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Citation Managers

Refworks Announcement

SJSU Library will be transitioning away from the RefWorks citation tool effective January 1, 2023.  

The library is here to support your adoption of either Zotero or Paperpile, both powerful and flexible platforms.  Learn more about this transition, explore Zotero and Paperpile, and obtain assistance in migrating your citation database by exploring the left-hand menu in this guide. 

Have more questions or concerns? Email refworks-cancellation@sjsu.edu.

What is a Citation Manager?

Citation managers, such as Zotero, Paperpile, and RefWorks, are programs that allow the users to collect, organize, and cite sources. They also allow for collaboration and some provide the ability to store and annotate PDFs within the system.

Why should you use a citation manager? 
  • Organize sources using folders, tags, and even group libraries for collaboration with people across the world. 

  • Many have browser extensions or integration with library software to make it easy to collect items when you research so you don't forget about the paper you saw 10 pages ago. 
  • Many integrate with Google Docs and/or Microsoft Word to make it easy to cite sources while writing. 

Comparing Citation Managers

SJSU King Library supports RefWorks, PaperPile, and Zotero. Use the table below to compare features and choose the citation manager that will fit your needs.

Name

Zotero

PaperPile

RefWorks

Desktop or Web

Desktop, with online library and browser extension; app in beta

Web-based; Chrome-specific; app in beta

Web-based; integrated w/ OneSearch 

Cost

Free to everyone

Free to SJSU users

Free to SJSU users

Storage

300mb standard; can pay for more

unlimited; uses Google Drive

unlimited

Write’n’cite integration

Word, Google Docs, and LibreOffice

Google Docs only

Word, Google Docs

Citation Styles

9,000+

9,000+

4,000+


Compare all available citation managers here. 

Note: Chromebook users should choose a web-based citation manager.

Not Ready for Commitment? Try ZBib from Zotero!

ZoteroBib, or ZBib, is a free citation generator from Zotero. 

Tired of citation generators that are full of ads or ask for payment? Powered by the same technology behind Zotero, ZoteroBib lets you seamlessly add items from across the web — using Zotero’s unmatched metadata extraction abilities — and generate bibliographies in more than 9,000 citation styles. There’s no software to install or account to create, and it works on any device, including tablets and phones. Your bibliography is stored right on your device — in your browser’s local storage — unless you create a version to share or load elsewhere, so your data remains entirely under your control. (Source)