotero's Preferences menu to back only your citations to the cloud instead of full-text content, which means you will never hit the storage limit. Another option is to set up Zotero to backup your citations and PDFs using DartBox, which free as long as you are affiliated with Dartmouth.


Refworks iconBeginning December 2018, Dartmouth Library will no longer subscribe to or support RefWorks, and we recommend against signing up for a new account. Current RefWorks users who wish to export their reference libraries are encouraged to do so by November 2018. Learn more about how to do so here.

RefWorks is free to students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

The Library recommends RefWorks only for established  users whose primary computer runs on Windows.


If you are just getting started with reference management software, you should consider using Zotero. The LIbrary does not recommend RefWorks for Mac users, as the RefWorks add-in for Microsoft Word is inadequate. Windows users can still use RefWorks' Write-N-Cite plug-in for Microsoft Word, which works well. However, keep in mind that Zotero also works well on the Windows platform, and RefWorks may phase out the Write-N-Cite Microsoft Word add-in in favor of its replacement, the RefWorks Citation Manager, which has  performed poorly so far.

RefWorks does work well for those who simply wish to keep track of references, store PDFs, and share them collaboratively with colleagues. There are no limits the number of PDFs you can save.

Students, Faculty, & Staff: To register for a free account, you must (1) be on the Dartmouth Network (on campus or connected via VPN) and (2) register with a Dartmouth email address.

Alumni: Contact the library staff at Ask Us! and provide your name, your Dartmouth alum email, your major, your degree, and year of graduation. You will receive the instructions for setting up an account with the RefWorks Alumni Program, which is free to you and available as long as the Library subscribes to RefWorks for Dartmouth College.

RefWorks Legacy Support

RefWorks Legacy Tutorial

RefWorks Legacy Support Guide

New RefWorks Support

New RefWorks Tutorial

New RefWorks Support Guide


EndNote is a commercial software program that can be purchased at an academic discount through their website. It can be used to search databases, collect and organize citations and PDFs. It has an add-in for Microsoft Word with hundreds of bibliographic styles.

EndNote is expensive to purchase. There is a 30 day free trial.


Mendeley is a free reference manager that is especially strong for managing PDFs. Generate citations and bibliographies. Read, annotate, and search your PDF library. You can also securely share your papers and annotations with a project team. You can also discover other papers and other researchers who are reading the same papers as you.

There is a subscription fee for cloud storage beyond 2GB.


Papers is a PDF manager for Mac & Windows platforms. It features drag-and-drop functionality for PDFs, and allows you to  search and import publications from other databases. Read, annotate, and search the PDFs in your Papers library. As with other reference managers, a Microsoft Word plugin allows you to insert references from Papers directly into your document and generate a bibliography.  You can also sync your Papers library with mobile devices and home computer.

Cost: $79. A discount for students is available.

A 30-day free trial is available.