On May 15, Nursing/Life Sciences and Instructional Services Librarian Barbara Quintiliano presented a 45-minute session on the benefits of citation management software at the Teaching-and-Learning-Strategies event, a day of information sharing organized by the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL).
Citation management software (also called reference management software) facilitates the collection and organization of references to all types of resources, whether scholarly articles, books, web pages, works of art or patents. These software products allow users to create and organize their own personal collection of references and then, with just a click or two, to format bibliographies according to any of the major documentation styles, such as MLA, APA and Chicago, or styles required by specific journals. Citation software will also work in conjunction with Microsoft Word to place footnotes or in-text citations as users type their papers.
Quintiliano demonstrated features of four popular citation management products, EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero and Mendeley. The first two are currently available to Villanova University students and faculty at no cost, and our Falvey Librarians provide instruction and support in their use. Zotero and Mendeley, two newer players in the field, have intriguing social web features that facilitate sharing and collaboration among researchers. While they can be downloaded for free, users must pay for additional storage as needed.