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PSYC 399.03 Comps Seminar Bridging Differences

Professor Sharon Akimoto, Fall 2020

What is a bibliographic management tool and why do I want it?

Bibliographic management tools are tools that help you organize, manage, and cite the sources that you've found during your research.  They can be great for so many things:

  • Keeping track of those articles you found.
  • Letting you search for a source that you've found by whatever criteria you'd like.
  • Keeping annotations and notes about those articles.
  • Allowing you to group articles by whatever you'd like.
  • Automatically creating citations and bibliographies in your preferred style (yes, that includes APA 6th)

How reference managers can help with synthesizing across literature

You can tag articles within Mendeley or Zotero and search your library for those tags. Some articles will come into your library with tags already attached that you can choose to leave or edit. Once you've brought in enough articles, you will begin to see patterns across your library of articles. You can use the words that come up the most often as keywords to search within databases, you can take a critical look and see what's missing and use that information to search for more, and you can see what kind of date coverage you have. Your topic may necessitate articles that were published in a variety of years and it will be easy with Mendeley or Zotero to see what years you may be missing.

Comparison of citation managers

Adapted from a table by University of Wisconsin Libraries, used here under a CC BY 4.0 license.





Add notes to references

Yes, in “notes” field

Yes, via “notes” tab in desktop version

Yes, notes can stand alone or be attached to references

Annotate PDFs



No, but will sync PDFs annotated with 3rd party software

Attachment limits

Max of 45 attachments per citation; no limit on file size or total cloud storage

No limit on attachments per citation;

Attachment file size limited to 250MB; total (free) attachment cloud storage limited to 2GB

No limit on attachments per citation;

no limit on file size; Sign up with Carleton email for unlimited storage space

Auto-complete data entry

Yes, for author(s), keyword(s), and journal title

Yes, for journal title, tags, keywords

Yes, for author(s), journal title, tags

Collaboration and sharing

Free sharing of citations and attachments with up to 100 EndNote users

Create public and private groups.

Automatic synchronization of collections among multiple computers.

One private group with 3 members is free, costs for larger groups.

Create public and private groups.

Automatic synchronization of collections among multiple computers


Free for Carleton students

Free; option to pay for additional cloud storage or additional private groups

Free; extra storage is paid for by Carleton. Sign up with your Carleton email.

Creates formatted bibliographies and in-text citations in a word processor




Direct export from online databases

Yes: Connections for download

Yes, via web importer

Yes, via web translators

Direct search of online databases

Yes: Connections for download

Can search the Mendeley database (papers in the libraries of other users)


Duplicate detection