All Citation Management Software allow you to collect, organize, and format citations but there are important differences among the different types.
- RefWorks is web-based for easy access from anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection. Importing from databases is typically easy and many databases have a direct export option. Additionally, RefWorks provides the Write-N-Cite plugin so you can cite references from your RefWorks library in MS Word while you write.
- Zotero is a very easy-to-use open source tool. The program lives right in your browser! Using Zotero, it is especially easy to capture and save citations found on webpages, and to add notes and other information to saved citations for efficient and creative organization. Zotero also offers a plugin for MS Word so you can cite while you write. The downside is you are not able to edit citation styles.
- EndNote Desktop is a very sophisticated citation manager that offers the largest number of citation formats and options. It offers a plugin for MS Word so you can cite while you write. You can share citations. The downside is EndNote is fairly expensive.
- EndNote Basic is web-based and is a simplified version of EndNote Desktop. It has the ability to work in tandem with EndNote, as well as be a stand-alone system.
- Mendeley is web-based and has the ability to add citations in MS Word. It has a drag-n-drop feature with pdf attachments and allows you to share your citations in a social network. The downside is you are not able to edit citation styles.