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Information on citation, citation management software, plagiarism, copyright, fair use, and creative commons

Choosing Software

  EndNote Desktop EndNote Web Mendeley Zotero
Cost Available to all faculty, staff, graduate, and medical students via CIS. Endnote from CIS Free; upgraded version available free to Brown users via Web of Science. SeeEndNote Online. Free (additional cost for more storage and group functionality available from Mendeley) Free and open source (additional cost for more storage available from Zotero)
System requirements Windows 7 and above, MacOS 10.10 and above, more details from EndNote Windows 2007 or later, Mac OS X 10.6 or later, more details from EndNote Windows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.10 and above, and Linux, more details from Mendeley Windows XP SP2 or later, MacOS 10.9 or later, and Linux, more details from Zotero
Where data is stored Computer Web Computer with web based syncing Computer with optional web based syncing
Work offline Yes No Yes Yes
Work from multiple computers Must sync with EndNote web Yes Yes Yes
Word Processors MS Word 2007 and above, Word for Mac 2011 and above, Google Docs MS Word 2007 or later, Microsoft Word 2008 SP1/2011 plug-in for Macs, Google Docs MS Word, Libre Office, BibTex export for use with LaTex MS Word 2003-2016, Word for Mac 2004-2016, Google Docs
Mobile app iPad app No iPad/iPhone/Adroid apps iOS and Android apps
Share library Share entire library (references, PDFs, annotations) with up to 100 EndNote users Share with other EndNote Web users. All users can edit shared groups, but cannot share file attachments Yes Yes
Storage size Unlimited 2 GB free 2 GB free, $ for more storage 300 mb free, $ for more storage
Number of reference types 50 51 20 38
Import citation information from web No Yes, with bookmarklet Yes, with a bookmark for a limited number of sites (mostly publishers or databases) Yes
Import citation from library catalog Yes Yes Yes Yes
Import citation from library databases Yes Yes Yes Yes
Search database/catalog from within program Yes Yes Catalog only No
Retrieve citation information from pdf Yes, from DOI or PubMed ID fields No Yes - extracted information from PDF, DOI, PubMed and Mendeley database Yes - uses DOI, extracted information from PDF or Google Scholar
Global find/replace editing Yes Yes No No
Field searching Yes, any field No - searches entire record Yes, author, title, publication name, year & notes fields Yes, any field
Duplicate detection Yes, able to modify fields to use for deduplication Yes from same database, but will not usually recognize duplicates from different databases Yes Yes
Add notes to references Yes, use notes field Yes, use notes field Yes, use notes tab in desktop version Yes, attached to references or as standalone notes
Spell check Yes No No No
Attach pdfs Yes with option to attach automatically No Yes, and can highlight and annotate PDFs Yes, with option to attach automatically
Search for and attach PDFs Yes No Yes Yes
Annotate pdfs Yes No Yes Yes
Search attached pdfs Yes No Yes No
Create bibliography with different styles Yes Yes Yes Yes, limited default number, others download from Zotero
Edit output style Yes No No Yes, but very difficult
Online Tutorials & Videos EndNote Training Channel EndNote Training Channel Mendeley Videos & Tutorials Zotero Tutorials

Citation Manager Comparisons

These aren't your only options for citation managers; there are other free programs such as JabRef, and subscription programs like Papers

To learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of these products, consult the following comparison charts: