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Research Guide for Physics: Managing your references

Subjects: Patents, Physics

What is reference management software?

Reference management software, also known as citation management software, allows you to:

  • collect references
  • store references in a web account or on your desktop
  • organise references
  • add notes to your references
  • link to full text, web pages and documents
  • cite your references and create bibliographies

Some also have additional features such as:

  • sharing your references
  • pdf highlighting
  • collaboration
  • social networking

Choosing your reference management software

There are a huge range of reference mangers available.  The best way to choose a reference manager is to test some out and see which you like best.

You may want to consider:

  1. Accessibility - desktop, web-based or web browser extension
  2. Is the citation / reference style you need to use available?
  3. Is the software compatible with the word processor you use?
  4. If you want to share your references with colleagues, what do they use?

Under the comparison tables tab you will find a comparison of the pros and cons and of the features of six reference managers.  For more detailed information about these reference managers - including sources of help and training - refer to their individual tabs.

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