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HSLS for School of Medicine: Organizing References

Citation Managers

A citation manager:

  • allows you to store reference information and PDFs in one place
  • helps you organize your research
  • plugs in to Word or Google Docs to create in-text citations and bibliographies
  • lets you share citations with others

Some have additional features, including PDF annotation, database searching, finding full text, and social networking.

Pitt provides access to two different citation managers: EndNote and F1000 Workspace. There are also free products like Mendeley or Zotero.


When you install EndNote on your computer you will create a library to store your references in. While the program is installed locally on your computer, you can create an online account and access your references from any computer with an internet connection.

To learn more about the software, watch one of these quick videos:

EndNote for PC Video

EndNote for Mac Video

Download the software through Pitt's Software Download Service

Collecting References

To get references into your EndNote account, you can search databases as you normally do. When you find an article you want to keep, look for an Export or Cite button. When you click it, it should give you an option to send the reference to your EndNote account.

Drag and drop your references into groups to file them. You can set up a smart group to file for you:

  • Go to Groups --> Create Smart Group
  • Select the parameters for your group
  • EndNote will file references already in your library that meet your criteria as well as any future references

You can even ask EndNote to find PDFs for you for the references in your library. Highlight the article(s) you want PDFs for, and then hit the "Find Full Text icon:

Find Full text icon in EndNote

Directions to set up your preferences to link with HSLS's subscriptions.

Annotating References

To add highlighting, notes, or other annotations, double click on the reference. It will open; from there click on the PDF logo.

You can use the toolbar to annotate. If you're not sure what the icons mean, you can hover over them in EndNote to see an explanation.

Annotation toolbar in EndNote

Citing References

Using the Word Plug-In, you can add and edit citations from EndNote in Word. EndNote creates a bibliography for you at the end of your document.

EndNote's Cite While You Write feature in Word

The dropdown Style menu makes it easy to switch between citation styles.



  • Customize citation styles, bibliographies
  • Find full text
  • Automatic filing
  • Attach/annotate PDFs
  • Don't need internet
  • Take the software with you when you leave Pitt
  • Can get help from HSLS: classesAsk a Librarianguide


  • Online account is a little clunky
  • Can be temperamental with Macs

To Consider

When choosing a citation manager, you might consider...

  • What citation manager does your mentor use?
  • How much storage do you need?
  • What happens after you leave Pitt?

And most importantly, which one do you like the best?

Tip: See the HSLS Comparison Chart to help you narrow your choices

Note: All of these citation managers are interoperable, so you can always switch to a different one.


F1000 Workspace

To use F1000 Workspace, go to the A-Z database list on the HSLS website and navigate to F1000 Workspace. F1000 is completely web-based and requires the creation of a free account.

F1000 Workspace home page

Browser Plug-In

F1000 collects reference information using a browser plug-in. You can click on the plug-in when you are on a page with a reference and it will prompt you to add the reference to your library. If you're on a PubMed search results page, you can select multiple references to add to your library.

F1000 plug in on PubMed results page

F1000 Workspace Library

You can view all your references at once, or organize them in private or shared projects. In the shared space you can post notes or upload a manuscript. In the dashboard, F1000 suggests articles for you to add to your library.

To make sure you take advantage of all the journals HSLS subscribes to, enter the library's proxy information in your account. That means that whenever you have access to a PDF, F1000 should attach it to the reference, or provide a link to the text. Click the dropdown next to your initials in the upper right corner of your library. Click on account, then proxy settings, and add in this link:

Proxy URL$@

Create Citations

You can insert citations and a bibliography as well as easily change your citation style in Word with the Word Plug-In.

You can search PubMed or Google Scholar directly from the tab, and either add articles to your library or cite them. You can also use Smart Citations to ask F1000 to suggest citations for parts of your manuscript. These suggestions aren't from your library, so don't forget to read the articles before you cite them!

Screenshot of the F1000 Word plug-in toolbar



  • Web-based
  • Easily collaborate
  • Word plug-in suggests citations, lets you search PubMed and Google Scholar
  • Annotate PDFs and web pages
  • App


  • Need internet access
  • Will need to pay for your account after you leave Pitt

Choosing a Citation Manager

Using a citation manager will really help with organizing your research and creating citations and bibliographies. Pick your citation manager before you start your research process and it will make life much easier.

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