Skip to main content

Citing Sources

Learn more about why we cite the sources we use, how to cite sources in a specific style, and strategies for avoiding plagiarism.

Tools to Manage Sources, Create Reference Lists, and Insert In-text Citations

Source Manager Comparison Chart

This comparison chart highlights features that most users seek in these types of tools. The list is not intended to be comprehensive. For a printer friendly version of the chart download the pdf file. Below the chart there are additional source managers you may want to investigate.

 

Time to Learn

30 minutes

30 minutes

30 minutes

Help Guides

Zotero Online Guide

EndNote Basic Guide

Mendeley Online Guide

Strengths

Open source; robust features on both desktop and web Direct export from most library databases Ability to network with other scholars

Weaknesses

Smaller storage space for free account

ISU does not support desktop version; not available if no longer associated with ISU

Owned by Elsevier; current platform has functionality issues; web importer no longer functional in Firefox

Cost

Free

Free to all ISU

Free

Can access after leaving Illinois State

X

 

X

Browser tool to save sources from web

X

X

X

Share with others / Create groups

X

X

X

Create folders to organize content

X

X

X

Create subfolders

X

 

X

Good for a scholarly content

X

X

X

Easy to add diverse source types

X

 

X

Create bibliographies in specific styles / journal formatting

X

X

X

Tool for adding in-text citations into a word processor document

MS Word (Windows/MacOS)
Google Docs
LibreOffice/Open Office

MS Word (Windows/MacOS)

MS Word (Windows/MacOS)
LibreOffice/Open Office

Assign keywords/tags to improve searchability

X

X

X

Attach / Store PDFs

X

X

X

Attach / Store other file types

X

X

X
documents only

Annotate PDFs

 

 

X

Compatible with all major browsers

X

X

X

Compatible with multiple operating systems

X

X

X

Storage capacity

300MB; $ for more

2GB; 5GB for $

2GB; $ for more

 

More Source Managers

Looking for alternatives? Here is a list of other source managers you may like to explore.

Wikipeda provides a great comparison chart of source management software.

Short descriptions of our recommended source managers. Consult the help guides to learn more about each tool. Consult the comparison chart to determine which one best suits your needs or download a the printer friendly version of the chart.

More Source Managers

Looking for alternatives? Here is a list of other source managers you may like to explore.

Wikipeda provides a great comparison chart of source management software

Reference generators (also called citation generators) are handy tools to quickly create a preformatted reference for one or two sources. Usually you need to copy & paste content into a form. Most generators do not save the information entered into the form.