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Citation Management Tools

This guide includes information about citation management tools, or applications used to organize your references, generate bibliographies, and collaborate with others.

About citation management tools

What are citation managers and generators?

Citation managers save and organize your references more efficiently, especially for longer projects. Use a citation manager to automatically create citations or lists of references (bibliographies) in different citation styles, insert citations into your paper, share your research, and collaborate in groups. You should always check all citation elements for missing or erroneous parts.

ASU Library supports three citation managers: 

By contrast, citation generators create or generate individual citations in a specific style such as MLA or APA for immediate use.  


Compare citation managers

  Zotero Mendeley EndNote
Versions One version

One version

Two versions:

  • EndNote Basic
  • EndNote Desktop (gives access to EndNote Online)
Cost Zotero is free. Mendeley is free.

EndNote Basic is free.

Students can get EndNote Desktop for a discounted price of $115.95.

How to Get It

Create an account and then download Zotero.

Sign in to Mendeley to create an account.

Sign in for EndNote Basic.

This link will take you to a page to buy EndNote Desktop. Students can register for a discounted version.

Storage Space 300 MB (additional storage can be purchased) 2 GB

2 GB with EndNote Basic; unlimited with EndNote Desktop

Citation Styles Thousands Thousands 21 with EndNote Basic; thousands with EndNote Desktop
Cloud/Desktop Both Both EndNote Basic is online only; EndNote Desktop/Online is both
Platform PC, Mac, and Linux PC, Mac, and Linux PC; works for Mac but has some issues; no Linux
Technical Support User community support User community support and limited technical support from Mendeley Professional technical support from Clarivate Analytics for EndNote Desktop
Collaboration References can be shared through public or private group libraries. References can be shared through public or private group libraries.

EndNote Basic: References can be shared in private group libraries.

EndNote Desktop: References can be shared with or without PDFs.

Mobile Options

Various options

Apps for iOS and Android iPad app
PDFs and Files PDFs can be added to citations along with notes and other attachments, citation data can be retrieved from PDFs PDFs can be organized and annotated, citation data can be retrieved from PDFs, PDFs can be shared in private groups

EndNote Basic: PDFs cannot be added.

EndNote Desktop: PDFs can be embedded with citations.

After You Leave ASU No change No change

No change

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.