Best Reference Management Software

Reference management software aids students, research-oriented professionals, and anyone else sourcing others’ material with citing accurately and efficiently. These tools can be for one-time use, where users submit information and receive a full citation, or can act as a secure source repository for long-term projects. Reference management software can serve for more than academic purposes; business presentations or reports can all benefit from being adequately cited. The tool can connect large teams through cloud servers, providing full companies access to trusted resources and articles. Often, reference management tools can integrate with file storage and sharing or document creation tools, or with part of an internet browser. This allows users to save resources as they’re found in the moment instead of struggling to locate them later on. Common features of reference management software include advanced searching, reference libraries, and version history.

To qualify for inclusion in the Reference Management category, a product must:

  • Provide multiple options for citation format
  • Generate citations for various material such as books, websites, journals, etc.
  • Provide features that organize research and source information

Reference Management Software Grid® Overview

The best Reference Management Software products are determined by customer satisfaction (based on user reviews) and market presence (based on products’ scale, focus, and influence) and placed into four categories on the Grid®:
  • Products in the Leader quadrant are rated highly by G2 Crowd users and have substantial Market Presence scores. Leaders include: Mendeley, EndNote, and EasyBib.com
  • High Performers are highly rated by their users, but have not yet achieved the Market Presence of the Leaders. High Performers include: JabRef, Sorc'd, and Zotero
  • Contenders have significant Market Presence and resources, but have received below average user Satisfaction ratings or have not yet received a sufficient number of reviews to validate the solution. Contenders include: RefWorks
  • Niche solutions do not have the Market Presence of the Leaders. They may have been rated positively on customer Satisfaction, but have not yet received enough reviews to validate them. Niche products include: Citavi, Papers, and ReadCube
G2 Crowd Grid® for Reference Management
Leaders
High Performers
Contenders
Niche
Market Presence
Satisfaction
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    Reference Management reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

    EasyBib.com provides citation, note-taking and research tools. EasyBib offers free and premium services for individuals and institutions.


    Mendeley is a desktop and web program for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data and collaborating online.

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    Find, use and share research with EndNote. It's for more than bibliographies. Sync your EndNote library across your desktop, iPad and online. Work on your research from anywhere.


    RefWorks is an online research management, writing and collaboration tool that is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies.

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    Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

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    JabRef is an open source bibliography reference manager. The native file format used by JabRef is BibTeX, the standard LaTeX bibliography format.

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    Capture Anywhere, Use It Everywhere- Sorc’d provides the most efficient and effective way to save, share and apply snippets of relevant content, creating smarter, more productive teams, flourishing thought leaders, and individuals who discover something new every day. Sorc’d empowers content creators to build stronger content, faster through a cloud-powered knowledge database of digestible snippets of relevant content, substantially decreasing research time and giving users more time to focus on what matters. Sorc’d seamlessly integrates with numerous content creation systems, such as Microsoft Office ( Word, Powerpoint, Excel, & Outlook) and Google Docs/Sheets.

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    Papers Online is a web application, so you can sign in and view your publications. Share the latest publications within the team to collaborate on journal clubs, manuscripts and more.


    Citavi is a software program that helps you organize your research projects and manage your time. Keep track of all the sources you read and their contents. Analyze PDF articles with annotation tools, and save ideas for future projects. Create outlines for drafts and write reports, articles, or books – faster and more efficiently than you ever thought possible. Citavi is the only academic productivity tool this comprehensive and the only program that supports the entire research process. Try Citavi today at www.citavi.com


    ReadCube is a free reference management and research software for scientists.


    The revolutionary Microsoft Word integration displays your references and notes inside Word. Cite references by drag-and-drop and see the results instantly.

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    Reference Manager is the powerful bibliographic solution for workgroups, networks and collaborative projects. Search online databases, organize references easily, and watch your bibliography appear as you write.


    No-fuss reference management for the web. Sync your PDFs to Google Drive and cite your papers in Google Docs.


    citeulike is a free service for managing and discovering scholarly references


    A software built to discover, read, annotate, write and share scientific research.

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    Use BibDesk to edit and manage your bibliography. It will keep track of both the bibliographic information and the associated files or web links for you.

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    BibSonomy helps you to manage your publications and bookmarks, to collaborate with your colleagues and to find new interesting material for your research.

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    colwiz utilizes desktop, web and mobile technologies synced in real time, the platform allows managing of all aspects of the individual and collaborative research practices.


    Qiqqa's powerful research and knowledge management tools let you search for, record, share, and instantly recall the important information from thousands of your documents with ease.


    refbase can import and export references in various formats (including BibTeX, Endnote, RIS, PubMed, ISI Web of Science, CSA Illumina, RefWorks, MODS XML, OpenOffice, and MS Word). It can make formatted lists of citations in HTML, RTF, PDF, or LaTeX, and offers powerful searching, and RSS support.

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    RefDB is a reference database and bibliography tool for SGML, XML, and LaTeX/BibTeX documents.

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    Referencer is a GNOME application to organize documents or references, and ultimately generate a BibTeX bibliography file.

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    By using SciRef you can automatically download pdf-files from the supported services, link local files to citation record in SciRef, export pdf files from local storage to external drives or folders, automatically import RIS files with related pdfs, view pdf directly in SciRef window.

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    Sente is a full-featured reference manager for Macs, iPads and iPhones. It helps you build, organize and use very large research libraries so you will always be in control of your research literature.

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    WIKINDX is a free Virtual Research Environment (an online bibliographic and quotations/notes management and article authoring system) designed either for single use (on a variety of operating sytems) or multi-user collaborative use across the internet.

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    Aigaion is a php/mysql based multi-user system for managing annotated bibliographies. It allows the user(s) to order publications in a self-chosen (overlapping) topic structure, offers BibTex and RIS import and export and has an intuitive user interface.

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    This is a useful tool which provides a nice web interface to a list of publications stored in a BibTeX file.

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    Bibus is a bibliographic and reference management software. As with other such tools, Bibus allows one to search, edit, and sort bibliographic records. In addition, Bibus contains features that makes it unique among open source and even commercial bibliographic databases.

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    Bookends is a full-featured and cost-effective bibliography, reference, and information management system for students and professionals.

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    Docear ("dog-ear") is an academic literature suite integrating everything you need to search, organize and create academic literature into a single application.


    Pybliographer is a tool for managing bibliographic databases.

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    WizFolio is an online research collaboration tool for knowledge discovery. With WizFolio you can easily manage and share all types of information in a citation ready format including research papers, patents, documents, books, YouTube videos, web snippets and a lot more.


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