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Citation managers aid in the gathering and organizing of research materials. Generally they are software installed on your computer, but accessible online or from other computers if you create an account. Two commonly-used ones are EndNote and Zotero. Endnote is available through Emory, while Zotero is free.
Both are fairly straightforward and easy to use; which one works best for you may come down to personal preference.
Whichever software you are using for citation management, using the software can be broken down into three parts:
Once you have your preferred software set up, you can begin to gather your sources. You can do this manually by creating a new reference entry and filling out the fields, you can export citation data from most databases, or with Zotero and Endnote you can use their respective browser add-ons. While these add-ons will work with many sites, there are a few sources that are recommended:
Be sure to check your sources for accuracy after importing! While these add-ons will save you a lot of time, they may not import everything correctly. Check editors, translators, and other non-authors (such as author of an introduction or commentary) especially as these are often imported as authors.
Once you have your sources, you can begin to organize them how you want. This can be done through using multiple libraries, sub-libraries (Zotero), tags (Zotero), groups (EndNote), or ratings (EndNote).
If you create an online profile with whatever program you are using, you will be able to access and manage your library online and from multiple computers. Be aware that with EndNote storing the library file (.enz file) online in any form may corrupt the library; if you want to have access to your EndNote library on multiple computers, create and online account and use the "Sync" feature (under preferences).
Once your sources are in your library how you'd like, you can then use them in your document. There are two ways to do this.
First, you can manually export your citations. Simply select whichever entries you would like to export and select "Create Bibliography from Items" (Zotero) or "Copy Formatted" (EndNote). Note this will only create a bibliography; you will still need to manually cite each source in the paper.
Second, both Zotero and EndNote have built-in functionality with several word processors that enables you to cite sources from your library. See the following table for compatability:
|Word||LibreOffice||Apache OpenOffice||Google Docs|
This feature will appear as a tab on the top navigation bar. These work slightly differently for Zotero and EndNote:
[Note: the following steps assume you are using Word; other word processors may differ slightly in available options and wording]
EndNote is a program that makes it possible to collect and organize references in a database and instantly create properly formatted bibliographies.
Zotero helps you collect, manage, and cite research sources. Zotero allows you to attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations, organize them into collections for different projects, and create bibliographies using Word or Open Office.
To expedite the process of citation, Zotero has a browser add-on that allows you to import citation data from websites with just one click.
Also see the box below for the handout accompanying the library's Introduction to Zotero workshops.
If you can't make it to a Zotero Introduction workshop, you may still benefit from one of these handouts.