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Useful Citation Management Tools: Home

Citation management tools

The MIT Libraries provide support for 3 citation management products: EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero.  However, there are many more products and tools that are available for free or purchase.  While we don't offer any support for these tools, they may be useful to you.

If you have experience with any of these tools and would like to share it, feel free to leave a comment in the box at the bottom of the page.  If you know of a tool we've missed that belongs on this list, please contact us and tell us about it.


Papers is a popular program that specializes in managing pdfs of scientific articles.  Within Papers, search major scientific article databases, including PubMed, IEEE Xplore, and Web of Science.  Papers will import the relevant metadata (author, journal title, etc.) for you.  Search for keywords in the pdfs, and store your notes with the pdf and citation information.

A free 30-day trial is available from the Papers website for Mac or PC.  Papers can be downloaded from the web for a fee, and students get a discount.  A Papers application for the iPhone is also available.

To set up Papers to work more reliably from off-campus, configure your settings by going into Papers Preferences, in the "Access" section.  Choose "MIT" as your library proxy, and add the following into the Library Website URL field:

Papers proxy preferences

You can export your Papers library to EndNote (via EndNote XML format), RefWorks, Zotero (via RIS format), or to BibTeX, and use one of those products to insert citations into your paper.  (After importing, make sure to check that the imported info is correct and complete!)

Trying to search Scopus through Papers? 

Scopus through Papers doesn't work well for many users, since the "Document Download Manager" in Scopus doesn't work with Papers.  If you want to try it yourself, contact us to get the Scopus account ID.  Scopus through Papers doesn't always work from off-campus, so if you're having problems with it, try using Scopus with the Papers browser bookmarklet, or try this: Search in Additional Repositories.  


JabRef is a reference manager that acts as an interface to the BibTeX style used by the LaTeX typesetting system.  JabRef is open source and is freely downloadable.  The graphical interface allows the user to easily import, edit, search, and group citations in the BibTeX format.  It also offers automatic key generation.  JabRef does not offer any citation styles of its own; instead the citation is generated from the BibTeX file by LaTeX.  Specifications for each style are given by the chosen style file.

JabRef can be used on Windows, Linux, and Mac.


WebNotes IconWebNotes is a research tool which allows users to highlight and annotate PDF documents and web pages, and save these annotations to an online account.  The documents and pages that are highlighted can be organized into folders for easy retrieval, and all annotations are searchable.  Users can generate reports of their annotations, to view what documents they have been viewing, what passages they have been highlighting, and what notes they have been taking.  WebNotes Academic is a subscription service which offers full functionality, while WebNotes Personal is a free service which offers limited functionality (no PDF annotation or report generation).  WebNotes, Inc. is an MIT startup company founded in 2007.