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Citation: Research Management Tools

There are a number of ways to keep your research materials organized. Here we feature a few of our favorite tools.

Every reference management tool has its strengths and weaknesses. Decide which one would work best for you by looking at their basic features and functions below. For more extensive comparisons, see Wikipedia's Comparison of reference management software.

Have questions? Let us know by visiting our Ask Us page!






Introduction Mendeley allows you to store and organize your research materials, share them with others, and annotate documents. It is free to use.

RefWorks is a tool for storing and sharing your research materials, and citing them in commonly-used citation styles. RefWorks is supported by the library. To set up an account, use your Macalester email address.

Zotero is an easy to use application for organizing your research materials, sharing them with collaborators, and citing them in a wide range of citation styles. It's simple to set up and begin using, and it's free! For more information, check out the Zotero page in this guide.
Getting started
Developer Elsevier Ex Libris / ProQuest Center for History and New Media at George Mason University
Versions Web-based & desktop Web-based Web-based & desktop
Desktop platforms Windows, Mac, Linux Not applicable Windows, Mac, Linux
Web browsers Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome

Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome

(To discontinue certification of Internet Explorer on July 1, 2021)

Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome
Cost + Storage Basic account free with 2GB cloud storage Institutional subscription with unlimited cloud storage Basic account free with 300MB cloud storage
Word processor integration Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, OpenOffice Microsoft Word, Google Docs Microsoft Word, Google Docs, LibreOffice
Built-in PDF annotation Yes Yes No, but can with Zotfile plug-in
Option to share and collaborate with others Yes Yes Yes
Mobile app Yes (iOS and Android) No No