Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citation Managers

Citation Management Tools

Zotero, Refworks, Endnote: these three popular citation managers provide the same basic features and functionality with some exceptions. Below are a few scenarios that might be helpful when choosing a citation manager. Once you have narrowed down the choices, the rest is personal preference. Some tips: Consult the comparison chart below for specific features. Talk to people in your department – some disciplines tend to use one tool more than others. Consult your subject librarian for a recommendation. For a more complete list of citation management options see this Comparison of reference management software article.

Citation Manager Comparison Chart

 

 

Features EndNote RefWorks Zotero

Cost

Cost covered by Libraries

Cost covered by Libraries (continued availability to alumni)

Free

Share resources w/ others

Using EndNote Sync

Yes

Using Group Libraries

Social network

No

No

Follow profiles, join public group libraries at zotero.org

Compatible w/ current browsers 

n/a desktop app
Firefox and Chrome for direct export

Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, 
Internet Explorer (8.0 or later)

Firefox, Chrome & Safari

Direct export from databases

Can search some databases from within EndNote Direct export from Web of Science Indirect export using ResearchSoft Direct Export Helper

Save to RefWorks Tool

One-click via browser connectors

Creates formatted bibliographies, in-text citations,  & footnotes

Yes, using Write While You Cite

Yes, using Write-N-Cite or using the RefWorks Citation Manager

Quick copy or right-click options. Word processor plugins installed automatically.

Store PDFs

Yes

Yes

PDFs stored on your personal computer

Annotate PDFs

Yes

Yes

Not directly through Zotero,

3rd party app support

Extract data from PDFs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Citation styles

6,000+ 

4,200+, with 2,000+ CSL's and the ability to create and modify styles

9,800+

Access

 

Set up an account
Migrate from Legacy RefWorks

Download from zotero.org

Mobile Technology

EndNote Online (with fewer features)

iPad compatible through EndNote Sync

Responsive design

The Zotero Bookmarklet allows you to save items from your mobile device's browser directly to your zotero.org account.
IOs app in development.

many third-party apps.

Accessibility

Partial

 

 

Zotero is based on Mozilla, which has a good record of working with the JAWS reader

Word Processor Citation/Bibliography creation capabilities

MS Word

MS Word and Google Docs

Word processor plugins downloaded automatically.  Works with Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, and Google Docs