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Bibliographic management software (also called reference or citation management) allows students and researchers to keep a database of references to research sources like books, articles, dissertations, web pages, and much more. Advanced software also allows keeping the full-text of these sources as part of the database. 

Once you add a reference to the database, you can search these references, insert the citations in documents like research papers or theses, and format bibliographies using various citation styles like APA, MLA, or Chicago.

There are many bibliographic management packages available; the Virginia Tech Libraries support EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley, and ProQuest Flow.

Feature comparison

Criteria Zotero Mendeley Endnote ProQuest Flow
Download link free download free download Download through campus network or VPN (no download required)
Recommended use Short term assignments like research papers Collaborative research by graduate students and faculty, especially including non-Virginia Tech researchers Long term projects like theses and dissertations. Collaborative projects with researchers from other Flow institutions, and students who want to continue using Flow after graduation.
Cost free free free as long as you are a Virginia Tech student free
Storage capacity 300 MB free, can purchase more storage 2 GB unlimited 2GB
Web-based version yes yes EndNote Online yes
Citation styles 6751 6781 over 5000 over 6000
Attach documents to citations yes yes yes yes
Search across documents yes yes yes yes