Compare reference management software

Compare the features of Endnote (desktop and online), Zotero and Mendeley referencing tools.

Features

EndNote

EndNote online

Zotero

Mendeley

Free for Swinburne students/staff

yes

yes

yes

yes

Customer support

yes

no

yes

yes

Swinburne Library support

yes

yes

no

no

Easy to learn

no

yes

yes

yes

Swinburne tutorials available

yes

yes

no

no

Unlimited storage

yes

yes

no

no

Harvard Swinburne style?

yes

yes

no

no

Desktop version

yes

no

yes

yes

Web version

yes

yes

yes

yes

Manage 100+ references

yes

yes

yes

yes

Transfer references from databases

yes

yes

yes

yes

Can attach full text

yes

yes

yes

yes

Search within PDFs

yes

no

yes

yes

Annotate PDFs

yes

no

no

yes

Tools for collaboration and discovery

no

no

yes

yes

Can share references

yes

yes

yes

yes

Auto-backup feature

yes

yes

yes

yes

Works with Word

yes

yes

yes

yes

Works with LaTeX

yes

no

yes

yes

Available after graduation

no

yes

yes

yes

EndNote (desktop and online)

Strengths

  • Excellent for organising citations for papers and theses.
  • Highly customisable.
  • Unlimited storage when registered on-campus. Can handle a large amount of references and full text.
  • Can share data and documents with research collaborators.
  • Accessible on all wireless devices when using web application.
  • Can integrate the Swinburne Harvard referencing style.

Type

  • Desktop client software for Windows and IOS, also available as a web application either separately or synchronized to desktop.

Cost

Learning curve

  • Desktop -- Sophisticated options, not difficult with training.
  • Online -- Quick to learn.
  • Extensive support materials for both available online; active user community help forums.

How does it work?

  • Export references from compatible databases into your EndNote Library. Can host full text. Combine with word processor to automatically insert and format citations and bibliography.

How simple is it to import records?

  • Most scholarly databases interact directly with EndNote to export into your Library. Manually create records if import option not available (e.g. websites), browser add-ons available for.

What kinds of records can you import and organise (PDFs, images, etc.)?

  • Best with records for traditional formats (articles, books, etc.). PDFs, images and other file types can also be stored in the records.

Can you search within PDFs?

  • Desktop – yes, online – no.

Are records in your library viewable by others?

  • Yes: Desktop allows you to share your entire library. Online allows you to share groups of references.

Can you export records to other citation software?

  • Yes.

Does it work with word processing software?

  • Yes: Desktop -- Powerful formatting and customization features in Word; also works with LaTeX through BibTeX and Open Office.
  • Online -- Works with Microsoft Word.

Does it back up your records?

  • Yes, when combined with online version.

Can you annotate PDFs (highlight & make notes)?

  • Yes (desktop only).

Other important features

  • Has a "find full text" option to download full text for records (when you have access to the PDF).
  • Can share groups via EndNote online syncing.
  • Can be used for collaborative work with groups.
  • iPad application available.
  • Can sync to multiple devices.
  • New features include a tool to find the best potential journals to publish your research, and a tool enabling interaction with other users (in Beta).

Does it have a mobile site or application?

  • Yes: EndNote Basic.

Link to vendor documentation

Can I use it after I graduate?

  • We can only supply the desktop client to current students and staff; if you leave Swinburne the online version expires after two years.

Zotero

Strengths

  • Simple download of records.
  • Good for managing a variety of formats, including web pages.
  • Lots of functionality in an open-source product.
  • Downloads records from Factiva.
  • Can share citations and documents with others.
  • Can be used after graduation.

Type

  • Desktop software and browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.

Cost

  • Free with 300MB of back-up storage. Open source. 

Learning curve

  • Quick to learn; simple design, many online user guides and demos.

How does it work?

  • Zotero can tell when you are looking at an item and shows an icon for it in the browser's URL bar.  Click the icon to add the item to your Zotero references.

How simple is it to import records?

  • Very simple, as long as the resource is compatible with Zotero.

What kinds of records can you import and organise (PDFs, images, etc.)?

  • Traditional formats (books, articles, patents), as well as web pages.
  • PDFs, web screenshots, and other file types can also be stored in the records.

Can you search within PDFs?

  • Yes. Make PDFs searchable by choosing to index them in the preferences menu.

Are records in your library viewable by others?

  • Yes, if you choose to share them. You can set up individual and group profiles and share records.

Can you export records to other citation software?

  • Yes.

Does it work with word processing software?

  • Yes. Works with Microsoft Word and LibreOffice; also works with LaTeX through BibTeX. You can create a list of Works Cited for Google Docs.

Does it back up your records?

  • Yes, if you choose to back up or sync your Zotero library. A small amount of storage is free.

Can you annotate PDFs (highlight & make notes)?

  • No.

Other important features

  • Can be used for collaborative work with groups.
  • Will automatically attach PDFs to records if you choose.
  • If you back up records, you can sync multiple computers.
  • Integrated with work on web that you do.

Does it have a mobile site or application?

  • Yes, a mobile site through Zotero. There's also an app called ZotPad for iPhone/iPad.

Link to vendor documentation

Can I use it after I graduate?

  • Yes.

Mendeley

Strengths

  • Great for managing PDFs.
  • Does a good job of pulling citation metadata from PDFs.
  • Can share citations and documents with others.
  • Can be used after graduation.
  • Integrated social networking and collaborative research & discovery functions.

Type

  • Desktop software and web app.

Cost

  • Free with 2GB of web space.

Learning curve

  • Quick to learn; simple design, many online user guides and demos.

How does it work?

  • Export references from compatible databases. Mendeley will also retrieve metadata for pdfs that are brought in.

How simple is it to import records?

  • Very simple using the Mendeley browser plugin. However, the import doesn't work with as many databases as other products.

What kinds of records can you import and organise (PDFs, images, etc.)?

  • Best with records for traditional formats (articles, books, etc.).
  • PDFs and other file types can also be stored in the records.

Can you search within PDFs?

  • Yes. Highlights the words you are searching for.

Are records in your library viewable by others?

  • Yes: You can set up individual and group profiles and share records.

Can you export records to other citation software?

  • Yes.

Does it work with word processing software?

  • Yes. Works with Microsoft Word and OpenOffice; also works with LaTeX through BibTeX.

Does it back up your records?

  • Yes.

Can you annotate PDFs (highlight & make notes)?

  • Yes.

Other important features

  • Very good for collaborative work.
  • If you back up records, you can sync multiple computers.

Does it have a mobile site or application?

  • Yes, an application for iPhone/iPad.

Link to vendor documentation

Can I use it after I graduate?

  • Yes.