Reference management is about keeping track of the literature used for your study or your research and it is thus an important part of the academic work for both students and researchers.
In order to account correctly for your sources, you must include literature references in your work. There are two main objectives for including references:
Why reference management?
The good scientific work is characterized by a considered use of sources. It is important to account for these sources to be able to correctly document your results and conclusions based on the literature you have studied and used.
The reader must be able to assess whether the present work is based on content and intellectual cogitation of others. In addition, it is dishonest not the give your sources the credit they deserve. This text is e.g. taken from the DTU Library website, where you can learn more.
It is a balancing act in a number of ways; if you quote others to a very large extent, the product will lack originality but on the other hand, if you do not quote others, it becomes subjective and unscientific, and you might even be suspected to plagiarise.
Check out this web site about how to avoid plagiarising
Reference Management systems has been around for several years.
Wikipedia provides a table that compares most of the reference management software available right now
Mendeley provide a comparison chart too