Citation (or reference) management tools allow you to download citations from various websites and databases, and then store and organize the citations electronically. These tools allow you to format references in the appropriate citation style (APA, MLA, etc.), and some citation management tools even allow you to share references with other researchers.
Citation management tools allow you to:
This guide will help you determine which citation management tool is right for you!
|I need to...||Select:||Why:|
|...work from multiple computers or locations.||
Zotero saves your citation library to your local computer, but syncs with multiple computers so you can work from home, work, or school.
Mendeley is a program that lives on your local computer, but syncs with a web account.
EndNote Basic is fully-cloud based so you can access it from any device
|…work without an Internet connection.||Zotero and Mendeley store your citation libraries locally on your computer.|
|…save web pages and import citations from sites such as Amazon or Flickr.||Zotero||Zotero allows you to easily save snapshots of web pages and annotate them within your citation library.|
|…collaborate on group project or share my citations with others.||
Zotero allows you to share your citations through shared folders -- you can give individuals or groups permissions to add and edit the citations in the shared folder.
Mendeley allows you to share citations and documents with private groups.
EndNote Basic allows you to share with up to 1,000 other users.
Adapted from American University (May, 6, 2021)
|Web-based?||Yes. Standlaone app with connectors for Chrome & Safari available||Not primarily, but can sync with online account||Yes|
|Must be online?||No||No||Yes|
|Word processing compatibility||MS Word (plugin required), OpenOffice/LibreOffice (plugin required)
Google Docs compatible
|MS Word (plugin required)
OpenOffice/LibreOffice (plugin required)
|MS Word (plugin required)|
|Import from databases?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Import citation info from web pages?||Yes||Yes (with Mendeley Cite plugin)||Yes (with Web Capture plugin)|
|Cost?||Free basic account. Additional cost for increased online storage||Free basic account. Additional cost for increased online storage||Free to current CMU students, staff, and faculty|
|Attach files (PDFs)?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Search full text of PDFs?||Yes||Yes||No|
|Create groups or shared libraries?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Create bibliography in different styles (APA, MLA, etc.)?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic citation extraction from PDFs?||Yes||Yes||No|
|Works on a mobile device?||Yes, Zotero mobile apps for iOS and Android||No||Yes, limited functionality in EndNote Basic Mobile|
Adapted from Dartmouth Library (May 10, 2021)