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Using citation managers to help with the research and writing process

This guide introduces you to the utility of citation managers.

EndNote Basic (sometimes called EndNote Online Classic)

EndNote Basic is the free, more basic version of the EndNote 21 paid version.  There are two versions of EndNote Basic:

  1. The enhanced version available as past of the Web of Science database; or
  2. The base version through EndNote's website which has a limited number of citation style outputs

While it is another free option, there are limitations to be aware of:

  • If you are using EndNote Basic, the only option available is an online library (no desktop version). So if you want to work on writing your paper offline, you won't be able to.
  • If you are using EndNote Basic's base version that is not tied to the Web of Science database, you are limited to 21 citation styles and a few import filters.  While not a problem for most users, if you are a power user, and converting citations to specific journal citation styles, this will be problematic.
  • If you are using EndNote Basic's enhanced version that is tied to Web of Science database, you will get access to thousands of output styles and hundreds of import filters. However, because Web of Science is a licensed database that UVic Libraries subscribes to, once you graduate or no longer work at UVic, you lose access to this version, which again is problematic.

Library support for EndNote is limited.  If you are using this citation management tool, we provide the following links for EndNote support so that you can search their knowledge base of frequently asked questions, or submit a ticket for help:

EndNote 21 Desktop and EndNote Online

EndNote 21 is the most recent and robust version of EndNote which provides both a desktop and online version, and lots of document management features.  Because this is a paid product with financial implications, the library has limited capacity to support this tool.  Instead, we refer you to the support documentation available on EndNote's website, which includes a useful library of their live and recorded training:


Mendeley is another long-standing, freely available citation manager.  Originally developed by a group of PhD students it is now owned by Elsevier. In the past, we heard of interoperability issues identified by Mac users, and also difficulty transferring content to other citation managers given Mendeley's database encryption.

Over the years it has gone from being a predominantly desktop-based software to more web-based, and in September 2022 it re-launched as a solely a web-based tool (the desktop function is due to phase out).

Library support for Mendeley is limited, so instead we point you to Mendeley's support pages for assistance:

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