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Scholarly Research Process Outline: Citation and Document Management

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Citation and Document Management


New personal knowledge management (PKM) software allows researchers to capture citations (and in some cases actual text or raw data), annotate records, search these records, and utilize this information to generate references and footnotes within word processors. 

  • Zotero provides amazing free PKM capabilities (i.e. journal article capture, annotation, and searching; web page capture and searching; creation of embedded references and bibliographies within word processors; sharing of materials, etc.). View a brief tutorial on Zotero.
  • Mendeley is another tool that allows researchers to capture citations and share them within their own online communities. Mendeley does not handle as many types of multimedia materials as Zotero.
  • Evernote is note-taking software in the cloud, with options for private and shared notebooks. Users can take text notes and photos, and upload files to attach them to notes. Evernote has built-in OCR for images with printed or handwritten text. A premium account allows access to notebooks offline, as well as more storage and embedded PDF search. Evernote does not generate reports and bibliographies as do the two tools mentioned above.
  • Avidnote is note-taking tool for researchers. The tool allows you to easily write and organize research papers. 
  • You can capture and highlight web pages for later retrieval using Diigo. Diigo allows you to share links and browse links from others with similar interests.  Diigo also allows you to create special interest group spaces to share and comment upon interesting links.


Other information about writing styles for specific disciplines, citation rules, and document management can be found at Citation-Style Guides.

Popcorn Maker is a software product that allows one to capture, edit and mash various types of web-based multi-media materials.

DiRT - Digital Research Tools Wiki - portal to help scholars (particularly in the humanities and social sciences) is a platform that allows researchers to record and share their reproducible methodologies

Contact your subject librarian for additional information about these tools and techniques.

In addition to the type of PKM tools mentioned above, there are other tools designed specifically for the capture of raw data. See the Tab labeled "Handling Information and Data" for additional details.

Subject Guide

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John M. McDonald
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