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This guide supports students developing research skills.

Quick Resources: Citing your sources

What is a citation manager?

Citation managers (also known as reference managers or bibliographic managers) are tools designed to make your life as a researcher easier.

Tools like Zotero, EndNote, and Mendeley can help you: 

  • Save citations of the articles you find in databases, search engines, and other sources as you search
  • Keep your citations organized in a way that makes sense to you
  • Save PDFs of articles and other resources with your citations
  • Quickly generate references lists
  • Efficiently switch to a different citation style with just a few clicks
  • Share articles and resources with colleagues
  • Create in-text citations
  • ...and much more!

Citation managers generally have more sophisticated features that distinguish them from simpler citation generators (e.g., EasyBib, NoodleTools). Citation generators are fine for developing a quick, one-off citation when needed, but citation managers provide holistic support for your entire research process.


How do I choose a citation manager?

Most robust citation managers will have a lot of the same functionalities. Much of the decision will depend on your personal preferences. You can use a comparison chart to differentiate. Other questions to consider include:

  • Do I work primarily on the same computer all the time? Or will I benefit from syncing across multiple work stations and/or types of devices?
  • How often do I collaborate with others?
  • Which citation manager is most used in my research discipline?
  • Which citation manager is preferred by my advisor, among my colleagues, or within my department? 

If you'd like additional help making a decision, reach out to a librarian. A librarian can also help you transition from one citation manager to another if you change your mind later. 

The most important thing is to choose one and then use it consistently

Citation Manager Support

UNM Libraries primarily provides consultation support for Zotero. You can schedule a Zotero consultation appointment online. However, other popular citation management tools used on campus include Mendeley and EndNote. See below for help pages on using these tools