What tools are people using for reference management these days?

I was a long-time user of Papers3.app but it’s no longer being developed, and I’m not super optimistic about ReadCube.app, which came in to replace Papers3.

What are you using? Are you happy with it?

@ShanTan @tberta @runDRG @gcorder @esypek @liz @CandlerPaige

I have used Mendeley throughout grad school, but would love to look into alternatives now that that chapters is closed and I dont need the same citations anymore. Mendeley worked for what i needed, just saving sources and formatting citations for manuscripts and my thesis.

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Congratulations Dr @esypek

Yeah. Mendeley is functional but it always seemed clunky to me. Papers3 was great but no longer. I’ve heard good things about Zotero

I’m a big fan of Zotero! It works well with all of the other major citation managers, and that makes life a lot easier when it comes to writing papers across labs where not everyone has the same software. It doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles, but is still fantastic.

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Mendeley definitely has my vote. It is not perfect, but I like saving, reading, highlighting articles on different devices. I also like the creation of project dedicated folders, add and search by key words, add notes and share papers with my colleagues. Finally, it does a pretty good job in inserting and formatting citations and bibliography in Word.

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I’m a big fan of F1000, which is web-based.


  • chrome extension, google docs add-on, MS word plug-in
  • allows you to save and annotate references within chrome (and saves all notes in your homepage)
  • easy to share folders and references
  • lets you tag references by topic
  • will begin suggesting papers you may have missed based on previously saved references


  • subscription-based, so if no institutional subscription, have to pay monthly for full access ($5/month for students)
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All tools have their own pros and cons. A useful review in this regard: