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Manage Your Citations (EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero, Mendeley) & more: Best Practices: Home

Citation Managers

You have many options when it comes to selecting a program to manage your citations; view the columns below and the tabs above for more information on specific citation managers.
All citation management programs let you:

  • Add citations from databases like PubMed, Web of Science, etc.
  • Organize your citations into folders or groups
  • Add PDF files of articles to the references
  • Format citations in Microsoft Word (and other document programs such as Google Docs) to create bibliographies in any of 1000s of styles
  • Share all or part of your database, with various degrees of permissions, and collaborate with others on documents

For tips on styles and manuscript submission, see the Citation Styles/Submitting Manuscripts/Writing guide


EndNote is a client-based program, which means the software resides on your computer and is not accessible via the Internet (but you can sync with the web-based version). EndNote features include:

  • New: EndNote 20 is here; you need Windows 10 + or Mac OS 10.14 +
  • The most comprehensive array of citation output styles
  • Client software installed on your computer (can sync with a limited web-based version)
  • Linking EndNote records to PDFs and other types of documents saved on your hard drive
  • Can add figures and tables to your EndNote library
  • Use UC-eLinks to find the full text of the article from within EndNote
  • EndNote software must be purchased and installed onto your computer
  • Can share your EndNote library with others
  • You can download a free 30 day EndNote trial and can purchase EndNote at a discount

EndNote Support, and the EndNote Guide (v.X9 | v.20) are the best places to start when you are learning EndNote or have problems.

For a comparison of the differences among the current EndNote version and earlier versions, see their comparison chart.

EndNote Basic, a free web-based version, limits the number of citations you can store, has a limited number of citation styles, and a limited number databases that it's compatible with. Purchasers of EndNote Desktop also get access to the full EndNote Online.

EndNote Training Calendar, from


RefWorks is cloud-based and allows for easy collaboration. Access to RefWorks is provided by the UCB Library to UCB students, staff, and faculty. Once you are registered, log in at any computer with Internet access.

  • Create a RefWorks account.
  • RefWorks lets you cite in Google Docs (in addition to Word)
  • To use RefWorks with Word 2016 (on a Mac), download these instructions (PDF)
  • Legacy RefWorks is still available for users with older accounts.
  • Cloud-based
  • Full-text access to most articles is easy: UC-eLinks works inside RefWorks
  • Good for collaborative projects: share a citation database
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Offers thousands of output styles 
  • To use RefWorks from off-campus, log using the Library Proxy or VPN.  (Legacy RefWorks only users can log in with the UC Berkeley Group Code;
    test link
    Requires CalNet ID authentication).
  • IMPORTANT: RefWorks Cite in Microsoft Word does not work with the free Office 365 version of Word offered by UC Berkeley. If you use this version of Word, you will need to use a different reference manager. Unlikely this situation will change.
  • Pop-ups must be allowed for RefWorks to function correctly. Make sure your browser allows pop-ups, and your Java is up to date.
    Important: Download Java from this Apple site (the link above), not from

Need more help? See the New RefWorks help guide. (or the Legacy RefWorks help guide).


Zotero, an open source (free) program, may be used in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Zotero features include:

  • Your Zotero library is saved locally so if you want to use multiple computers, set up the Zotero Sync Server and File Syncing on each computer you use to collect citations using Zotero.
  • An Internet connection is not necessary to work with your Zotero library.
  • Automatically capture citation information from web pages
  • Capture citation data PDFs to create a database record in Zotero
  • Store PDFs, files, images, links, and whole web pages for easy retrieval
  • Works with Google Docs and LibreOffice (in addition to Word)

Need more help? See a Zotero guide and the Zotero support site.

See also this self-paced online tutorial, which includes several very brief Zotero how-to videos: Download; Connector; Importing PDFs; Word; Google Docs; and more (also available on YouTube)


Mendeley is a free citation manager and academic social network with web-based, desktop, and mobile versions. Works with Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and BibTeX.

  • Introduces social networking tools to collaborate with fellow researchers, including sharing lists of references and collaborative tagging of documents
  • Add PDFs to your citation library
  • Annotate PDFs
  • Search within the text of all of your PDFs
  • Sync your library across multiple devices
  • UC Berkeley Mendeley users gain access to Mendeley Institutional Edition by accessing Mendeley via a UCB IP address. This gives UC Berkeley users 100GB personal library space, 100GB shared library space, 100 collaborators in private groups, and unlimited private groups. After leaving UC Berkeley, alumni will have access to Mendeley Institutional Edition for 12 months.
  • IMPORTANT: Mendeley's Cite festure does not work with the free Office 365 version of Word offered by UC Berkeley. If you use this version of Word, you will need to use a different reference manager. Unlikely this situation will change.

Mendeley Overview: the basics of downloading and using Mendeley. And for more help, see their help guides.

Also see a Mendeley guide.


Overleaf logo

Overleaf is a free online collaborative LaTeX editor with integrated real-time preview. It offers hundreds of templates for arXiv, journal publishers, presentations, exams, dissertations, and more. The Library licenses Overleaf for Institutions to provide access to premium features for faculty, students, and staff. Sign up with your Berkeley email address to get access to these features:

  • unlimited collaborators
  • real-time track changes
  • full document history
  • Mendeley and Zotero integration
  • GitHub integration
  • Dropbox integration

Non-UC Berkeley users can also sign up for a free Overleaf account that includes unlimited private projects, up to 1 collaborator, and direct submission to selected publishers.

Overleaf offers extensive documentation for learning about both LaTeX and Overleaf. It also hosts templates customized for UC Berkeley thesis, presentations, and more.

The Library also provides basic training on writing in LaTeX through our LaTeX in Engineering & Physical Sciences guide and vOLT tutorials.

Other Citation Management Tools

The tools listed above are the most popular at UC Berkeley, but there are several others available. 

Some that your UCB colleagues are using include: Sciwheel (formerly F1000 Workspace), Qiqqa, Paperpile, Citationsy, and ReadCube Papers. Google Docs also has a (very limited) citation tool.

Use the open source AnyStyle to parses your bibliographies or lists of references regardless of citation style and and turns them into structured, bibliographic data. This is useful if you have a list of references (eg, in a Word document) and wish to import them to citation management software.

Doing Systematic Reviews

Before you embark on a systematic review, please understand that this could easily be a one year or more project. Here is a decision tree (source) to help you decide is a systematic, or other type or review, is appropriate.

You may also wish to peruse UCSF's Systematic Review Guide for information. You may also wish to consider conducting another type of literature review; see this table for information on several types of reviews (eg, scoping review, mapping review, rapid review, etc.). (Table reproduced from A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies).

These articles may also be helpful:

How to conduct a systematic review from beginning to end (from Covidence; easy to read summary of the 7 steps).

Five steps to conducting a systematic review. Khan KS, Kunz R, Kleijnen J, Antes G. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2003 Mar;96(3):118-21. PubMed PMID: 12612111

A Guide to Conducting a Standalone Systematic Literature Review Okoli C. Communications of the Association for Information Systems 2015; 37(1): 879-910.

The difference between a systematic review and a scoping review (from Covidence).

PRISMA for Scoping Reviews. Includes a checklist with 20 essential reporting items and 2 optional items to include when completing a scoping review, as well as one-page tip sheets on each item.

An article on the importance of looking at the science behind the articles you review when assessing quality:  Challenges and recommendations on the conduct of systematic reviews of observational epidemiologic studies in environmental and occupational health Arroyave WD, et al. Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology 2021; 31(1):21-30.

Consult the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (2nd edition) for a very thorough discussion of the systematic review process.

UC Berkeley licenses Covidence, a tool to help you with your systematic reviews.
In Covidence, you can:
import citations,
screen titles and abstracts,
upload references,
screen full text,
create forms for critical appraisal,
perform risk of bias tables,
complete data extraction, and
export a PRISMA flowchart summarizing your review process.
As an institutional member, our users have priority access to Covidence support. Our license allows unlimited simultaneous reviews, and you can add people who are not affiliated with UCB.
To access Covidence using the UC Berkeley institutional account, start at this page and follow the instructions.