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Citation Management

How to use citation managers such as EndNote and Zotero.

How to Choose a Citation Manager

I Need to:Use:Why:
Work from multiple computers or locations

EndNote Web

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 Web is web based. Your citation library is accessible from any computer that is connected to the web.

Work without an Internet connection Zotero
Zotero, Mendeley and EndNote can store your citation libraries locally on your computer.
Archive web pages and import citations from sites such as Amazon, Flickr, and ArtSTOR Zotero Zotero allows you to easily save snapshots of web pages and annotate them within your citation library. It is a great tool for saving citation information from some web-based publications and commercial and social networking sites.
Work on a group project or share my citations with others

EndNote Web

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 a group of up to 10 other users, or create a public reading list that is open to all.

EndNote Web allows you to share groups with anyone who is registered with the service. You can allow others to view or edit your citations.

Adapted with permission from “Choosing a Citation Manager,” copyright © 2011 The Pennsylvania State University.

Citation Manager Comparison Table

Citation Manager Comparison Table
  Zotero Mendeley EndNote EndNote Web
Access Zotero software with browser add-on (Firefox and Chrome). Desktop software, but can sync with an online account which is editable Desktop software with an online version (EndNote Web) Web-based
Where is my database stored? Local computer with web based syncing between computers.  Local computer with web based syncing between computers Local Computer with cloud storage and syncing via EndNote Web Web-based
How does it work? Detect citations that can be captured from databases or web pages. Search and import records using PMID, DOI, or ISBN. Extract citation information from PDFs. Import from many popular databases. Extract citation information from PDFs. Export from databases into EndNote. Can search catalogs from within EndNote. Browser bookmarklet can import from many databases. Can also import using text files
Ability to work offline Yes Yes Yes No
Cost Free to anyone Free.
UChicago faculty, students, and staff can register through Web of Science fro more features

Available with an academic discount via On the Hub website


Free to UChicago faculty, students, and staff
Word-processor compatibility MS Word, Google Docs, Open Office MS Word, Open Office, LaTex Microsoft Word, OpenOffice (EndNote X3+), Pages (X4+) MS Word
Import from Library databases Yes Yes Direct export from specific databases Yes
Import from Library Catalog

As of summer 2022, no, but expected. 

Yes Yes Yes
Find It! Integration

Yes, via Library Lookup feature

No Yes, but must be configured Yes
Import citation info from web pages Yes, also archives the page and you can add annotations Yes, with a bookmark for a limited number of sites (mostly publishers or databases) No Yes, with bookmarklet
Manage large libraries Easy Moderate to difficult Easy Moderate to difficult
Storage capacity Unlimited local storage. Unlimited data syncing if you use your UChicago email address. Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 2GB personal and 100MB group free Mendeley file syncing (larger syncing plans available for purchase; must sign in to view prices) Unlimited local storage. Software purchase provides term access to unlimited storage via EndNote Web Limited to 10,000 citations
Attach associated files (PDFs, etc.) Yes, with option to attach automatically Yes, and can highlight and annotate PDFs Yes Yes
Search full text of PDFs Yes Yes Yes No
PDF Annotation and Notes Yes Yes No No
Create group or shared libraries Yes Yes, but limit of 3 members in a private group No, but can share through EndNote Web Yes
Create bibliography w/ different styles Yes, limited number included by default; hundreds can be downloaded from Yes Yes, hundreds of styles available. Yes
Edit output styles Extremely difficult No Easy No

- Easy to learn

-Quick for collecting citations and organizing PDFs

- Free unlimited storage and syncing with UChicago address.

- User friendly features such as tagging, attachments, and notes.


- Automatic citation extraction from PDFs

- Sync library over multiple computers

- Sync with Zotero library automatically

- Best for organizing large collections of citations and managing PDFs

- Wide variety of citation styles

- Easily customized

- Easy to work in multiple locations

- Easy to share access with colleagues

Adapted with permission from “Choosing a Citation Manager,” copyright © 2011 The Pennsylvania State University.