A citation manager is a tool which helps you to store, organize and output your citations in the format you prefer.
Choosing a Citation Manager: Zotero, Mendeley, EndNote
The following popular citation managers provide the same basic features and functionality with some important exceptions. Below are a few scenarios that might be helpful when choosing a citation manager. Once you have narrowed down the choices, the rest is personal preference. Some tips: Consult the comparison chart below for specific features. Talk to people in your department – some disciplines tend to use one tool more than others. Consult your subject librarian for a recommendation.
|I Need to:||Use:||Why:|
|…work from multiple computers or locations.||Zotero
|Zotero saves your citation library to your local computer, but syncs with multiple computers so you can work from home, work, or school.
Mendeley is a program that lives on your local computer, but syncs with a web account.
EndNote Basic is entirely web-based and can be accessed from any computer with internet access, and can sync with EndNote desktop.
|…work without an Internet connection.||Zotero
|Zotero, Mendeley and EndNote store your citation libraries locally on your computer.|
|…archive web pages and import citations from sites such as Amazon and ArtSTOR.||Zotero||Zotero allows you to easily save snapshots of web pages and annotate them within your citation library. It is a great tool for scraping citation information from web-based publications and some commercial and social networking sites.|
|…work on a group project or share my citations with others.||Zotero
|Zotero allows you to share your citations through shared folders -- you can give individuals or groups permissions to add and edit the citations in the shared folder. Mendeley allows you to share citations and documents with a group of up to 2 other users, or create a public reading list that is open to all. EndNote Basic allows you to create and share groups with other users.|
|Web based?||Yes, works with Firefox browser and can sync with online account; connectors for Chrome and Safari available||Not primarily, but can sync with an online account which is editable||Yes, with EndNote basic account||Yes|
|Must be online?||No||No||No||Yes|
|Cost||Free for basic account, some cost for more online storage space||Free for basic account, some cost for more online storage space||$$, Student discount through computer store||Free|
|Word-processor compatibility||MS Word, Open Office, Google Docs||MS Word, Open Office, LaTex||MS Office, Open Office, iWork Pages||MS Word|
|Import from databases||Yes||Yes||Direct export from specific databases||Yes|
|Import citation info from web pages||Yes, also archives the page and you can add annotations||Yes, with a bookmark for a limited number of sites (mostly publishers or databases)||Yes, with Web Capture tool and EndNote basic account||Yes, with Web Capture tool|
|Storage capacity||Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 100MB free Zotero file syncing (larger syncing plans available for purchase); or can use WebDav||Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 1GB personal and 100MB shared online space (larger online storage plans available for purchase)||Unlimited local storage||Limited to 50,000 citations and 2 GB of attachment storage|
|Attach associated files (PDFs, etc.)||Yes, with option to attach automatically||Yes, and can highlight and annotate PDFs||Yes, and can highlight and annotate PDFs||Yes|
|Search full text of PDFs||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Create group or shared libraries||Yes||Yes, free for up to 3 group members (larger group plans available for purchase)||Yes, with EndNote basic account||Yes|
|Create bibliography with different styles||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic citation extraction from PDFs||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Other features||Sync library with multiple computers
Use tags to organize/search
|Sync library with multiple computers
Sync with Zotero library
|Insert figures and charts using word processor integration||
Last updated May 2015