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Reference managers

A bibliographic manager is software with which you can gather, store and organize your references, including pdf-files. You can insert citations and a bibliography in your Word document and change the references in almost any style, like APA or MLA. The reference manager allows you to search, sort and share your references. Leiden University provides a campus-wide subscription to EndNote, but besides EndNote, open source tools like Mendeley and Zotero can also be used.

What to choose?

Scientific disciplines vary in how references are written and consequently in how references are managed. Therefore, some reference managers may be preferred within your discipline. Using the same reference managers as your peers also makes sharing annotations possible. Other factors are personal preferences and work style. Choose a reference manager that adapts easily to your way of working and lets you establish an efficient workflow. Consult our comparison chart for specific features. For a more comprehensive comparison of reference management software see this Wikipedia article.

Learn more about EndNote and Mendeley in this tutorial. Teaching staff can request workshops information literacy.

EndNote is very suitable to organize your research and to adjust a style to your specific needs. Many of Leiden's research databases allow you to export citations into EndNote.

EndNote is available on all University-owned computers. Staff members can install EndNote on their computers via the Software Center. Please keep in mind when leaving the University, you have to buy the program yourself, or reconcile with loss of information when transferring your references to other software.

Sharing libraries and research collaborations
Users of EndNote can share libraries, references and annotations when creating an EndNote Online account. After syncing your EndNote library Endnote Online offers the possibility to collaborate and share.

Endnote can be accessed via Start – All Programs. Your EndNote libraries are also available on remote desktop.

Besides a desktop version EndNote offers two online EndNote products.

EndNote Online
This product is linked to the desktop version, but has less possibilities. EndNote Online can be used to synchronize references with EndNote desktop and vice versa. It also enables you to share references. Registration has to be done within the Leiden University Network with an e-mail address and a self-selected password.

EndNote Basic
This is a free, elementary online version of EndNote Program, accessible from any computer. EndNote Basic offers the most important styles. It is not linked to the desktop version but references from EndNote can be transferred to EndNote Basic. Sharing of references with others is possible.

Mendeley and Zotero are web-based open-source tools for managing citations, creating bibliographies and organizing PDFs. The software is free, additional storage can be purchased. They both are a desktop application combined with a web-based application. The programs include collaboration components that allows you to share citations with other researchers or students. 

An advantage of Mendeley is its ability to extract metadata from PDF files and facilitate social networking via Mendeley Web.

Zotero is available as Standalone (desktop application that integrates with Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Firefox). "Zotero for Firefox" has been replaced by "Zotero Connector for Firefox". Bibliographic data on webpages are added to your Zotero library by a location bar icon. The application can be downloaded via Zotero.

Sharing References and research collaboration
A very important aspect of both programmes is the ‘social network’ option. Users can add colleagues to see each other’s libraries and to share references. Mendeley enables users to show their references to a worldwide online  network. This feature turns Mendeley into a discovery tool.

Staff can access Mendeley desktop via Start – Control Panel – Programs – Advertised Programs. Students will find Mendeley Desktop  via Start > All Programs. Outside the University network you can download the Mendeley desktop via

Mendeley guide
Zotero user guide

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