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Choosing Your Citation Manager

Citation Managers such as RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley are software tools for managing your citations. Citation managers will help you

  • Create and organize a personal research database
  • Download ciations from online databases
  • Format bibliographies and citations in papers, and
  • Share your references with others

Brown University Libraries support and provide training for RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley, but there are many more available.

Which citation manager should I use?

Manage Your Citations

Citations and Bibliographies

A citation is: "A reference providing information about where a particular quotation, text, etc., is to be found; a bibliographical reference."

- Oxford English Dictionary Online, version March 2015


There are many different citation styles which reflect different interests and preferences of disciplines and often publications. If you are unsure which citation style to use, it is best to ask the person you are writing for, such as a professor or journal editor.

Email us at with citation questions or for help with EndNote, EndNote Online, Mendeley, or Zotero software.

Why Citations are Important

  1. Inform a reader that material in your work, such as a quote, image, or idea, came from another source.
  2. Acknowledge the work of others and provide pathways to their work.
  3. Provide context to your argument in a larger scholarly discussion.
  4. Establish your credibility as a serious scholar by providing evidence that you have thoroughly considered the topic.
  5. Failure to cite, or citing improperly, is considered plagiarism.

Publishing Resources