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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. In the Reader window you can annotate your PDFs by highlighting or underling in different colors and adding notes.

Get Papers:

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.

Importing and Exporting:

  • import PDFs and citations in a variety of formats, including Mendeley, BibTex, and RIS files.
  • citations can be exported to BibTex, Endnote, and as an RIS file (which can be opened with many citatation management programs, such as Zotero or Mendeley)
  • Papers 3 for Mac allows you to export your notes and highlights as a PDF, plain text, HTML, and RTF format. This feature is not yes available for the WIndows version of Papers.

Set up Papers to work more reliably from off-campus:

  • Open the Papers Settings
  • in the "Access" section, choose "MIT" from the drop down menu under the Library Proxy (EZProxy) heading








Insert Citations:

You can insert citations from Papers into Microsoft Word for Windows and Mac.

Searching for Articles:

  • You can search for articles in a variety of databases through Papers for Windows and Mac.
  • Trying to search Scopus through Papers? Contact us to get the Scopus account ID.  The Scopus "Document Download Manager" may not work with Papers.
  • If you have problems searching a database within Papers, you can search through a website outside of Papers, download PDFs, and import them into Papers.


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.