Citation Management Software for Seminar Papers

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It’s that time in the semester when you have to start drafting seminar papers. Maybe you have already begun your research, or perhaps you are using your time over spring break to dig in. Either way, citation management software could help your research stay organized.

Citation management tools can help you organize your research beyond just creating folders on your computer. You can use these tools to take notes, annotate, tag issues, and create citations. The browser extensions help with quickly downloading resources. The Word plug-ins help with easily adding citations and creating bibliographies. Yes, Westlaw Edge, Lexis Advance, Bloomberg Law, and Cheetah have folder systems that users can take advantage of to help with organization; however, citation management tools like Medeley and Zotero may help you combine resources from multiple research platforms and allow you to sync your research across devices. You can also add other users to your libraries to help with group projects.

There are many different platforms available. UNC Libraries has information regarding 3 of these tools: Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote. EndNote is available for a reduced cost through UNC ITS’ Software Acquisition page. Mendeley and Zotero are available for free.

Mendeley , an Elsevier product, is available for free; however, members of the UNC community have upgraded accounts that include more storage. Mendeley also touts itself as an academic social network that enables users to connect with other researchers. After creating an account, users need to download Mendeley Desktop to have access to the citation aspect of the tool. The online account allows users to access their research folders anywhere they can access the internet and via a mobile app. The desktop platform allows users to organize resources into various research folders, add additional metadata to resources like tags, take notes on resources, highlight documents, etc. There is also a plug-in for Microsoft Word and LibreOffice that enables users to easily create citations and bibliographies. Bluebook is one of the available citation formats from which to select. However, double check the citation, just in case!

Zotero is a free, open source citation management tool available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Like Mendeley, users can create an online account and download the program. There are browser extensions for FireFox, Chrome, and Safari. The browser extension allows users to quickly import items into their research folders, capture metadata for  items, and take snapshots of web resources. Zotero also has plug-ins for Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs to create citations and bibliographies using a variety of citation formats, Bluebook included.


Posted by Allison Symulevich on Mon. March 11, 2019 4:23 PM
Categories: Uncategorized


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