What is it about?

Reference or citation managers aid in capturing and managing citations and associated full text, tracking references and citing them properly in manuscripts, and creating bibliographies. With more features than ever, selecting the most appropriate reference manager can be overwhelming for users and librarians. One common situation in which librarians are asked for advice involves building shared libraries of references to support collaborative group work. This project developed a structured evaluation for comparison of several common citation managers and prototypical use cases to help match features with user needs, preferences, and workflows. As products evolve and needs change, is there a “perfect fit”?

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Why is it important?

This project developed a structured evaluation for comparison of several common citation managers (EndNote Basic and Desktop, F1000 Workspace, Mendeley), and prototypical use cases (public health graduate students, medical residents, research lab teams, and systematic review teams) to help match features with user needs, preferences, and workflows. As products evolve and needs change, is there a “perfect fit”?

Perspectives

Users and librarians need not become overwhelmed by the evolving choices in reference or citation managers. The creation and application of prototypical use cases and simple comparison charts can assist both users and librarians with this task. This article serves as an example of how to do this.

Barbara R Renner
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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This page is a summary of: Reference Managers that Support Collaborative Research: Dreaming of the Perfect Fit, Medical Reference Services Quarterly, July 2018, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/02763869.2018.1477706.
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