Wiki Bibliography Software Comparison

It is a common task that can become a struggle for scientists to collect, organise, and cite references. Several pieces of software have been made over the years to help us with those activities. If you know any please share them here with your comments on usability, features, and reliability.

Cross-platform bibliography solutions

  • Bibus - opensource bibliography manager similar to EndNote for RefMan (Mac, Win, Linux)
  • Zotero - Firefox extension to help collect, manage, and cite references
  • CiteULike - online bibliography management (see also Wikipedia entry on CiteULike)
  • Mendeley - Desktop (Win, Mac & Linux) and online social software for managing and sharing research papers. (Free)
  • RefFormer - online software for extraction of journal references from text

Reference software for the Mac

  • BibDesk (BibTex reference database w PubMed download, free)
  • Skim - PDF reader and annotation software (free)
  • Papers (bibliography software by MekenTosj, shareware)
  • Endnote was also ported to the Mac but has been more or less buggy during recent version history; also different library and search windows cause a lot of screen clutter
  • add your favorite here with a comment

Reference software for the PC

  • Endnote by Thomson Scientific (see wikipedia)
  • Reference Manager also by Thomson Scientific (see wikipedia)
  • Mendeley - Desktop application with web integration (Also available on Mac & Linux)
  • add your favorite here with a comment

Reference software on Linux/UNIX

  • LaTeX together with BibTeX
  • add your favorite here with a comment

See also

External links

Wikipedia related topics

External software comparison pages

  • very detailed comparison of Library Master, ProCite, EndNote, Reference Manager, Papyrus, Biblioscape, Bookends
  • comparison of Endnote, Endnote Web, Reference Manager, and RefWorks

Reference Manager was a commercial reference management software package sold by Thomson Reuters. It was the first commercial software of its kind, originally developed by Ernest Beutler and his son, Earl Beutler, in 1982 through their company Research Information Systems. Offered for the CP/M operating system, it was ported to DOS and then Microsoft Windows and later the Apple Macintosh. Sales were discontinued on December 31, 2015, support ended on December 31, 2016.


Reference Manager is most commonly used by people who want to share a central database of references and need to have multiple users adding and editing records at the same time. It is possible to specify for each user read-only or edit rights to the database. The competing package EndNote does not offer this functionality, but Citavi does.

Reference Manager offers different in-text citation templates for each reference type. It also allows the use of synonyms within a database. Reference Manager Web Publisher allows the publication of reference databases to an intranet or internet site. This allows anyone with a web browser to search and download references into their own bibliographic software. It includes the functionality to interact with the SOAP and WSDL standard services.


After abandoning the development of Reference Manager in 2008, Thomson Reuters discontinued its sale on December 31, 2015 to focus exclusively on EndNote.[1] In 2016, Thomson Reuters sold EndNote to Clarivate Analytics. EndNote X7 can import Reference Manager databases and convert Word documents formatted with Reference Manager into EndNote formatting. Reference Manager databases can also be imported into Citavi;[2] Reference Manager formatted Word documents are converted into the Citavi format. Citavi permits the installation of a database for teamwork locally, as is possible with Reference Manager, while EndNote's team function is cloud-based.

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