Reference management tools include all kinds of systems which help you organise references you have found, store the papers they refer to and perhaps annotate them, share the citations with others, cite papers in your own works, and so on. There are some big players in this area - the first two which spring to mind for me are Zotero and Mendeley. Zotero is a Firefox plugin, so it sits within your browsing experience; Mendeley is a website and a downloadable tool, and makes a big effort to connect you to others and recommend other works - the "Last.fm of scholarly work". Both are popular with researchers at the University of Cambridge.
I realised this week that I now know of at least four reference management tools just originating here in Cambridge:
- Papers. This is Mac software from Mekentosj, and has recently won an award
- iCite. Like Zotero, this is another Firefox plugin
- PaperPile, an open source system (GPL) from the EBI, which was first written for Linux
- qiqqa, a somewhat unpronouncable name for a Windows application.