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Clinical and Research Support

Reference management software

Note. The Health Sciences Library does not provide access to any reference management software.

As systematic reviews aim to be comprehensive they frequently involve reviewing and managing large numbers of articles. Reference management software such as Endnote, Papers or Mendeley  make this task much easier by:

  • keeping all your references together allowing you to create a personal library
  • organise your references by project, database, etc
  • store PDF's, images or links with your references
  • search for full text of articles
  • insert citations while writing using Cite-while-you-write plug-in.
  • automatically generate reference lists/bibliography.
  • easily change reference or bibliography style
  • most databases export citations directly into reference management programs. Using this with other features allows you to produce reports with virtually no manual handling of individual references.

Endnote is widely used and considered by many to be a standard tool. Prices are available at the Endnote website.

You may have access through any university affiliation. Alternatively you may choose to purchase these programs directly.

Mendeley is also widely used and is free.

Refworks is available free via the Clinicians Health Channel to staff of participating institutions (includes Melbourne Health, RWH and PMCC).

This Wikipedia page shows a comparison of available software .


These programs are not always intuitive and can take some time to learn, however the effort is worth it in time saved. There is a lot of online support available, especially on YouTube.

The library runs Endnote training sessions - see the Training @ the Library webpage.