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Systematic Reviews

Citation Management Tools

Citation Management

It can be difficult keeping track of dozens of references. Citation management tools help by saving all your references in a list that you can search, organize, and reformat in various citation styles. Try any of these free citation management tools.

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research.

Citation Management Tips

Once you have customized a search strategy for each database, you will then:

1. Run the search in each database.

2. Export the results as a BibTeX, RIS, or XML file and save those files.

3. Import those files into a citation management program (e.g., Mendeley, Zotero).


You will have multiple versions of the same article as a result of searching multiple databases and will need to de-duplicate the results before article screening. After you have conducted your searches and imported the results into your citation management software:

  • In Zotero, click on the "Duplicate Items" collection in your saved collection library. You can remove duplicates by merging the files. 
  • In Mendeley, select your folder of interest. Go to the Tools menu and select "Check for Duplicates". Select the details that you would like to keep from each of the documents. Click merge to create one entry containing the complete document details.

If you need support with using any of these tools contact a librarian!