Research Support

The library continues to offer you research support - find out where and how to get help for your research or coursework

Expert help

  • Consult with the Campus Librarians
  • Start your research with our Research Guides - the research guides will help you quickly get started with your research by giving you a step-by-step access to categorized resources
  • Chat with a Library using our "Ask A Librarian" Service

Quick Help

Scholarly Writing Help

  • Citation and Writing Tools
Ask a Librarian

The Library supports Zotero and Mendeley because they are Open Source(s) - Use this matrix to help you decide which of the two tools is right for you, and after you have made a decision, download the tool of your choice and start using it.

Determine the best citation management tool to use (Zotero Vs Mendelay)






  • Simple download of records
  • Good for managing a variety of formats, including web pages
  • Lots of functionality in an open-source product.
  • Downloads records from several databases that don't work with other citation products.
  • Share citations and documents with others
  • Great for managing PDFs
  • Does a good job of pulling citation metadata from PDFs
  • Can share citations and documents with others


Desktop software and browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Limited functionality through website.

Desktop software and web-based. Browser add-on for IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.


Free with 300MB of back-up storage. Storage & group upgrades available for a fee. Open source. 

Download Zotero

Free with 2GB of web space. MIT users have access to enhanced storage and group upgrades. See our Mendeley guide for details.

Download Mendeley

Learning curve

Quick to learn; simple design, many online user guides and demos.

Quick to learn; simple interface

How does it work?

Zotero can tell when there is bibliographic information on a website and and icon shows in the browser's URL bar. Click the icon to add the item to your Zotero references. Zotero will automatically retrieve metadata for PDFs that are added.

Click the browser plugin icon to save bibliographic information from websites. Mendeley will automatically retrieve metadata for PDFs that are added.

What kinds of records can you import and organize (PDFs, images, etc.)?

Traditional formats (books, articles, patents), as well as web pages.

PDFs, web screenshots, and other file types can also be stored in the records.

Best with records for traditional formats (articles, books, etc.).

PDFs and other file types can also be stored in the records.

Can you search within PDFs

Yes. Make PDFs searchable by choosing to index them in the preferences menu.

Yes. Highlights the words you are searching for.

Are records in your library viewable by others?

Yes, if you choose to share them. You can set up individual and group profiles and share records.

Yes, if you choose to share them. You can set up individual and group profiles and share records.

Can you export records to other citation software?



Does it work with word processing software?

Yes. Works with Word, LibreOffice, and Google docs; also works with LaTeX through BibTeX

Yes. Works with Word and OpenOffice; also works with LaTeX through BibTeX.

Does it back up your records?

Yes, if you choose to back up or sync your Zotero library. A small amount of storage for attachments is free.

Yes. With an MIT account, 100GB of storage is free.

Can you annotate PDFs (highlight & make notes)?



Other important features

Can be used for collaborative work with groups.

Will automatically attach PDFs to records if you choose.

If you back up records, you can sync multiple computers.

Very good for collaborative work.

Will automatically attach PDFs to records if you choose.

If you back up records, you can sync multiple computers.

Does it have a mobile site or app?

Yes, a mobile site through There's also an app called ZotPad for iPhone/iPad

Yes, an app for iPhone/iPad

Link to vendor documentation




Download and direction manuals

S/N Tool How to... Tutorial(s)
1 Zotero Install and use Zotero Video 1
Video 1
2 Mendeley Use mendeley Video 1
3 JSTOR Use JSTOR Video 1


Citing sources and avoiding plagiarism

Follow the sources below to guide you on how best to cite your sources. The citation style you choose to use in your academic work will vary, most often depending on the discipline of the individual course. There are many different kinds of style guides but three of the most used are the American Psychological Association (APA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), and the Chicago Manual of Style. The links below are adapted from external but trusted sources.