The Library recommends Zotero as the best reference manager for students.
Free • Works on Mac / Windows / Linux • Microsoft Word / OpenOffice / Google Docs • 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 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.
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.
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.
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 computers.