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Citation Management: What should I use?

EndNote vs. RefWorks vs. Zotero—A Comparison of Options for Managing Citations

Which citation tool is right for you? The comparision chart below highlights the main features and differences.

EndNoteRefWorksEndNote BasicZotero Mendeley               
General
Access Desktop client software Web-based Web-based Desktop software that lives in Firefox web browser Web-based
Allows users to share citations No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Where are my files stored Locally to your computer Hosted web server Hosted web server Locally to your computer / hosted web server Locally to your computer / free web storage space
Word processing integration

Works with Word through Write-N-Cite features and  LaTex through BibTex

Works with Word through Write-N-Cite feature and LaTex through BibTex Works with Word through Write-N-Cite feature and with LaTex through BibTex Works with Word and Open Office and with LaTex through BibTex and Google Docs Works with Word and Open Office, BibTex and LaTex. Annotations &highlights for PDFs
Adding References
Import from online databases Yes Yes Yes Yes Depends
Import web pages Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Import from RSS feeds No Yes No Yes Yes
Types of records you can import (PDF's, images, etc.)

Good for organizing records for articles and books, PDF's and other file types

Good for organizing records for articles and books. Good for organizing records for articles and books.

Books, articles, patents and webpages.

Can also store PDF's web screenshots files and images in records.

You can make PDF's searchable by choosing to index them in the preferences menu.

Managing and maintaining a large citation library (1,000 records plus) Not complex; EndNote is a good option for maintaining large citation libraries. Not complex; RefWorks can be slightly more cumbersome for managing large libraries. Not complex; EndNote Web is a good option for maintaining fewer than 50,000 citations. More difficult; takes more time to sort duplicate records and to verify that the records are complete.
Output
How many output styles? Many    Many Many Many Many
Modify and create output styles? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can you export your citation library to a different tool? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Strengths

Good for organizing citations for long papers and theses.

Good option for complex major research projects, because it offers the most options for customization and formatting.

Web-based solution which allows you to access your files from the Internet and does not restrict access to a single workstation.

Allows users to easily share lists of citations.

Good for organizing citations for papers.

Web-based solution which allows you to access your files from the Internet and does not restrict access to a single workstation.

Allows users to easily share lists of citations.

Good for organizing citations for papers.

Simple to download records.

Good for managing a variety of formats including web pages.

Offers the most functionality in a free open-source product.

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