VCU Libraries

Research Guides

How to Conduct a Literature Review (Health Sciences)

Overview of how to get started writing a health sciences literature review.

What is Reference Management?

Reference management is when you use specific tools to help you organize the references you find during a lit review search.  On this page, we will present some video tutorials to get you started, a comparison chart of features from some popular reference managers, and questions to help you decide which one will work for you.

RefWorks Logo

RefWorks is made freely available to VCU faculty, staff, and students.  The company provides some helpful YouTube tutorials for using the product and VCU-specific information can be found on the RefWorks research guide.

EndNote Logo

EndNote is a popular reference management tool not available through VCU; if interested in using it, try EndNote Basic first to see if it's a good choice.  The company has great training materials on their EndNote Training channel.

Mendeley logo

Mendeley is both a reference manager and an academic social network.  A free account will provide you with 2GB of online storage; additional storage may be purchased for your account.  All you ever wanted to know about Mendeley can be found with their helpful online guides or by watching the Mendeley training videos.

Zotero logo

Zotero was developed initially at George Mason University and has gained popularity as a flexible reference manager.   All the information for learning Zotero is provided through their online documentation or their screencast tutorials.

 

Comparing Reference Managers

EndNote RefWorks Mendeley Zotero
Cost EndNote Basic is free; Academic pricing for full version Free to VCU faculty, staff, and students Free (Premium upgrades available) Free (Premium upgrades available)
Access Full -- Desktop; Basic -- EndNote Web Web Full -- Desktop; Basic -- Mendeley Web Full -- Desktop; Basic; Zotero Web
Major Reference Styles yes yes yes yes
Annotation of PDFs yes no yes

yes

(with Zotfile)

Link to articles with GetIt@VCU yes yes yes yes
Add a reference from a PDF no

yes

(with RefGrab-It)

yes yes
Sharing options Create library to share with collaborators Yes with shared group account Groups Groups
Create citations and bibliographies while writing yes yes yes yes