Support in the use of reference management tools

Reference managers organize and create bibliographic references and work integrated with commercial databases, institutional repositories and the Cercabib of the UB CRAI.


Reference managers allow us to organize our research by creating a personal library with imported documents sorted into folders, online collaboration with other users, discovering the trending literature published in our discipline, adding notes to the documents included in the manager and create references and bibliography in a word processor according to the chosen citation style.


Zotero is an open code reference manager software developed by Corporation for Digital Scholarship (non-profit organization dedicated to software development and further complementary services aimet at researchers) and by their own users.
Zotero offers:
  • The free version offers 300 Mb (about 100 PDFs). Storage capacity can be increased by linking your account to a cloud service, such as OneDrive, for free. See the guides at the end of this block to know how to do it.
  • Collaborative research offering 3 types of groups: public without restrictions, public with restrictions and private, all without limit of members who can be part of it.
Working with Zotero:
  • Zotero works with a Desktop version, Zotero Desktop and a web, Zotero Web. Both versions are synchronizable with each other and work with navigation menus, icons, and right-click drop-down submenus.
  • Desktop version allows you to create and organize your collection of references and documents locally. Therefore, in order to keep it up to date, it is necessary to synchronize it periodically with the web account.
  • The web version syncs automatically.
  • Zotero synchronization also works at two levels: data and files. Data synchronization works with references, notes, links, and tags but not attachments. File synchronization does synchronize data and files.
  • Zotero offers a web plug-in, which is the button that allows you to capture references directly and import references and documents from databases or web pages automatically.
  • Downloading the desktop version gives you the ability to work by inserting quotes into your word processor. This plug-in creates a new, standalone Zotero tab in the processor menu.
  • It allows you to work with mobile devices and a variety of plug-ins.
User guides:


EndNote Online is a reference manager developed by Clarivate and integrated into the Web of Science platform. You have to register first for Web of Science, as your EndNote account is dependent upon Web of Science. 
EndNote Online offers:
  • Create an account in EndNote Online from the Web of Science database. In order to access the Web of Science, you need to activate the identification both in the Cercabib and E-Resources Access Service (SIRE). Once registered, we can access it directly from the database or from EndNote Online:
    • Up to 50.000 references and 2GB document storage capacity.
    • Collaborative research creating groups (up to 5,000) to share documents.
  • Export directly from Cercabib to EndNote Online to save references and documents.
  • Search Cercabib directly from EndNote Online to create folders with your searches and save references and documents.
Working with EndNote Online:
  • EndNote Online works with a web version.
  • With Cite While You Write™ plug-in and Microsoft Word to add citations to text documents immediatelly.
User guides:

Attention: From September 2022, Mendeley Desktop has became an obsolete tool because Elsevier is no longer doing maintenance, upgrades nor development tasks. If you are working with Mendeley Desktop, you will need to replace it with Mendeley Reference Manager. Further informationNotification in Mendeley blog.
Mendeley is a reference management software currently developed by Elsevier.
Mendeley offers:
  • Mendeley Institutional Edition benefits: activating first E-Resources Access Service (SIRE) and then, create an account in Mendeley  with any email account. Activating SIRE you can take more profit than having the Free* account: 
    • 100GB storage capacity to create a personal library -instead of 2GB of the free version-.
    • 100GB storage for research groups -instead of 100MB of the free version- (space capacity is subtracted from the account of the person creating the group).
    • Share your search by creating an unlimited number of groups to share documents: private up to 100 people -instead of 5 private groups of up to 25 members of the free version-.
  • Receive personalized article recommendations from your personal library via the Mendeley Suggest option. You must check this option in your account preferences.
  • Being part of the Universitat de Barcelona institutional group.
(*) If you have a Free account and want to transfer it to Mendeley Institutional Edition you must enable it by login into E-Resources Access Service (SIRE)  after entering Mendeley. The SIRE login is only required to create a new account, or for users who are  Free  and want to upgrade to  MIE. 
Working with Mendeley:
  • Mendeley works with a cloud version: Mendeley Reference Manager linked to a web account (Mendeley Web Library).
  • Mendeley Reference Manager is automatically synced with the web account.
  • The  Web Importer  (or  Save to Mendeley ). This is the button that needs to be installed in the browser's bookmarks for be able to import references and documents from databases or web pages automatically.
  • Reference Manager version works with Mendeley Cite, new MS Word extention.
User guides:

There are several in-text citation tools called citation generators. They are ephemeral citation tools (once inserted, the references remain only in the text document and are not saved in any application), without the need to create an account or install any software. They provide a citation or bibliography in different styles immediately. 

The most common shortcomings include errors in generating references because they do not systematically update the requirements of the corresponding style manuals; and in generating bibliographies because they do not order the references correctly following the alphabetical guidelines.
Those included in this list are compatible with the most comprehensive tools described on this page.
  • Cercabib Cite: save the document reference on the screen by clicking the quotes icon and paste it into the text document. & nbsp; Styles of citation: MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard. & nbsp; Export formats: Word, RIS and BibTeX. References to all types of documents. Check the help guide
  • BibGuru: search the citation in its own database (100 million journal articles and 30 million books). Citation styles: MLA, APA, Vancouver, Harvard, etc. Export formats: Word, RIS and BibTeX. References to all types of documents. Check help guide.
  • Cite this for me: the most popular for the large number of styles and formats that includes. It also works with a Chrome extension to generate referrals quickly. References to all types of documents. Check the help guide.
  • MyBib: suitable for beginners because it generates step-by-step references. Includes lots of styles and formats. It offers direct export to Mendeley, Zotero and Google Drive. Works with a Chrome extension. References to all types of documents. Check the blog What's new?.
  • Zoterobib: when you don't need all of Zotero's features. Includes lots of styles and formats. Direct export to Zotero. Consulta ZoteroBib FAQ