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Managing your references: Choosing a Reference Manager

Introduction

On this page you will find two tables comparing features of the reference managers RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero and Mendeley as well as their potential advantages and disadvantages. There is also a video at the bottom of the page, which runs through the main features of reference managers and considers the issues to think about when choosing a reference manager.

The comparison of the reference managers is intended to help you choose which you would like to use. If you have any questions, email the reference management team.

Features

 
RefWorks
EndNote
EndNote online
Zotero
Mendeley

Availability

This information refers to New RefWorks - look at our RefWorks page for further information.

Web-based

Free via university subscription (including alumni)

Desktop

Version 20 available to download for free through IT Services for your personal PC or Mac

iPad App available on iTunes store.

Web-based

Free

Web browser extension, desktop and mobile app.

Freely available 

Web, desktop and mobile app.

Freely available

Word processor compatibility

 MS Word

Google Docs

 

MS Word

Apache OpenOffice

LibreOffice

Pages

Wolfram Mathematica 8

MS Word

 

MS Word

OpenOffice/LibreOffice

Google Docs

MS Word

LibreOffice

 

Captures from pdf documents and webpages?

Yes ('Save To Refworks' browser plugin available in the 'Tools' section)

Yes (webpages require download of plug in)

Yes ('Capture Reference' tool)

To install it, open EndNote Online, go to 'Downloads' and click on 'Capture Reference')

 

Yes

Yes

Captures webpage snapshots?

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Citation / bibliography styles

List of citation styles in RefWorks

New styles can also be created.

 

List of citation styles in EndNote

3,300+

 

List of citation styles in Zotero

 

List of citation styles in Mendeley

Sharing / collaboration

Share references with groups

 

Instructions on how to share folders of references in RefWorks

Share references with groups

EndNote guidance on how to share references in different versions of the software

Share references with groups

Instructions on how to share groups in EndNote Online

 

Share references with groups

Information on collaborating with groups in Zotero

Share references and notes with groups

Academic social network

Information on collaborating in Mendeley

July 2022

Pros and Cons

 
RefWorks
EndNote
EndNote online
Zotero
Mendeley

Pros

This information refers to New RefWorks - look at our RefWorks page for further information.

Large number of citation styles

Bodleian Libraries  subscription provides free access for University members including alumni

Access your library from any computer with an internet connection

Supports MS Word and Google Docs

Institutional subscription provides free access for University members

Copes well with a very large library

iPad App

Large number of citation styles

Journal abbreviation recognition

Word Processor plug in compatible with MS Word, Apache OpenOffice and Pages

Works very well with Web of Science / Web of Knowledge

iPad/iPhone/Android apps

Useful tools for creating references from websites

Extend functionality using plug-ins.

iPad/iPhone/Android apps

Social networking

Collaborative pdf annotation / notes


Mendeley papers catalogue

Cons

Very limited offline access

Not compatible with Libre/Open Office

Not compatible with Linux

Word processor plug-in not compatible with Linux


Limited citation styles and storage

Limited free storage space (300 MB)

Syncing of desktop application to web account NOT automatic

Limited free storage space (2 GB)

July 2022

Choosing which reference manager to use

The video below is the introductory presentation for the iSkills workshop 'Choosing and Using Software for Referencing' and runs through the main features of reference managers and considers the issues to think about when choosing a reference manager.

Click the upward facing arrow at the bottom of the video to see the contents.