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Reference Management Software

Reference management software, or Citation Management software, is a an extremely useful tool for researchers, academics and authors to efficiently organise, store and cite references for their work. With reference management software, users can manually create or add sources directly from a web browser sessions, databases or saved papers, building up a database of sources that can be drawn upon when it comes to writing a paper.

There are numerous reference management tools available, both paid for and free to use. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular of these tools (according to our regular user base), which are also free to use.

Please note: The “Find Full Text” feature in EndNote is currently incompatible with OpenAthens authentication, meaning resources accessed through the NHS Wales e-Library will not support the “Find Full Text” functionality.

Free to use Reference Management Software


Mendeley is a user-friendly reference management tool that helps you collect, organise, cite, and share research. It automatically detects research as you browse, allowing you to add articles, preprints, news stories and books to your library. It also provides access to over 100 million cross-publisher articles.


Zotero offers features for generating bibliographies and real-time collaboration. Researchers can import references from databases, organise them into collections, and add notes and attachments.


EndNote Basic

EndNote Basic is widely used for managing references and citations. You can manually enter references, import from digital files, and organise them into folders.


For more information, or for help getting started with reference management software, contact your local library service Library Services - e-Library for Health (