Skip to main content

Citation Tools: Comparison Chart of Citation Managers

This guide provides an introduction to citation management programs and citation generating tools.

Free Citation Management Programs

The chart below summarizes 3 freely available citation management programs. More information is available from the websites.  

Here are a few significant points:

  • EndNote Basic is a web-based tool. Mendeley and Zotero are programs that are installed on your computer; both programs have web-based accounts that allow you to access your citations from any computer.
  • If you want to associate the article PDF with a citation,  you have unlimited storage on your local hard drive with Mendeley and Zotero.
  • Zotero is the only program that can integrate with Google Docs.
  • Zotero is the only open source program. Endnote Basic and Mendeley were developed by Clarivate Analytics and Elsevier.

Click the Zotero tab for more information about how to get started with using this citation manager.

Citation Managers Comparison

  EndNote Basic (Clarivate Analytics) Mendeley (Elsevier) Zotero (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media)
URL https://www.myendnote web.com

https://www.mendeley.com

https://www.zotero.org
Login/ registration required Yes Yes Yes
Cost Free Free. More cloud storage available for cost. Free. More cloud storage available for cost.
How to add citations

Export from online databases:

EBSCO: direct export to Endnote Web

PubMed: file export

Websites: Manual entry

Export from online databases:

EBSCO: Direct Export in RIS format

PubMed: Add the Web Importer bookmark to browser.

Drag & drop PDFs to extract bib data 

Export from online databases:

EBSCO: Direct Export in RIS Format

PubMed: use “Save to Zotero” bookmarklet

Drag & drop PDFs to extract bib data

Use with word processors

Yes: Integrated in Word with Cite While You Write Plug-In

Yes: Integrated in Word with Mendeley Citation plug-in

Yes: Integrated in Word with Zotero Citation plug-in
APA formatting Always verify; may need to correct capitalization. Always verify; may need to correct capitalization. Always verify; may need to correct capitalization.
Store PDFs Yes - 2 GB free cloud storage Yes - 2 GB free cloud storage; unlimited on local hard drive Yes - 300 MB free cloud storage; unlimited on local hard drive
Extract bib data from PDFs No Yes (watch for errors) Yes (watch for errors)
Storage capacity Up to 50,000 references Unlimited local storage. 2 GB free online storage. Additional storage available for cost. Unlimited local storage. 300 MB free Zotero file syncing. Additional storage available for cost.
Social net-working, sharing Can share "groups" (folders) with other EndNote users. Can create and join public and private user groups to share resources. You can create a profile, follow other researchers, and create a network of people doing similar research. Can create and join public and private user groups to share resources.

 

Last updated: 06/25/2019
Additional information: Ivey, C., & Crum, J. (2018). Choosing the Right Citation Management Tool: Endnote, Mendeley, Refworks, or Zotero. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 106(3), 399–403.
http://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2018.468