Citation Managers

Who can I contact for help?

For questions about a particular citation manager, contact the following librarians:

For questions about the RefWorks transition or citation management in general, contact Sarah Maximiek

RefWorks Transition

Binghamton University Libraries’ subscription to RefWorks will expire at the end of December 2019 and will not be renewed. We have carefully reviewed the pros and cons of the Libraries’ RefWorks license and have concluded that the high cost of the annual subscription can no longer be justified when there are other free or low-cost citation management programs available that are as good or better than RefWorks.

This FAQ page is designed to help you in planning for the RefWorks transition. Feel free to contact us with any questions you have that are not addressed here.

I am a RefWorks user. What software should I use instead?

Binghamton University Libraries provide support for three other bibliographic/citation management systems: Zotero, Mendeley and EndNote Basic. All three offer the same basic set of functions as RefWorks, although each has its own strengths.

  • Zotero is a free, open-source citation manager that can be used online or through the desktop program. Zotero has a robust user community and tends to be more popular in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Mendeley is a free, web-based citation manager that can be used online or through the desktop program. Mendeley tends to be more popular in the sciences.
  • EndNote Basic is a free, simplified version of EndNote that is only available online.

For a detailed comparison of these tools, see the Libraries' citation management guide.

How can I learn more about selecting and using a new citation manager?

On the Libraries’ citation management guide, you’ll find pages for each of the citation managers we support. Those pages include information about getting started, links to detailed documentation, and librarians to contact for more help.

How do I transfer my RefWorks library to a new citation manager?

When I switch to a new citation manager, will I be able to access my references from any computer?

Yes. Zotero and Mendeley offer both a desktop version and an online account where you can store references, and to which you can sync the data you have saved in the desktop version. EndNote Basic can only be used online.

What if a database or Find It! doesn't include a direct export option for my new citation manager?

With very few exceptions, every database that exports to RefWorks will also export to these other programs. Most databases that offer automatic export to RefWorks also provide the same type of direct export to EndNote. Mendeley and Zotero have browser-based import functions that allow you to import from your database of interest. Many databases also provide the option of direct export in RIS format.

For more details about exporting to a particular citation manager, see the appropriate page of this guide.

How well do citation managers handle different character sets?

While this was once a problem, all three of the alternative citation managers supported by the Libraries now do a very smooth job of downloading and handling any Unicode-based data. For a full list of the scripts or character sets this includes, see

Will alumni also lose access to RefWorks?

Yes, when Binghamton's RefWorks subscription ends on December 31, 2019, alumni access will no longer be available.

Can I sign up and pay for an individual account with RefWorks?

No, RefWorks does not offer individual accounts.