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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

Two versions:

  • Mendeley
  • Mendeley Institutional Edition

Three versions:

  • EndNote Online
  • EndNote Web of Science
  • EndNote Desktop
Cost Zotero is free Mendeley is free; Mendeley Institutional Edition is free for ASU users

EndNote Online is free.

EndNote Web of Science is free for ASU users.

EndNote Desktop costs $80 for students and $160 for faculty and staff because of ASU’s discount.

How to Get It

Create an account and then download Zotero

Use an email address when you sign in to Mendeley and automatically receive access to the Mendeley Institutional Edition

Sign in for EndNote Online.

Sign in through Web of Science and click the EndNote tab for EndNote Web of Science.

Call 1-215-823-1767 or send an email directly to and use the discount code LIBRARY for a discounted copy of EndNote Desktop.

Storage Space 300 MB (additional storage can be purchased) 2 GB with Mendeley; 5 GB with Mendeley Institutional Edition

2 GB with EndNote Online and EndNote Web of Science; Unlimited with EndNote Desktop

Citation Styles 9000+ 1700+ 21 with EndNote Online; 3300+ with EndNote Web of Science and EndNote Desktop
Cloud/Desktop Both Both 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 Online and EndNote Web of Science: 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 Online and EndNote Web of Science: PDFs cannot be added.

EndNote Desktop: PDFs can be embedded with citations.

After You Leave ASU No change Mendeley Institutional Edition will not be available, which means that alumni storage space for Mendeley will be reduced to 2 GB

No change for EndNote Online and EndNote Desktop.

EndNote Web of Science will not be available, which means that only 21 citation styles will be available to alumni.

Hours and Locations