Bibliography Management software organizes the citations that you collect while you are doing literature searches. Many have cloud-based storage and offer capabilities for reformatting your citations into the style of your choice. Some can connect to your stored citations while you are actually writing your paper, allowing you to pull citations into your paper as needed, and automatically reformat them to the citation style you need. Here's brief information on three software programs that the ISU Library supports.
There is no single bibliography management software that is objectively "better" than another. You will need to choose what makes sense for you. If you are collaborating with others, it will be good to use the same system.
The Library supports EndNote Basic (formerly called EndNote Web), Mendeley, and Zotero. We teach workshops on these tools during Fall and Spring semesters.
Regardless of what you choose, don't expect the software to be perfect. You will almost certainly need to clean up some citations or do tweaking at some point.
Here's a good (though somewhat dated) list that compares EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero, done by librarians at Barnard Library.
Note that it's no longer true that when you graduate and leave an institution, you will lose your EndNote Basic account. You will still have access to your account and be able to use it! So, that's no longer a reason to choose Mendeley or Zotero instead.
EndNote and EndNote Web are two different products produced by the same company.
Want to learn EndNote Basic? Plan to attend one of our EndNote Basic workshops! Check our Library Workshops guide for dates.
Want to learn Mendeley? Plan to attend one our Library workshops on Mendeley. Check our Library Workshops guide for information and dates.
Want to learn Zotero? Plan to attend one our Library workshops! Check our Library Workshops guide for information and dates.