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Research Guides@Tufts

NUTR 369: Systematic Reviews

Citation Management and Systematic Reviews

  • The nature of systematic searching is that you will find thousands of articles that you will need to manage
  • Systematic Review guidelines require you to track what you find from a search, what you discard & why, as well as what articles you keep
  • Citation management software is practically required in order to effectively accomplish these tasks
  • By creating folders, subfolders, and appropriate and clear naming rules, citation management software will keep you organized throughout the SR process

Citation Management Programs

Why Use Software?

Citation management programs are time-saving tools that allow you to:

  • Create libraries of citations that have been directly exported from databases or entered by hand
  • Organize citations into folders and subfolders
  • Upload and store PDF documents with their citations
  • Insert citations into word processing documents and format bibliographies in a variety of styles


Citation Management Programs

There are many popular citation management programs to choose from. The Boston campus officially supports this program:

  • EndNote (you must  have it installed on personal computers at the IT Service Desk on MED ED 5)

Tisch Library has a nice LibGuide explaining different citation styles and management tools HERE.

But another free program gaining in populartiy is Mendeley.

All of the programs allow you to create and organize a database of citations; as well as format in-text citations and reference lists into standard citation styles such as APA, MLA and JAMA.



Mendeley is a citation management program that is free to users. There are a minimum number of groups you can create and join on free accounts, but the program provides full functionality to paying and non-paying customers otherwise.

Mendeley is a good option for those who need a more robust platform than RefWorks, but can't afford, or are too intimidated, by EndNote. 

You can download a desktop version to manage on your personal computer, but it also provides access to a web interface that syncs to your desktop application. Thus, you can manage, organize and store your citations and pdfs no matter where you are. The desktop version will even crawl your PC to find pdfs and create citations for them in Mendeley.

A plugin for Microsoft Word, Open Office and other document programs allows you to create formatted citations and bibliographies.

  • System/Browser Support: Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Distinctive Features: In addition to citation management, Mendeley provides social networking opportunities with like-minded researchers, tracks trends, and intergrates with Word, Open Office, Google Docs, and BibTex.


Watch the following ~15min tutorial on setting up a new account and importing references.

Mendeley Basics from Tufts HHSL on Vimeo.