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Citations/Bibliography/Style Manuals: Free Options

Library of the Health Sciences

Free Citation Management Software

There are many citation management programs available on the market, both free and subscription-based.  At the Library of the Health Sciences, we encourage our patrons to use RefWorks; we actually pay for your right to use the program.  However, you might prefer to use your own program.  Among the free software on the market, I recommend two of them: Zotero and Mendeley.

Click here for a comparison of free citation management programs (published in 2007).

EndNote Basic

A basic version of EndNote Web is available for free. Features include:

  • Save up to 50,000 references
  • 2 GB of cloud-based storage
  • 20 popular citation styles


Zotero is an easy way to collect, organize and share your citations with your peers.  In many ways, it is a hybrid of social networking websites and citation management software.  It is compatible with MS Word and Open Office.

Keep in mind that Zotero is an example of cloud-based computing, where your data is stored on their servers and not on your own computer.  If you'd rather maintain possession of your own data, you may want to consider purchasing EndNote.


Mendeley is similar to Zotero, in that it provides tools for collecting and organizing citations, as well as tools for connecting with other researchers.  One of the ways that it differs, though, is that Mendeley offers greater data storage in its basic (free) service.  With 1 GB of data storage, you can back up your articles and access them from anywhere you have internet access.

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Dawn Hackman's picture
Dawn Hackman
UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences
1301 N Columbia Rd Stop 9037
Grand Forks, ND 58203-9037
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