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Citation Manager

This guide explains what a citation manager is, when to use one, and considerations for selecting software. The guide includes a comparison chart, and how-to tutorials and resources.

Comparison Table

This comparison table features three popularly used citation mangers.

For a more comprehensive list of citation managers, check out Wikipedia: Comparison of Reference Management Software.

More charts comparing Zotero, Mendeley and Endnnote: Harvard Library, UC Berkeley Library and UMass Boston

Citation Managers Comparison Chart

Feature

Zotero

Mendeley

EndNote Online. Basic

Cost

Free basic account.

Cost for additional storage.

Free basic account.

Cost for additional storage.

Free basic account.

X8 Student discount costs around $100+. Most sophisticated of the citation tool options.

Website

Zotero

Mendeley

EndNote Online

Support

Zotero Documentation

Mendeley Support

EndNote Support

Web Based?

Yes. However, Zotero for Firefox is no longer available. Now a Standalone with connectors for Firefox, Chrome & Safari (with Zotero 5.0 upgrade).

Not primarily, but syncs with an online account & a web import button.

Yes. Formerly known as EndNote Web. Basic account - online only.

Can I work on multiple computers?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can I work without an internet connection?

Yes

Yes

No - for basic account. Purchased - yes!

Can I work on a group project or share citations?

Yes

Yes (up to 3 collaborators)

Yes

Word-processor compatibility

MS Word Plugin (Win/Mac)

Open/Libre Office plugin (Win/Mac/Linux)

Google docs compatibility

MS Word plugin (Win/Mac)

Open/Libre Office plugin (Win/Mac/Linux)

MS Word Plugin

Import from databases?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Import from web pages?

Yes

Yes (Bookmarklet for limited number of sites)

Yes (Web capture tool)

Import PDF metadata?

Yes

Yes

No

Storage capacity

300 MB

5GB

2GB

Attach files (i.e. PDFs)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Create a bibliography

Yes

Yes

Yes

Number of Citation Styles

8100+ (selected default styles installed, more styles can be found in the Zotero Style Repository)

7000+ (selected default styles installed, more styles can be found at CitationStyles.org)

3400+

Insider tip

Known accessibility issues for screen reader users.

Not as agile with EBSCO database, CINAHL or PsycNET. Citations may need editing.

Steeper learning curve for importing from databases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparison chart created and shared with permission by The Library & Learning Commons of the University of Guelph-Humber.

Video. Zotero vs. Mendeley

Choosing a Citation Manager - University of Missouri Libraries

Video. Comparing Mendeley, Zotero, Evernote & Citavi