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Reference Managers

Reference managers are software designed to:

  • Import citations from sources, such as article databases and information from the Internet
  • Automatically generate bibliographies based on the citation style you choose while you are writing (This could be citation style used in a discipline, such as APA or MLA, or a journal-specific style)
  • Share sources online, facilitate collaboration
  • Store, sort, and keep your references organized
  • Find and attach full-text to sources you identified with a single click

Endnote Online and RefWorks are available to the UH community for free. There are many others on the market and some of them are free.  In the next sections, you can find detailed access and training information, and a comparison chart of the pros and cons of commonly used software.

Different Reference Managing Software

Downloading EndNote Desktop
EndNote X9 is available for online purchase at UH Cougar Byte.  The cost is $89 to UH students. This guide provides detailed information about the software and how to use it.

Endnote Online is available to UH faculty and students for free

EndNote Online is the online component of the desktop version of EndNote. All UH students and faculty have access to EndNote online through UH's subscription to the Web of Knowledge database. You can sign up for an account at For verification purposes, you have to do this from a computer on the UH network, using your UH email address.

Endnote X9 and Endnote Online Comparison

Learning Endnote:

Ennote has an extensive training program.  This training page contains written instructions, online tutorials, and Webinar information. 

Special Note for EndNote Users on Full-Text Linking Feature:

Endnote could attach full-text documents, including the journal articles in UH Library's collection, to the citations in your library with a simple click. To make it work, you need to set it up in your EndNote Preference.  Here are the steps:

  • In EndNote, open Edit > Preferences click on Find Full Text.
  • In "OpenURL Path" enter:
  • In Authenticate with, endter:

RefWorks is a web-based citation management tool that is offered free of charge by the UH Libraries to all students, staff, and faculty. You can go the database A-Z list on the Library website to find RefWorks and create an account.  For more information, visit this guide for detailed instruction on gaining access, creating an account, and using it effectively.

Learning RefWorks: RefWorks Training Videos

Similar to Endnote, Mendeley contains its Mendeley Desktop and its online component. The software is free, and it provides the user with 2 GB of free web storage space. After that, prices range from $55/year for 5 GB to $165/year to unlimited storage.
Downloading Mendeley Desktop
To download Mendeley visit

Mendeley Web is the online component of Mendeley, allowing you to share your research with your academic social network through groups. 

Learning Mendeley: Mendeley offers helpful tutorials to guide using the software:

Zotero (pronounced "zoh-TAIR-oh") is another online tool that collects, manages, and cites research sources. It's easy to use, connects with your web browser to download sources, and best of all, it's free.


Zotero can be downloaded from the Zotero website. There's a different version for each operating system: Windows, Mac, or Linux. In addition to Firefox, Zotero can work Safari and Chrome.


Learning Zetero: Information on how to get started and use it effectively can be found on its support page.

Reference Managers Comparison