EndNote and Bibliography Management


Bibliography and Reference Manager Software

There are several reference management systems out there with varying abilities and costs. One of the most most well-known is EndNote and others such as Mendeley, RefWorks, and Zotero have had some level of use at Iowa State and other institutions. 

Biology IT recommends the use of EndNote X8, EndNote Web, and Mendeley.  Mendeley Desktop and EndNote CiteWhileYouWrite plugins are available on Self Service and Software Center


EndNote X8 is a full-featured desktop application for both Mac and Windows.  It can also be synced with EndNote Web.  The current price for EndNote X8 is $90.  If you are interested in purchasing EndNote email biologyitorders@iastate.edu with the number of licenses and an account number.

EndNote Web is a free cloud-based version of EndNote.  

The Iowa State University Library website has a detailed explanation of the differences between EndNoteX8 an EndNote Web.   Be sure to use your Iowa State email address when sign up for a free account to give you additional features and access to additional databases.  Additional help, tutorials, and more information about EndNote can be found at the ISU Library's EndNote Web Guide

EndNote X7

EndNote versions X7 and older are no longer supported in the latest versions of Office 2016.  

You may experience an issue some newer versions with Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac.  After version 16.9 of Office 2016 you will need to make sure your EndNote CiteWhileYouWrite Plugin is updated to the latest version.  If you have not updated this plugin, Word will present the following error message.

To resolve this issue, you MUST be running EndNote X8 or EndNote Web.  You may get the latest version of the Cite While You Write plugin from Self Service.


Mendeley is another free reference manager.  It offers similar features to EndNote such as a citation plugin for Microsoft Word and LibreOffice.    It is available in Software Center and Self Service.