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Reference management

Managing your references

The reference management tools supported at Leeds Beckett (Zotero, Mendeley and Endnote) help you collect and organise your references and cite them in multiple styles in word processors. This page contains guides for each tool showing you how to install the software and build your library. All tools work across different platforms, and each web importer works on most browsers, however it is advised that you check the websites to confirm yours are supported. Choosing a reference management tool is a decision based on personal preference of specific features, or a need to use the same tool as colleagues. Below are some features of potential interest to different students:

  • Zotero is Open Source, with no financial interests in your usage. Endnote and Mendeley are owned by large publishing companies and are subject to product development which can result in changes to / loss of features.  
  • All three products work with Harvard, Zotero is the better product to use with OSCOLA. 
  • Endnote and Zotero allow for font size changes in the application, Mendeley does not. 
  • Zotero and Mendeley have folders, as well as searchable notes and tags to help you organise your collection, Endnote only uses folders and groups. It is important to consider the best way to use these organisational features before applying too many. 
  • Zotero takes a snapshot image of web pages, Endnote and Mendeley do not. 
  • Mendeley and Zotero have good built-in PDF viewers with highlight and searchable notes features. Endnote only stores PDFs. 
  • Endnote and Mendeley allow you to create a ‘Watch folder’, so any time you save a new pdf file to that location it will upload it to your library. 

If you are still unsure which tool is best for you, we suggest Zotero as the most straight forward of the three. If you want to change to another tool at any time, you can export your library. If you need further advice please contact your Academic Librarian.


Below are links to the websites to download the desktop versions and Leeds Beckett Guides for each reference manager:

Zotero Desktop

Mendeley Desktop

Endnote Desktop

Reference management FAQs


Book an appointment

Daily appointments are usually available (weekdays only) where you can get more help with Harvard or OSCOLA (Law) or APA (Psychology) referencing. Click on Get Help below to book an appointment, or you can ask via the Library's Contact Us page.