Research Management Tools

February 2, 2008

This page provides annotated links to a collection of web-based services and software that will assist you in maintaining a personal database of bibliographic sources, whether books, articles, web sites, audio files, videos, or more. These tools will allow you to easily change the formatting style of the bibliography from one style to the next (for example, MLA to APA) as well as directly incorporate the in-text citations as you compose using word processing software.

The first group of research management tools are free to GW students and faculty. Because researchers often have different needs, an additional list of fee-based options is included at the end.

CAVEAT – Please keep in mind when working with these tools that as the writer and researcher, you are responsible for the accuracy of the results. Review the bibliography and in-text citations generated to make sure they accurately adhere to the desired formatting style.



This research management tool is now free for all GW students and faculty. RefWorks is designed to aid in gathering, managing, storing and publishing information. Users can generate personal databases for research projects and format bibliographies and manuscripts instantly. It easily imports references from databases and with the add on of Ref Grab It, allows you to capture data from webpages.   An additional add on for Word – Write N’ Cite – allows you to easily place citations into your papers.  For more information on using RefWorks at GW, go to


Zotero is a free, browser-based research platform under development at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. A Firefox 2.0 Add-on (this means it only works with Firefox, not IE or any other browser), Zotero provides users the means to seamlessly capture, read, annotate, organize, aggregate, share, analyze, build upon, and cite their sources (whether bibliography or full-text articles). Designed as a scholarly workbench for the new networked information landscape, it combines features from existing reference management systems with the open knowledge communities increasingly characteristic of Web 2.0. To get started with Zotero, watch the demo video


  • Automatic capture of citation information from web pages, library catalogs, online databases, and digital archives
  • Storage of PDFs, files, images, links, and whole web pages
  • Ability to annotate and highlight archived web pages
  • Flexible notetaking with autosave
  • Fast, as-you-type search through your materials
  • Playlist-like library organization, including saved searches and tags
  • Citation formatting and bibliography creation
  • Integration with Microsoft Word and other applications and web tools
  • Free and open source

Bedford Bibliographer [WEB-BASED APPLICATION]

This is a FREE and simple-to-use web-based application for generating bibliographies. The service does require registration to set up a password, but registration only requires filling out a few fields and providing a password. The tool’s design makes it intuitive to use, but there is a help feature and user tutorials for added instruction. Though free and well designed, it offers only a select group of citation formats: Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), Council of Science Editors (CSE), and two forms of Chicago (Notes-and-Bibliography and Author-Date). Also, it only generates a bibliography and does not assist in incorporating the corresponding in-text citations.

Fee-based tools


EndNote software is bibliographic management software that aids in building, maintaining, and publishing bibliographies. It allows you to search bibliographic databases and drag and drop the references directly into the software. Includes “cite while you write” functionality with 2,300 bibliographic styles and built-in manuscript templates.

Price: $99.95 with student discount at

NOTE: Gelman has online EndNote tutorials available at


This online bibliography making tools is popular with secondary schools (i.e. middle and high schools) because of its ease of use and free MLA-only option. To get access to APA, one needs to subscribe.

Price: Individual subscription is $8 per year.