University Library

Reference Management Overview

What do reference management programs offer?

Reference management programs can help you (depending on the program):

  • Clearly organize and sort your references from library catalogs and databases
  • Quickly and easily cite in your texts
  • Quickly and easily compile and export a bibliography
  • Format references in your preferred citation style
  • Easily coordinate work in teams
  • Create and organize notes, excerpts, and categories for your references

The University Library’s Knowledge Portal Primo supports downloading search results using the RIS format. This enables a convenient export of bibliographic data into common reference management programs.

Tutorials and Exercises

Video: Organizing literature efficiently

This video describes how reference management systems can help organize the literature research process.

Video by: Economics and Management Library

Duration: 3:27 min

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Video: From Citavi to Zotero - add citations automatically into your own text (German only)

Aufzeichnung der Coffee Lecture vom 11.03.2020 in der Zentralbibliothek der TU Berlin

Dauer: 32:01 min

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Citavi Tutorials and Exercises

Tutorials / General Information

Citavi in a Nutshell – Introduction video of Citavi

Campus Licence for Citavi  – Instructions and hints for TU members

Activation of Citavi Assistant – Add-In for Word (Windows or Mac) to add literature and citations from your cloud project (PDF, 501 KB) - German only

Reference Management with Citavi – Presentation by TU University Library (PDF, 154 KB) - German only

Citavi Support


Citavi exercises with solutions (PDF, 1 MB) - German only

Citavi and LaTeX

Citation with LaTeX and Citavi (PDF, 550 KB) - German only

Zotero Tutorials and Exercises

Tutorials / General Information

Reference Management with Zotero – Presentation by TU University Library (PDF, 700 KB) - German only

Screencast Tutorial

Zotero Documentation


Zotero exercises with solutions (PDF, 677 KB) - German only

Technical Instructions

Quick Start Guide

Zotero Plugins

Zotero for Mobile (Apps)

Recommended settings for Zotero for TU members (PDF, 535 KB, English version)


Software Comparison

Overview of Selected Reference Management Programs

SystemFeaturesRequirements for useCostCourses of the University Library
CitaviProgram: Local system (single user), projects: can be saved locally and in the cloud, easy to use, advanced features, easy integration into Word Focus: reference management, knowledge organizationWindows Use with Mac only possible via a virtual machine At least 1 GB RAM, 4 GB recommendedFull version free for TU members (Campus licence)Courses for beginners and advanced
ZoteroLocal (single user) and web-based, Easy to use, Different apps & tools via APIWindows, Mac, Linux Web: platform independentDesktop version: Free of charge, Web version: first 300MB of file storage free (PDFs etc.), additional free storage via tubCloudCourses for Zotero
EndNoteLocal (single user) and web-based, streamlined, relatively technical, Collaboration possible using Endnote OnlineWindows, Mac. Endnote Online/Basic: platform independentFull version: reduced price for TU units. Student price starting at 127 euros..
Endnote Basic: free of charge, advanced functions available to TU members
MendeleyLocal (single user) and web-based, Integrated reference management and academic network (with focus on the natural sciences), Different apps & tools via APIWindows, Mac, Linux. Web version: platform independentDesktop version: free of charge Web version: first 2 GB free 
JabRefLocal (single user) and web-based, Easy collaboration with different LaTeX editors, Allows you to keep track of what you read and assign ranking, relevance, and priority values, Collaboration only possible via a joint SQL databaseWindows, Mac, Linux Web version: platform independentFree of charge 

Courses and Advisory Services

© Philipp Arnoldt

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