LIDA101 Citation management software

This is a general forum for discussions on citation management software. Feel free to post questions about your selected citation management tool. If you know the answer to any support questions, please help your peers by sharing suggestions and solutions.

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Its a good idea to double check the data fields of your item record when automatically populating your reference library from online pages you find on the web. Some websites may not implement metadata standards properly, consequently some fields in you library item may be missing, for example, author name or date of publication.

To save time later, its a good idea to check that all the relevant fields have been populated to avoid having to revisit the online source to find the information for missing fields.

My personal favourite for citation management software is Zotero.

It’s open source and works well on my Ubuntu operating system.


I agree with you Prof. Mackiwg. Zotero is a nice citation management tool. I am using Mendeley at present. It is also good.

It is interesting to see how higher education institutions still resist providing support to “other” citation software. In a recent workplace, we were only supposed to support EndNote. However, we had significant numbers of queries about both Zotero & Mendeley - luckily there was often good online support to direct students to find their own solutions to any problems arising.

Given recent revelations around personal data leaks from a popular proprietary social media site, universities will need to think carefully about “forcing” learners to adopt one proprietary service above another. I appreciate that the local support concerns are real given institutional capacity constraints - it is difficult to provide support for multiple services. That said, I believe learners should have freedom of choice regarding the services they choose to use and there are outstanding open source alternatives available in this space.


I agree. It means institutions have to re-focus on the skills involved in learning, not just the skills in learning a particular piece of software or technology or tool - the whole purpose of teaching “digital literacy” as a bigger concept, not just about learning digital skills :slight_smile:

I also believe that learners will become more vocal about their ability to choose, and to actively seek out alternatives without penalty.


Exactly! Now how do we get institutions implement your wisdom? :wink:

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I embed links to CiteLighter and Mendeley in my course guides for info lit / subject sessions. So far those have been useful and Mendeley works great with Microsoft Word - which is heavily used across many of our programs, especially the health care fields. I like that the learning curve for these is fairly small, with the exception of those folks who need overall help with technology.

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Hi @nashman - In your experience teaching info literacy how do you address the challenges associated with learners who don’t have the baseline tech skills to engage with the tools, notwithstanding a small / easy learning curve. Within the OERu context - a large number of learners fall into that category - so keen to think creatively about strategies to deal with this issue.

Sadly, we often don’t catch those folks until the come wandering in or reach out for help. There has been discussion about offering introductory classes to introduce tools and build on literacies for these and future folks. It is a matter of finding the staffing and getting the college on board, as this isn’t easily understood as being a basic need within the academic environment.

I also agree Zotero is user friendly

I’m using Zotero. I have some PDFs in my google drive I want to add to my Zotero library. When I open my pdf it is in adobe acrobat reader. The zotero icon doesn’t show and I’m wondering is there a way of adding the pdf (or citation) to Zotero? #lida101

Hi @ereynor

I don’t use proprietary software at all (haven’t done so for 20 years) so not the best person to advise on your platform.

I suspect that your operating system or browser is configured to open pdf files in Adobe Acrobat. Have you tried adding the reference manually through Zotero itself?

If that doesn’t work - try searching for “how to add pdf to Zotero”

Good luck and sorry I was not able to be of more help.

Many thanks for prompt reply! Will try again. I’m probably doing something wrong. Lucky you (no proprietary software in 20 years!).

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I am using Mendeley too as it nicely work with MS Word. and it is so convenient to use

Download mendeley, however I still do not know how to use it. Referencing is one part of writing papers I don’t enjoy. Some of us would like explainers in text or video, on how to use these tools.

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When writing a paper, I find that it always help to develop my reference list simultaneously with the in-text citations. Using Mendeley makes that exercise easier.

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start using it. i have no idea when i started it too.

Good Luck :slightly_smiling_face:

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Use your recently acquired search skills to source online resources on how to use Mendeley ;-).

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