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Managing Citations & Digital Files

Having an effective strategy to manage your research is essential. You can use a citation management tool to organize citations to sources, collect digital files such as full-text PDFs, and cite sources automatically when writing papers.

The library provides support for two citation managers: Zotero, a free open-source tool, and RefWorks, a subscription tool paid for by the university. Which one you use is a matter of personal preference. A few advantages for each are outlined below.


Why should you use Zotero?

  • It's free, so you'll be able to use it forever, even after you leave the university.
  • It saves your digital files to your computer and backs them up in the cloud.
  • It works seamlessly with Microsoft Word.
  • It can also be used with Google Docs, LibreOffice, LaTeX, and other text editors.
  • It automates a lot of processes, like attaching PDFs, that require extra steps in RefWorks.

Who can help you with Zotero?

  • Hilary Kraus, nursing & health librarian
  • Olivia Piepmeier, arts & humanities librarian


Why should you use RefWorks?

  • The university pays for access, and offers you free cloud storage for your digital files, such as full-text PDFs.
  • It's web-based, so it doesn't require a software installation and can be used from any computer.
  • It works with Microsoft Word.

To get started with RefWorks, and for many tips on how to use it, see the RefWorks link in the Citation Management drop-down menu in this guide.

Who can help you with RefWorks?

  • Hilary Kraus, nursing & health librarian