A citation style (or format) specifies what information should appear in your citation, how that information is ordered and how it is formatted (punctuation, italics, etc.). APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver and CSE are examples of citations styles.
To know which citation style to use, consult with your professor. If your professor doesn’t have a preferred citation style, APA is normally recommended as it is well documented. CSE is a citation style that is preferred in the field of biology.
Not sure which citation software to use? At McGill, we support EndNote, but if you want to know more about the other ones available before you chose. This chart from UOttawa that list the characteristics of the 4 more popular ones can be helpful. If you have questions, don't hesitate to talk to your librarian about it!
||Zotero||Mendeley||EndNote Web||EndNote Desktop|
|Web-based access (in some cases, online storage may be limited)|
|Everyday use||Zotero||Mendeley||EndNote Web||EndNote Desktop|
|Import from databases (in some cases, might not always work well)|
|Import from Web pages|
|Import from PDF|
|Attach files (ex. PDFs)|
|Create a bibliography|
|Word processor plugin|
|Number of citation styles available||8400+||8000+||3400+||6000+|
|Ability to edit citation style|
|Export citations to Excel|
|Duplicate feature||upon import|
|Syncing, collaborating and sharing||Zotero||Mendeley||EndNote Web||EndNote Desktop|
|Access on multiple devices|
|Collaborative group work or sharing citations|
Source: University of Ottawa. (2017). Citation manager comparison chart. This table was updated on Feb. 2, 2017