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Create Bibliographies

User Poll

Which bibliographic tool is your favorite?
RefWorks: 15 votes (46.88%)
Zotero: 2 votes (6.25%)
Mendeley: 6 votes (18.75%)
EndNote (Desktop): 4 votes (12.5%)
EndNote Basic: 0 votes (0%)
Microsoft Word's reference features: 0 votes (0%)
A quick citation generator (e.g. EasyBib, BibMe, etc.): 4 votes (12.5%)
Other: 1 votes (3.13%)
Total Votes: 32

What Is a Bibliographic Manager?

Bibliographic managers are tools you can use to do the following:

  • Save your references to books, articles, movies, and other sources information
  • Organize those references
  • Format bibliographies/works cited lists in multiple citation styles
  • Insert in-text citations into the body of a document
  • Share references with others

Choosing a Bibliographic Manager

There are a number of options available to the BU community for free or via our subscriptions to databases.  Here are some key points to consider when choosing what will work best for you:

You should choose RefWorks if...

  • You may need to save hundreds of references
  • You want to export many references from scholarly databases
  • You would like to insert in-text citations and bibliographies into MS Word or Google Docs
  • You prefer a web-based manager (i.e. the data lives on a server)

You should choose Zotero if...

  • You want to easily "grab" information from a document, web page, or search results list
  • You like a simple citation-editing interface
  • You work with the Mozilla Firefox web browser, or you don't mind using a stand-alone app along with Chrome or Safari
  • You prefer a plug-in or app-based manager (i.e. the data lives on your hard drive, but you can sync it to a Zotero server)

You should choose Mendeley if...

  • You want to organize and upload documents already on your hard drive
  • You value an information-sharing experience that connects you to colleagues worldwide
  • You want to showcase your publications and scholarly impact
  • You prefer a web-based manager (i.e. the data lives on a server, but you can sync it to the Mendeley Desktop app)

You should choose EndNote Basic* if...

  • You are already comfortable working with EndNote's desktop app
  • You work mainly with Web of Science or other Thomson Reuters databases
  • You want to share references with other EndNote users
  • You prefer a web-based manager (i.e. the data lives on a server, but you can sync it to the EndNote library on your hard drive)

If you want more information, the University of Toronto has created an extensive comparison table with even more options.

*The BU Libraries do not provide licenses for the full version of EndNote.  If you are interested in purchasing it, please see this page from BU Information Services and Technology.


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