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Getting Started with Research at Shapiro Library

This guide discusses understanding information sources, formulating a topic and search phrase, where and how to search the library for information, how to evaluate sources, how to cite sources, and more.

​What is a Citation Management Tool?

A Citation Management Tool is software that allows you to store and organize citation information (e.g. title, author, publication date, etc.). Most also allow users to create a reference list, bibliography, or work cited page from the citations stored in the management tool and some even assist with in-text citations, creating annotated bibliographies, organizing research, and more. Most tools offer assistance with citing sources in a variety of styles like APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.

Please note that when working with citation management tools it's extremely important that the citation information stored in these tools is correct. For example, if a citation is exported to a citation management tool in all UPPER CASE LETTERS when that citation is output as a source on a reference list it will be listed in all UPPER CASE LETTERS. Typically, that type of detail is NOT corrected by the citation management tool, so users should always double check the citation information that they are entering into or exported to the citation management tool.

Benefits & Drawbacks

As with any tool, there are benefits and drawbacks to using citation management tools that you should consider:


  • Allows users to store and organize citation information, bibliographies, etc.
  • Allows for quick processing of bibliographies, in-text citations, etc.


  • May contain errors--users still need to proofread and correct citation information, bibliographies, etc.
  • May not include every citation style or up-to-date information

Examples of Citation Managers


RefWorks is an online research management, writing and collaboration tool that is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. You can access RefWorks on the A-Z Database List.

With RefWorks you can:

  • Gather references automatically from article databases and indexes while you research
  • Insert formatted references into your paper in a variety of styles (MLA, APA, Turabian, etc.)
  • Format your footnotes and bibliographies
  • Create a personal research database online 
  • Store and organize references that are accessible from any computer linked to the Internet
  • Search a wide variety of article databases and import references
  • Share references with others
  • Download and use Write-N-Cite

When accessing RefWorks from new users need to create a username and password (we suggest using the same username and password that is used for SNHU e-mail).  Please use your SNHU email to register.

An overview of features can be found on the RefWorks Help page. Questions about RefWorks can be directed to Instructional Support at  Instructional Support also has instructions on how to use RefWorks located on their RefWorks webpage.


EndNote is a subscription-based citation management tool that SNHU does not currently provide institutional access to. Support videos are available via the Atomic Learning database. EndNote Basic is a free, limited version of EndNote.

Additional support for Endnote is available online via the Endnote Support website.


Mendeley is a free research and reference manager which generations citations and bibliographies. It also allows users to save citations for access from any computer linked to the Internet. Create a free Mendeley account or sign in to your Mendeley account if you already have one.

More information about Mendeley is available here or visit the Mendeley help guides and Mendeley video tutorials for more assistance using this product.


Zotero is a free research and reference organizer that helps you collect and organize your research and cite your sources. It also allows users to save citations and bibliographies for access from any computer linked to the Internet. Create a free Zotero account or sign in to your Zotero account if you already have one.

More information about Zotero is available on the Zotero Website or visit the Zotero quick start guide and Zotero video tutorials for more assistance using this product.

Microsoft Word Citation Tools

If need assistance using Microsoft Word Citation Tools, check out the videos below from Hoonuit. Atomic Learning is available to all currently enrolled SNHU students, faculty, and staff--please log in with you mySNHU credentials.