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Citation Guide

This guide presents information and resources on APA, MLA, and Chicago styles as well as guidance on citation management programs.

Citation management programs, or citation managers, allow you to automatically store and easily organize your citations, create bibliographies formatted in major citation styles, and even create in-text citations using plugins for word processors like Microsoft Word. This page introduces some of the most popular, freely available citation managers.

Citation Manager Options & Accompanying Guides

Zotero logo

Mendeley Logo

EndNote logo

  • EndNote Basic
  • EndNote 20
    • The more robust version of EndNote available at a cost
    • Discounted price available for FSU users 
      Go to the FSU ITS Software Store > click on Personal Orders > check the box to agree to the Third Party Release > type EndNote into the search box > select the EndNote purchase option that suits your needs
    • Check out the EndNote Website or the Charlotte Edwards Maguire Medical Library EndNote Subject Guide to learn more about this tool

Comparison of Features & Capacities of FSU-Supported Citation Management Programs




EndNote Basic

EndNote 20


Desktop application (no Firefox) or browser extension (Firefox). Web version provides limited functionality.

Web-based -- must install bookmark into browser toolbar for full functionality -- or mobile applications. 


Web browser or mobile applications. 


Up to 300MB is FREE to all. Additional storage is available for purchase.

Up to 2GB is FREE to all. Additional storage is available for purchase.

Save up to 50,000 references & 2GB of attachments FREE for FSU community.

Unlimited storage. EndNote 20 pricing begins at $114.39. Educational discounts may be available.

Adding References

  • 1-click exporting available within browser address bar if software is installed
  • Add by identifier (ISBN, DOI, etc.)
  • Import from other citation management programs
  • References must be added manually in web version
  • 1-click exporting available within browser toolbar after bookmark is installed
  • References can also be added manually
  • Drag-and-drop to upload from computer
  • Import from other citation management programs
  • 1-click exporting available from FSU catalog & 9 databases
  • References can also be added manually
  • 1-click exporting available from FSU catalog & 500+ databases
  • Upload files from your computer

Attaching Files

  • File synching feature
  • Zotero's button in browser's bar (if software is has been installed)
  • Right-clicking on link when in Zotero for Firefox
  • Uploading from computer via drag-and-drop
  • Clicking the "New Item" icon in Zotero
  • Direct through Mendeley Web Importer (can be installed in Google Chrome as a plugin/bookmarklet)
  • Mendeley Suggest
  • Watch Folder
  • Drag-and-drop feature
  • Upload from computer
  • Content must be attached manually.
  • Use "Find Full Text" function to attach automatically (authenticate through FSU for subscription items)
  • Attach manually -- upload from computer

Attachable File Formats

Wide variety, including multimedia files such as PDFs

Wide variety, including multimedia files such as PDFs

Wide variety, including multimedia files such as PDFs

Wide variety, including PDFs, figures, Word documents, and Excel files -- up to 45 files per reference


References can be organized into collections and sub-collections, and tagged.

References can be organized into folders and subfolders, and tagged.

References can be organized into groups.

References can be organized into groups, smart groups (based on search criteria), group sets, combined groups, and sorted/tagged by various criteria.

Citation Styles

13 with installation, 8000+ available for upload from Zotero Style Repository

14 with installation, with almost 7000 available for upload




Groups with public or private access are available in both versions for unlimited sharing.

References can be shared through public or invite-only groups, on social networks, and in collaboration news feeds. 

References & groups can be shared via email.

Full library sharing with 100 users, private group sharing, and Shared Library Activity Feed.


Collaborators can be invited to read or edit collections or files through groups. 

Private groups, public groups, social networks, and collaboration news feeds. 

When sharing, the group owner can choose to allow read only or read & write access.

Share libraries & attachments with up to 100 people to use & edit simultaneously.

Browser Compatibility

Firefox (in-browser or stand-alone) Safari, Chrome, or Opera (stand-alone only)

IE, Safari, Firefox, Chrome

IE, Safari, Firefox, Chrome

IE 8.x or later, Firefox 27 or later, Safari 5.0 or later, Chrome 31 or later


Import, store, and cite in any language. Experimental version allows metadata in multiple languages

English only

English, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, Portuguese, Spanish

English only


Not available, but one can tag and add notes to a citation. 

Mendeley's PDF reader has annotating features such as highlighting, commenting, and adding notes. 

Not available in EndNote Basic

Annotate, highlight PDFs.

Mobile options

Third-party apps (BrowZine, BibUp, Zandy, etc.) provide limited functionality. Mobile version of Zotero is accessible. 

Free apps available for iOS and Android.

Free iPad app available

Free iPad app & mobile site.

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