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Reference Managers

Using Citavi

Start a project:

  • A project is like a folder. Project examples: "Final Paper" or "Research on Childhood Trauma." 
    • Go to "Projects."
    • Click 

Make an outline:

  • Use the categories function to make an outline for your paper. Once you have an outline, you can save sources to specific sections of the outline. Outlines can be edited at any point. 
  • To create an outline:
    • Click the  Knowledge tab.
    • Select the new category icon.
    • From here, you can add multiple categories and subcategories to construct an outline for your project. 

Categorize sources:

  • Categorize sources by right-clicking their titles and selecting "Assign Categories."
  • "Categories" is the term that Citavi uses for sections of your outline.

Add sources to your reference library:


  • Search a keyword or phrase in the databases.
  • If an article has a DOI, the  icon will appear next to the author(s) name, or by the DOI itself.
  • Click the icon and save. Sources will be added to your Citavi master library.
  • This method works with Google Scholar, the library catalog, and the databases.
  • If there is not a DOI, click "Export" and then choose "Direct Export in RIS Format (e.g. CITAVI, EasyBib, EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero)" 
    • Note: You will have the option to add articles from your source's reference list. These may be beneficial, as they are related to the topic at hand. 

Add a webpage:

  • Add a webpage to your reference library by clicking the the Citavi icon icon. This is located in the top right corner of your browser.
  • Webpages can be converted to PDFs in Citavi. Once converted, more features, such as comments and quotations, are available. 

Manual entry:

  • Unique items, like emails, maps, and other sources are cited manually.
  • Click 
  • Fill in the citation information as prompted.

Add with ISBN or DOI:

  • Use this method for books, magazines, and similar sources. 
  • Begin by selecting the references icon.
  • Click the   "ISBN, DOI, and other IDs" icon.
  • Enter an ISBN or DOI.
  • Citavi will automatically pull the reference information. Hit "Add to project," and this source will appear in your master library. 

Add a PDF:

  • Drag and drop PDFs into the left-hand column of Citavi.
    • Note: Reference managers typically do not pull all of the reference information for a PDF. You may need to manually fill in data. 

Attach an abstract:

  • Attach an abstract by copy and pasting it under that source's "Content" tab in Citavi.

CitaviTeam. (2017, November 16). 2/8 Adding references to your Citavi 6 project [Video]. YouTube.

Note: Always review your references, as no reference software is perfect. If incorrect, ensure that edits, (capitalizing proper nouns, for example), are made in Citavi. The references list will not update with edits made in MS Word.


  • Make a bibliography:
    • Open the desktop browser of Citavi. Open the "Citation" tab.
    • Select "Citation style."
    • "Browse citation styles."
    • Click Find and Add CItation style
    • Search the name of the citation style in the "name" blank, find it, and click okay. 
  • Next, click "Project bibliography" on the home page.
    • "Print in current citation style."
    • A quick formatted list of references will pop up. Once you have ensured that these are error-free, copy and paste them into your paper. 

Automatic in-text citations in Word: 

  • Open the Citavi Pane.
  • Insert an in-text citation by right clicking a source, followed by "Insert."
  • The corresponding reference for each in-text citation will automatically appear in your reference list.

Multiple sources in an in-text citation: 

  • Select an item in the Citavi Pane.
  • Hold down the Ctrl key and select additional references.
  • Right click and select "insert." 

Generate a narrative citation: 

  • Narrative citations occur when an author's name is used in a sentence.  
    • ex. Jones et al. (2019) found...
  • Add a narrative citation:
    • Right click a source and then select "insert advanced."
    • Select "person (year)."

CitaviTeam. (2017, November 16). 8/8 Writing with Citavi 6 and Word [Video]. YouTube.

Citavi and Microsoft Word
Once you have downloaded Citavi, a Citavi tab will appear in Microsoft Word. With this, you can insert an outline (if applicable), as well as quotations, images, in-text citations, and a reference list.

Insert an outline:

  • Open the Citavi pane.
  • Right click a heading and select "Insert categories and knowledge items."
  • Choose "All categories." 
  • Only check the "knowledge items" box if you want all quotations to appear in your outline. This is not recommended.  
  • ProTip: Stay organized by adding quotes/sections of text to Citavi. 

In-text citations:

  • Insert in-text citations by double clicking a source in the Citavi Pane. 
  • The corresponding reference will appear in the reference list.

Narrative citations:

  • Right-click a reference.
  • Go to "Insert advanced."
  • Select "Person (Year)." 
    • ex. Johnson (2018) found...

Edit in-text citations:

  • Double-click an in-text citation in Word.
  • The Citavi Word Add-In will open the "Citations" tab with the reference selected.
  • Right-click the reference.
  • Select, "Edit in Citavi."
  • Correct typos in the "Reference" tab.
    • Note: If you edit your citations in Word instead of Citavi, they will revert back to the incorrect version with each refresh/update. 

Insert quotations:

  • Open the Citavi Pane and go the "Knowledge" tab. Left click to insert quotations.  
    • Note: Quotations must be assigned to a category for this function to work. Assign a category by using the "Categories" blank found in the dialog box when you add a new quotation. 
    • OR: 
    • Go to the desktop version of Citavi.
    • Open the "Knowledge" tab and select "(All)." 
    • Find the source, right click, and "Assign categories."

Insert image quotations:

  • Image quotations are inserted in the same way as text quotations.
  • Like text quotes, image quotes need to be assigned to a category, or they will not be listed in the Citavi Pane.

Citavi. (2019, Feburary 21). Don't manually change Citavi fields. Citavi.
CitaviTeam. (2017, November 16). 8/8 Writing with Citavi 6 and Word [Video]. YouTube.


  • This function enables you to prioritize tasks, track their due dates, mark progress, and more!
  • Create a task: Right click an article, select "add task," and write what you want to accomplish.

Add task for one reference:

  • Select reference.
  • Right click.
  • Click the  icon.
  • From here, you can fill in task information and categorize it.
  • Task categories include: borrow, buy, discuss, return, etc. 

Add task for multiple references:

  • Go to references:
  • Select "Batch modify" and then

Mark progress:

  • As you make progress on a task, you can track it with the status bar function. 

Task lists: 

  • Go to tasks:
  • Hit "Advanced selection"
  • Print task lists by selecting the "task list" drop down. A "Print task list" option will appear.

Set goals (A.K.A. project tasks):

  • Go to tasks:
  • Find and select  in the upper left-hand corner.
  • From here you can create goals or larger tasks for your project. 


CitaviTeam. (2017, November 16). 6/8 Task Planning in Citavi 6 [Video]. YouTube.

Article PDFs are saved to Citavi and found in the right-hand column.


  •  Citavi offers yellow and red highlights. Use the yellow button for standard highlights. Use the red to add page numbers, descriptions, and assign the highlighted text to a particular category.


Use to following tools to save sections of text as quotations. They are located in a toolbar above each PDF.

  • Direct quote
  • Indirect quote in margin
  • Summary in margin
  • Save page number and add comment
  • Note: If you wish to insert quotations from Citavi to Microsoft Word, they must be assigned to a category. Assign a category by using the "Categories" blank. This can be found in the box that appears each time you add a quotation. 

Image quotations:

  • Citavi is unique in that you can save graphics, tables, and/or chunks of text as image quotations. 
  • Simply click the Image Quotation icon, which is located in the top toolbar of your PDF. Once you have selected a portion of the PDF, click the "Image quotation" icon to save. 
  • Note: Click "save as PDF" in the left-hand corner of the document if you are working with a webpage. Once it is converted, you will have all of the same functions. 


  • Have a great idea? Remember it with Citavi's ideas function! Track you thoughts so that no great insight is forgotten.
  • : This icon is located on the main toolbar, next to "cite."

CitaviTeam. (2017, November 16). 5/8 Reading and Analyzing in Citavi 6 [Video]. YouTube.