During your university career, you are going to read...a lot. And the things you read are going to need to show up in what you write, which will also be a lot (some more than others). One of the best things (seriously...this will save you a huge amount of time and effort) you can do is to start using a citation manager.

A citation manager is software that allows you export citations directly from journals to create a database of everything you have read (or need to read), organize it how you want (by class, by topic, by week...), and it will allow you to automagically create proper citations in your writing AND create a formatted bibliography for you using the bibliographic format required of your discipline (APA7, MLA, Chicago, Turabian...)! Most citation managers have plugins or automatic integrations for MS Word and other word processing tools.

There are many different citation managers available, and some of them cost a few hundred dollars (EndNote), but some are free (EndNote Web, Zotero), and some of them will cost you your data (Mendeley).

EndNote Web

The library has some resources for using EndNote Web, and you are encouraged to check them out below.

Research Guides: Using EndNote Basic/Web: Getting Started


We really like Zotero because it boasts a huge number of useful features, integrates well with word processors, and it is free AND open source. It comes with a desktop app and a web interface and the vast majority of scholarly journals offer RIS exports, which is one of the formats that Zotero can handle.

Because Zotero is open source, there are many community-created plugins available, like ZotFile, which will help you manage your PDFs within Zotero.

Zotero | Your personal research assistant