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Citation Managers: An Overview

This research guide is being created to answer the most commonly asked questions and to allow you adequate time to transition your citations to another manager.

Zotero vs Mendeley vs Endnote

Features

Zotero

Mendeley

Endnote Basic

Access

Desktop Software and Browser Add-on

Desktop Software, but can Sync with an online account

Web-based

Where is my data stored?

Locally.  Web-based syncing capability between computers

Locally.  Web-based syncing capability between computers

Web-based

How does it work?

Very intuitive.  Click the icon in the browser to add the item to your references.  Search and import records using PMID, DOI, or ISBN.  Extract citation information from PDFs.

Import information from many popular databases.  Extract citation information from PDFs.

Import information from many popular databases.

Ability to work offline?

Yes

Yes

No

Cost

Free

Free

Free to WVU Faculty, Staff and Students

Word –processing Compatibility

Desktop software and browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari

Desktop software and web-based.  Works with IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari (javascript & cookies must be enabled)

Desktop software

API?

Zotpress, Biblio Bouts, phpZoteroWebDAV, Scanner for Zotero, Zandy, Zotpad, Zotero, Reader, ZotSpip, Bibbase

PaperShip, KinSync, Altmetrics, Scopus, GBIF, BibBase, PLOS, labfolder, Overleaf, OSF, Hivebench, Peerwith, Kuary, and Impactstory

PubMed

Importation Abilities

Yes

(Library catalog and databases, web pages)

Yes

(Library catalog and databases, web pages)

Yes

(Library catalog and databases, web pages)

Learning Curve?

Quick to learn; simple design, many online user guides and demos.

Quick to learn; Pretty simple interface.

Moderate to Difficult to learn.

Storage Capacity

300 MB (Free)

(Upgrade Options)

2 GB (Free)

(Upgrade options)

2 GB or 50,000 items

(Upgrade options)

Does it Back-up?

No

Yes

(as an option)

Yes

Attach Files

(PDFs, etc)

Yes

(option to attach automatically)

Yes

(can be highlighted and annotated)

Yes

Collaboration Capabilities

Yes

Yes

Yes

Create Bibliography w/ Different Styles

Yes

(limited number included, but additional styles can be downloaded)

Yes

Yes

(limited number included - 21)

Strengths

  • Easy to Learn
  • User Friendly Features (tagging, attachments, and notes)
  • Simple download for records
  • High Functionality
  • Easy Collaboration
  • Organize, read, and annotate documents in one place
  • Automatic citation extraction from PDFs
  • Easy Collaboration

 

 

  • Easy Collaboration
  • Easy to work in multiple locations
  • Can handle large numbers of references

Mobile Site or app?

Yes

(Apple and Android options)

Yes

(Apple and Android options)

No

Cited Works:  MIT Libraries ( http://libguides.mit.edu/c.php?g=176001&p=1159377), The Pennsylvania State University (http://guides.lib.uchicago.edu/c.php?g=297307&p=1984557), Mendeley.com, and Zotero.org