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Back To Uni: Reading List, Citation and Bibliography Management

Manage Your Reading and Citation Lists

Back To Uni: Reading List, Citation and Bibliography Management

Before you start your university or college year it’s likely that you’ll be given a list of books to read before you start in order to help you prepare yourself for your upcoming course(s). This list could be up to 40 books long so it’s important to be able to keep track of the books that you want to read (and have read).

Now, they’re not expecting you to read all of the books on the list – although you could if you wanted to! – but rather choose the books that you think will help you prepare the most for your courses, fill in any gaps you may have, or just spark a renewed interest in your chosen field. Keeping track of these books is quite important so you’re able to research prices, figure out which are the best books for you to read, or even come back to the list and read books at a later date.

In this post in the “Back To Uni” series we take a look at book management which comes in two forms: reading list management and citation/bibliography management. As well as keeping track of what you want to read, when writing academic papers it’s equally important to keep a note of your sources and research materials. This helps not only show that your article is well researched but, more importantly, stops you being accused of plagiarism.

Some of the resources listed below do have a cost associated with them which, as a student, may be an issue. There are some free resources below but it’s also worth checking with your university or college as they may have a deal with one of the software manufacturers so you may be eligible for free or discounted use.

If there’s a resource you use for your book reading, citation or bibliography management that I’ve missed out please let us know in the comments below.

Managing Your University Or College Reading List

  • Library Thing – A “Social Book Club” that enables you to track the books you have read and want to read through the use of collections and tags
    Price: Free
    Platform: Web
  • GoodReads – Another social book club where you can organise your books into shelves
    Price: Free
    Platform: Web
  • Googler Books – Google’s Books website has millions of complete books, chapters and much more so it makes a great research tool. You can also link it to your Google Account so you can manage your book and reading list through “shelves”
    Price: Free
    Platform: Web
  • Google Keep – You can set up checklists to keep track of your reading lists (see my Review of Google Keep here)
    Price: Free
    Platform: Web, Android, iOS (through third party apps)
  • Trello – Keep track of your reading lists with this app, with the ability to take notes and collaborate with others added in
    Price: Free for individuals
    Plaform: Web, Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Windows 8
  • Wunderlist – Create a list to keep track of your reading, you can also share this with others
    Price: Free (for individuals)
    Platforms: Windows 7/8/Phone, OSX 10.9, Android, iOS, Chromebook, Browser Extensions

    Update May 2020: Microsoft has shut down Wunderlist and moved everything over to Microsoft To-Do. You can find some alternatives to Wunderlist here
  • Spreadsheet – You could you something like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to keep track of everything you need to read.
  • Notebook – Why not go the paper-based route and write down your to-read list in a nice Moleskine?

Managing Your Online Reading Resources

  • Pocket – With this app you can save online articles to read later
    Price: Free
    Platform: Web, Android, iOS
  • Delicious – You can bookmark items to appear in your Delicious account and organise them with tags.
    Price: Free
    Platform: Web
  • CiteULike – Easily store online references
    Price: Free
    Platform: Web

Managing Citations And Bibliographies

  • Zotero – Manage your articles from your browser and hard drive with this app
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free (additional costs for extra storage)
    Platform: Windows, Mac, PC, Linux, Browser Extension (Firefox)
  • Evernote – Keep a track of your articles, notes, PDF downloads, images and other files.
    Generate Citation List: No
    Price: Free (additional costs for premium)
    Platform: Windows, Mac, PC, Browser Extension.
  • Citavi – Search resources, manage references and plan tasks
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free for 100 references
    Platform: Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10
  • BibSonomy – Social bookmarking system more geared towards scientific publications but you can add any text and collaborate.
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free
    Platform: Web, Browser Extension
  • BookEnds A robust bibliography and reference management tool
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free for 50 references
    Platform: OSX 10.7
  • Sente 6 – Collect your reference material, upload your attachments and sync online.
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free for 100 references and up to 250mb of attachments
    Platform: OSX 10.7, iOS
  • EndNote – Organise your research, search online reference databases and sync across devices
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: 30 day trial then $300 approx although student pricing is available.
    Platform: Windows XP/Vista/7/8, OSX 10.6+
  • RefME – Create citations, reference lists and bibliographies in a multitude of formats, scan book barcodes to add into RefMe or clip from your browser.
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free
    Platform: Google Chrome,Android, iOS
  • WizFolio – Store and share information in a citable format
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free for basic plan
    Platform: Web, iPad
  • Mendeley – Store, sync and annotate all of your research materials, then generate citations and bilbiographies
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free
    Platform: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, OSX 10.6+, Linux, iOS, Android
  • Biblioscape – Download citation-ready bilographic records from the web and manage them through this program
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free with Ad support and 2GB storage
    Platform: Windows, Web, Android
  • Qiqqa – Search and annotate PDFs and add tags to resources.
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free Trial, price from $79
    Platform: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
  • ProQuest Flow – Simple collection and collaboration with Word and Google Docs
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free Personal Plan with 2GB of space
    Platform: Web
  • JabRef – Free, open source reference manager. The interface may not be for all users though.
    Generate Citation List: Yes
    Price: Free
    Platform: Windows, OSX, Linux

Over To You

Do you have a favourite resource from the list above? Or maybe there’s one that I’ve missed, let us know in the comments.

About The Author
Katy is always trying to be more productive one day at a time! Whether it's analogue, digital, motivational or psychological who'll try any system that will help her get things done and get organised. As well as running, she also loves making music and reviewing things.
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