5 Free Bibliography Manager Software For Windows

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This article covers 5 free bibliography manager software for Windows.

With these software, you can easily create and manage your reference library. You can create references for Article, Book, Statute, Report, Patent, Thesis, Web Page, Research Paper and many more. You can also import existing reference from various formats like BibTeX, BibLaTeX, COinS, CSV, CSL JSON, EndNote XML, Refer, MODS, RIS, etc.

Some of these software can also fetch information from various external databases over the internet. A few of them also support cloud sync, so that, you can access your database anywhere on any device. Some of them also have plugins for office suites and web browsers to easily fetch citation with a hassle. So, let’s discuss them one by one and see what they offer.

Also read: Manage Documents, Research Papers, Notes, Quotes with Docear

Here Are 5 Free Bibliography Manager Software:


bibliography manager software

JabRef is an open source bibliography manager software. With this software, you can easily manage and organize references for Study, Research, Book, Article, PhdThesis, Research Paper, Patent, etc. It uses BibTeX format for the references which is the standard LaTeX bibliography format.

In this software, you can create a BibTeX or BibLaTeX library, add new BibTeX entries and enter the reference data. You can also import reference data from text, HTML, XML, BibTeX, PDF, RIS, Refer, Medline, Scifinder, Sixpack, Jstor, OVID, CSA, ISI Web of Science and SilverPlatter file formats. JabRef also has a built-in tool for web search. You can search for reference in various databases and add them to your library. With this web search tool, you can easily fetch data from IEEEXplore, Google Scholar, GVK, Springer, arXiv, CiterseerX, and Medline.

JabRef has 9 different sections for reference data including a BibTeX source section. All these sections are dynamic; all the fields in these sections automatically adjust according to the type of BibTeX entry or category. It also offers other useful tools to manage and organize your library. You can search your library, apply filters, add tags, find duplicates, sync file links, check integrity and much more. All these features make JabRef one of the best free bibliography manager software.

You can download this bibliography manager software here.

Mendeley Desktop

free bibliography manager software

Mendeley Desktop is another free bibliography manager software for Windows. This software has a simple and clean user interface which makes it less confusing and easy to work with.

You can add a document in Mendeley Desktop and manage its references or, you can create a new entry manually. You can create reference entry for an Article, Book, Patent, Report, Statute, Television Broadcast, Thesis, Web Page, and working paper. If you want to import an existing reference file or library to your document, you can do that too. You can easily import reference data from BibTeX, EndNote XML, RIS, and Zotero Library. There is a “Watch Folder” option in this software which syncs the content of the selected folder(s) with your Mendeley library.

Apart from that, it also has other useful features to help you keep your library clean and well managed. It lets you mark your documents as Read, Unread, Reviewed, Favorite, etc. and eliminate the redundancy by checking duplicate entries. You can sort and manage your library by creating folders and groups. You can create a public or private group and add members for collaboration. This software saves your data in the cloud along with your local storage. This gives you access to your data anywhere on any platform. You can also install a plugin of Mendeley Desktop for LibreOffice and other office suites. This plugin automatically captures document metadata to make the citation easier.

Download this bibliography manager software here.


bibliography manager software

The next bibliography manager software on this list is Zotero. Zotero is an open source reference manager software that helps you collect and organize citations for various purpose. With this software, you can create and manage citation for Book, various types of Articles, Statute, Radio Broadcast, Video Recording, Blog Post, Email, Dictionary Entry, Computer Program, Map, Hearing, Report, Letter, Thesis, Patent, etc.

In Zotero, you can import reference data from BibTeX, RIS, Zotero PDF, Mendeley, and many other formats. And, you can export citation library in BibTeX, BibLaTeX, Bibliontology RDF, Bookmarks, COinS, CSV, CSL JSON, Endnote XML, MODS, Refer/BibIX, RIS, RefWorks Tagged, Simple Evernote export, TEI, Wikipedia Citation Templates, Unqualified Dublin Core RDF, and Zotero PDF formats.

Zotero has an “RTF Scan” feature that can automatically extract and reformat citations and insert a bibliography into RTF files. There is also a “Timeline” feature which creates a timeline of your work. You can edit this timeline, color code the highlights and print it to PDF if you want. You can also integrate Zotero with MS Office and LibreOffice simply by installing the respective plugins. There is a Zotero browser extension as well that can directly fetch citation data from your browser. It is available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.

Here is a link to download this bibliography manager software.


free bibliography manager software

Docear is another open source bibliography and reference manager software for Windows. This software has a unique way to organize reference data. Instead of following the usual way, it uses mind maps to store data. You can create a mind map which acts as a library and adds parent, child and sibling nodes to it. Then, you can add the reference on each node along with a name by a simple drag and drop from the reference tab. You can customize those nodes in any possible way; you can name them for quick reference, change their colors, add pictures and even add a summary node whenever needed. Furthermore, you can add a monitoring folder to sync the data of the selected project(s).

Docear has a reference section to keep all your reference in one place. You can import already existing reference files and create new references as well. With Docear, you can create following types of references: Book, Article, Inbook, Patent, Booklet, Periodical, Conference, Electronic, PhdThesis, Tech Report and many more. Once you complete a mind map, you can save it on your local disk as .mm(Mind Map) file or export it in various other formats like PDF, DOC, XML, HTML, SVG, JPEG, etc.

You can download this bibliography manager software here.


bibliography manager software

The next bibliography and reference management software on this list is Citavi. In this software, you can create reference project and add all the related references to create a bibliography. It lets you create references for various categories, like Article, Book, Journal, Conference Processing, Map, Lecture, Audio Book, Patent, Thesis and many more. In the references, you can add details such as title, author, table of content, abstract, links, cover art, quotations, electronic documents, locations, tasks, web pages, etc. Or, you can import existing references data from PDF, TXT, BibTeX, RIS, Excel, CSV, CalC, Refer and many other formats.

Another main highlight of this software is that it has a “Knowledge Organizer” where you can plan your tasks, set priority, and due dates. There is also an extension for various popular office suites (LibreOffice, MS Office, etc.) which lets you easily exchange citations between your office suite and Citavi. Citavi is available for free with a limitation that allows you to save up to 100 references only.

You can download this bibliography manager software here.

Wrap Up:

These are the 5 bibliography manager software for Windows. Teachers, students, researchers, etc. can use these software to organize their studies and research. With these software, you can easily manage references, import existing references and create new ones. This way, all your references will be well organized in your library and you can focus on your work.

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