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Writing + Citing in the Sciences: Home

This guides describes tools that can be used to make writing and citing easier in the engineering and physical sciences.


As part of a 3-year pilot, the EPS Libraries licensed three products that make collaborative writing and citing much easier: Mendeley, Overleaf, and ShareLaTeX. As of September 2018, Overleaf and ShareLaTeX have merged into Overleaf v2 - see the launch announcement for more information. Sign up with a UC Berkeley email address (or verify your UC Berkeley email address in an existing account) to get access to the premium features of Mendeley or Overleaf.

We are very interested in your feedback so please give these tools a try. If you have any comments or questions, please contact your librarian.

Overleaf + ShareLaTeX

Overleaf + ShareLaTeX logo350

Overleaf and ShareLaTeX have merged into one platform: Overleaf v2. Read the launch announcement for more information. 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. A free account includes unlimited private projects, up to 1 collaborator, and direct submission to selected publishers.

The Library has licensed Overleaf for campus as part of a 3-year pilot to provide access to premium features. Sign up with your Berkeley email address to get access to a professional account, which provides unlimited collaborators, real-time track changes, full document history, Mendeley integration and sync, GitHub integration and sync, and the ability to save to Dropbox.

If you would like to stay informed about upcoming features and integrations, please visit the Overleaf blog.

Other Collaborative Writing Tools

Authorea is a free online collaborative editor for writing in Markdown, LaTeX, or Richtext. A free account includes 3 private articles, unlimited public articles, and up to 100MB data storage. Premium accounts start at $10/month and include unlimited private articles, DOI minting, and up to 1GB data storage.

bDrive is the UC Berkeley version of Google Drive. Your account allows you to collaborate with others on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms with unlimited storage.

English as a Second Language

Are you looking to improve your technical and scientific communication skills in English? These resources may help:


Mendeley logo

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that allows you to organize your references across multiple devices, automatically generate bibliographies, and share references with collaborators online. A free account offers 2GB of storage space and the ability to create 1 private group with up to 3 members.

The Library has licensed Mendeley Institutional Edition for campus as a 3-year pilot to provide access to premium features. Access Mendeley via a UCB IP address to take advantage of the benefits of Mendeley Institutional Edition: 100GB personal library space, 100GB shared library space, 100 collaborators in private groups, and unlimited private groups.

Visit the Mendeley guide for more information.

Other Citation Management Tools

Citation management software helps you manage your papers, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.

Popular citation management software in the sciences and engineering include:

  • EndNote (Mac, PC) is bibliographic management software that you install on your computer. It offers sophisticated, flexible tools for organizing references & creating bibliographies. EndNote works with word processing software to format citations, and create bibliographies in a comprehensive array of styles. Get the student price by purchasing online with proof of student status.
  • RefWorks (Online) is a web-based bibliographic management service licensed by the library for use by current UCB faculty, staff and students. It can be used to organize references, format citations, and create bibliographies. To start using RefWorks, create an account here using your email address. 
  • BibTeX: is a tool that can be used with LaTeX  to create documents and bibliographies typesetting language used for scientific document preparation. LaTeX is typesetting language used for scientific document preparation: Tools are free to download. The TeX Users Group (TUG) includes an FAQ, links to software. Endnote has a BibTeX output style that will format your citations into TeX.
    • Overleaf is an online collaborative LaTeX editor with integrated real time preview. Get a pro account when you register with your email address or add your email address to an existing account. 
    • ShareLaTeX is an online collaborative LaTeX editor. Get a premium account when you register with your email address or add your email address to an existing account.
  • Mendeley is a free web-based reference manager & can be used as a social network to organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover current developments. Sign up with your email address to upgrade to an institutional account. 
  • Papers (Mac) is low-cost software that allows you to search, retrieve, organize, and annotate article PDFs. You can also easily export references into citation management tools like EndNote so that you can use their citation and bibliography formatting features.
  • Zotero is a free Firefox extension that manages citations found online through your browser. You can capture citation information from some web pages and databases, and store citations, PDFs & images for easy retrieval. Zotero can create bibliographies in Word and OpenOffice in a limited number of styles.