Skip to main content

Clinical and Research Support

Reference management software

Systematic reviews involves reviewing and managing large numbers of articles. Reference managers such as Endnote, Papers, Zotero or Mendeley  make this task much easier by:

  • exporting references from database straight into your reference manager
  • inserting citations while writing using Word plug-ins.
  • automatically generate reference lists/bibliography.

This allows you write your review with virtually no 'manual handling' of individual references. 

Reference managers also;

  • 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
  • easily change reference or bibliography style


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 and Zotero are also widely used, effective and are 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.

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