Reference Management with Citavi

General information about Citavi

[Translate to Deutsch:] Citavi-Einführungsvideo: "Citavi in a nutshell"

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The Trier University of Applied Sciences Trier has acquired the Citavi campus license until the end of November 2021. All members of the university can use the full version "Citavi for Windows" free of charge.

Citavi is a program for literature management and knowledge organization. With its help you can, for example:

  • take over literature data comfortably from the internet into your projects
  • work through PDF documents
  • insert citations in your text and
  • automatically generate bibliographies (with access to over 10,000 citation systems).

To use Citavi 6, you need a Windows computer or a virtualization solution for MacOS. It works with Microsoft Word and common LaTeX editors.

General: license & requirements

Citavi License: Profile

Key data:

  • licensed edition: Citavi for Windows
  • current version: 6.8, status: 06/2021
  • license duration: provisionally until 30. November 2021, extension intended
  • operating systems: Windows 10, 8 or 7; Mac users: virtualization solution (e.g. Parallels), Windows 10, 8 or 7
  • works together with: Microsoft Word; LaTeX editors: LEd, LyX, Texmaker, TeXnicCenter, TeXstudio, TeXworks, WinEdt, WinShell and others
  • project data storage: locally on PC, network drive or USB stick; alternatively: Citavi cloud
  • user interface: German, English, etc.
  • functions etc.: import and manage bibliographical references, collect and manage quotations, search for literature and freely accessible full texts, insert bibliographical references and citations in a text, automatically generate bibliographies
Citavi Free & Citavi for Windows
  • Inter alia, Citavi is available in two editions: (a) Citavi Free and (b) Citavi for Windows.

    ad (a): Citavi Free is the free basic version of the software. It provides all features to the user. Only limitations: Only up to 100 titles per project can be stored. Also, it is not possible to use the Citavi Cloud.

    ad (b): Citavi for Windows is the chargeable full version for individual users and teams. Unlike Citavi Free, it allows you to create projects with an unlimited number of titles (practical limitation: up to 50,000 titles) and to use the Citavi Cloud.
  • The Trier University of Applied Sciences has purchased a license for Citavi for Windows. Preliminary license period: end of November 2021, an extension is planned. The campus license allows all members of the Trier University of Applied Sciences (students, lecturers, etc.) to use the Citavi full version for the license period and to use the personal e-mail support of the provider.
  • If you leave the Trier University of Applied Sciences or the university does not renew the campus license, your Citavi installation will automatically start in the free version (downgrade). Consequence: If a project already contains more than 100 titles, no further titles can be stored in it.
  • more information in the Citavi manual
Technical Requirements

Operating system:

  • Windows 10, 8 or 7 (with .NET 4.6.1). MacOS users need a virtualization solution in addition to Windows, such as Parallels or VMware Fusion.

Word processing:

  • Microsoft Word: 2010 to 2019 (32- or 64-bit)
  • LaTeX editors: LEd, LyX, TeXMaker, TeXnicCenter, TeXstudio, TeXworks, WinEdt or WinShell. (Via the clipboard you can also use online editors like Authorea, Overleaf or ShareLaTeX).

Citavi-Picker (for web browsers and readers):

  • Picker: Google Chrome (> Version 29), Internet Explorer (> 10), Mozilla Firefox (> 47); Adobe Reader/Acrobat (> 9)

Local team use:

  • Access to network drive within a Windows workstation network (LAN)

more information in the Citavi manual

Installation: Program & Add-Ons

Installation & License Activation
  • Step 1: Installation of the Free Version

    1. Download the Citavi installation program from
    2. Double-click on the downloaded file "Citavi6Setup.exe". The installation will start.
    3. The installation wizard will guide you through the rest of the installation.
    4. Wait for the message: "Citavi successfully installed". You can now delete the downloaded file Citavi6Setup.exe or save it for installation on other computers.
  • Step 2: Create Account and Use Campus License

    1. Go to the following page:
    2. Use the form to register for your Citavi account
    3. Start Citavi. In the startup window, click the login icon in the upper right corner (far right).
    4. Enter your Citavi account email and password.
Citavi Picker
  • The Picker helps you to transfer data from the Internet or PDF documents into your Citavi projects faster. Unless otherwise requested, the Citavi Picker is installed directly during setup.
  • available for: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer; Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader
  • more informationen in the Citavi manual (subsequent installation, activation)
Word Add-In & LaTeX Assistent
  • Microsoft Word: You can use the Word Add-in to insert citations and quotations from a Citavi project into a Word document. When you install Citavi, the Word Add-in is automatically installed if Microsoft Word is installed on your computer (applies to versions 2007 through 2016). You will find the add-in as an additional tab in Word. If you install an Office update, you must uninstall and reinstall the add-in.
  • LaTeX editors: Citations and quotations are inserted into the document using the Citavi "LaTeX Assistent".
  • More information in the Citavi manual: Word Add-In and LaTeX editors

Use in a team

Using Citavi in a Team
  • Citavi for Windows is suitable for small and large teams. There are two options: (a) the project is stored on a network drive that all team members have access to, and (b) the project is stored in the Citavi cloud.
  • Teamwork via network drive:

    1. Start Citavi. On the Welcome Screen, click New project.
    2. Choose a name for the project.
    3. Save the project in a folder that all team members can access.
    4. Let the other team members know where the project has been saved.
  • Teamwork via Citavi Cloud:

    1. Open the Citavi Cloud project.
    2. On the File menu, click "This project".
    3. Click "Share".
    4. Enter the e-mail addresses you want to send an invitation to. You can enter multiple e-mail addresses.
    5. If you want, enter a message to welcome your team members to the project.
    6. Click "Invite". The future project member will receive an e-mail with an invitation link. As soon as the new project member clicks the link, the cloud project will appear on his or her Welcome Screen and can be opened directly from there.
  • More information in the Citavi manual: workgroups and Cloud

Alternatives to Citavi

Other Management Programmes
  • Bibliographix (only German):
    Offers, among other things, an idea manager for filing and managing thoughts; also for Mac OS and Linux; free of charge (support option)
  • BibSonomy:
    Social bookmarking and publication system; teamwork possible (exchange: bookmarks, literature); free of charge
  • Docear:
    Additional function: creation of mindmaps; also for Mac OS and Linux; platform independent; free of charge
  • Endnote X9:
    Also suitable for Mac OS users; web and desktop version: partly different functions; free 30-day trial version, full student version 103.95 EUR (state: 11/2018)
  • JabRef:
    As single user version or web-based; also for Mac OS and Linux; platform independent; only in English; free of charge
  • LitLink:
    Knowledge management program for history, cultural studies and social sciences; also for Mac OS; free of charge
  • Mendeley:
    Platform independent; teamwork possible; also for Mac OS, Linux and iOS; free basic version, costs in case of more memory
  • Paperpile:
    Web application; teamwork possible (sharing links); tailored to Google applications; free 30-day trial, full student version 2.99 USD/month (state: 11/2018)
  • Papers:
    Additional function: task management; available as Mac OS and iOS version; web and desktop version: partly different functions; English only; free 30-day trial, 3.00 USD/month (state: 11/2018)
  • RefWorks:
    Web application, teamwork possible; Internet access required for use; free 30-day trial, 100.00 USD/year (state: 11/2018)
  • Sylvan Paper (Citelighter):
    Web application; installation as toolbar in browser window; free demo version, full version with costs
  • Synapsen:
    Hypertextual slip box; teamwork possible; also for Mac OS and Linux; free basic version, student full version 49,00 EUR (state: 11/2018)
  • teesis:
    Web application; no download required; storage of data on a German server; free of charge
  • Zettelkasten (only German):
    Hypertextual slip box; teamwork possible; also for Mac OS and Linux; free of charge (support option)
  • Zotero:
    Web application; originally Firefox add-on (or stand-alone); teamwork possible; also for Mac OS and Linux; up to 300 MB free of charge; more memory: 20.00 / 60.00 / 120.00 USD/year (state: 11/2018)

Web Editing Library

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