Universität Bonn

University and State Library

Reference Management

Writing a term paper or even your thesis and wondering how to keep a handle on all the literature you have consulted, order your work, record your thoughts and notes in a structured way, make a collection of key passages and quotes, create a complete and correct bibliography, etc. etc.? Then you will need some reference management software!

What can reference management software do?

Reference management software offers a whole range of features that make it easier to organize academic literature and write your own texts:

  • Collect and manage your selected literature
  • Organize and access your stored entries, e.g. by creating personal notes, saving quotes and automatically generating a bibliography
  • Import references, abstracts and full texts straight from a website, search engine or database
  • Store references, abstracts and whole articles (full texts)
  • Select suitable citation styles (and potentially also download additional citation styles that do not come pre-installed): your footnotes and bibliography are created in the correct format right from the start
  • Integrate your work into word processing systems
  • Get help with writing your own academic publications
© colourbox.de, ID: 53954082

Available reference management software

Citavi is a software package for Windows that requires a license. As a member of the University, you can use our campus-wide license easily and free of charge.

New: Citavi Web! You can work anywhere you can get onto the Internet—on any operating system, whether it’s Mac OS, Windows or Linux. All you need is an up-to-date browser.

This means that the tried-and-tested features of Citavi for Windows—managing, annotating and structuring references and planning tasks—are available online too.

Citavi’s strengths lie in its extra features for organizing knowledge as well as planning and monitoring work steps.

Interested in our regular training sessions for beginners and users with some prior knowledge of Citavi, which are also offered in English? Then you will find the dates under Training and tutorials.

Individual sessions can be arranged for groups of five or more.

Target group: students at an advanced stage of their degree program as well as doctoral students

As an alternative to the various commercial products that are available, there are also free software packages that provide a very extensive range of options for reference management. One of the best-known is Zotero.

Zotero is a free, open-source reference management application that runs on various operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux). One key element of this system is the “Zotero Connector” browser extension, which enables you to save content from the Internet to your own Zotero library quickly and easily. Zotero also comes with all the basic functionality that you would expect from this kind of software.

Although training on Zotero is not offered on a regular basis, it can be arranged for groups of five or more. Training for departments and institutes can also be held on site if a projector and Internet connection or University of Bonn Wi-Fi is available. Please e-mail schulung@ulb.uni-bonn.de to arrange a session.

Target group: students at an advanced stage of their degree program as well as doctoral students and researchers

EndNote boasts strong search and import features for key databases from the fields of medicine and natural sciences and is extremely easy to integrate into MS Word. It comes with a wide range of citation styles and document templates for publication in periodicals.

There is no campus license for EndNote. Institutes and departments at the University of Bonn can order the software directly via University IT at the University of Bonn.

University of Bonn students can purchase it directly from the provider using the Alfasoft online shop.

Training on this software can be arranged at the USL if there is sufficient interest (groups of five or more).

JabRef is free, open-source reference management software that makes use of the BibTeX format. It is particularly suitable for users of Linus and LaTeX.

You can also find more information on these and other reference management software packages in the reference management wiki (in German).

Citavi at the USL

There is a campus license for Citavi. Members of the University of Bonn can download the software for free. Citavi’s strengths lie in its extra features for organizing knowledge as well as planning and monitoring work steps. We provide training for both beginners and advanced users.



If you have any questions or are interested in individual group trainings, please contact schulung@ulb.uni-bonn.de.

Wird geladen