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Comparison of EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley

Use referencing management software for storing and managing  references long term. Check our Referencing Software page to decide if a full software programme is what you need.

EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley are popular reference management tools used by many researchers and students. All of them:

  • Store large numbers of references and associated PDFs
  • Enable exporting from major article databases, including Google Scholar
  • Are integrated with word processing programmes to insert and format citations in a range of styles
  • Allow sharing of references with others

EndNote includes both the desktop and online versions. Although the two can be used independently we recommend using them together. The EndNote online version has less functionality than the desktop version but offers syncing, sharing, and online backup.

Access

EndNote

Desktop X9 and Online

Zotero

Mendeley

Cost and support

  • Desktop version is free to Massey students and staff
  • Online version is free
  • Fully supported by Massey Library, including:
    • Classes
    • Individual support
  • Free for first 300MB of attachment storage
  • Some support and training offered by Massey Library
  • Free for first 2GB of attachment storage
  • Not supported by Massey Library

Ease of use

Steep learning curve (but greatest functionality)

Fairly intuitive to use

Fairly intuitive to use

Will I have access after I leave Massey?

  • Yes, until you need to upgrade to a newer desktop version, but versions usually remain usable for several years.
  • You will maintain Online access, which is free for first 2GB of attachment storage.
  • It is easy to export/import the library to other products

Yes

Yes

Can be installed on Massey PCs and Macs?

Yes

EndNote (desktop version) is also installed on all Massey student computer lab machines

Yes

Not installed on Massey student computer lab machines

Yes

Not installed on Massey student computer lab machines

Technical Requirements

EndNote

Desktop X9 and Online

Zotero

Mendeley

Supported browsers

Current versions of most mainstream browsers

Safari not recommended

Chrome, Firefox, Safari

Current versions of most mainstream browsers

Compatible with

  • Windows
  • Macintosh
  • iOS app for iPad

Desktop version works with the greatest range of word processing software including:

  • MS Word
  • Word for Mac
  • LibreOffice 4.x or higher (32 bit) for Windows
  • Open Office 3.x for Windows
  • Apple Pages

Online version:

  • MS Word
  • Word for Mac
  • Apple Pages

Compatible with PowerPoint

Details and updates at EndNote's Compatibility and System Requirements page

  • Windows
  • Macintosh
  • Linux
  • 3rd party iOS app (plug-in)
  • Android

  • MS Word
  • Word for Mac
  • LibreOffice
  • Open Office
  • Google Docs

Details and updates at the Zotero System Requirements page

  • Windows
  • Macintosh
  • Linux
  • 3rd party iOS app
  • Android

  • MS Word
  • Word for Mac
  • LibreOffice
  • Open Office

Details and updates at the Release Notes for Mendeley Desktop page

Using the Software

EndNote

Desktop X9 and Online

Zotero

Mendeley

Handles direct export of references from Library databases?

Yes

Desktop version handles a large range of databases; the online version handles a more limited range

Yes

Includes some databases that don't work with EndNote (e.g. Factiva)

Yes

Not as many as EndNote or Zotero

Handles direct export of references from the Web?

Only works through EndNote Online version using the Capture bookmarklet (Firefox add-on)

Not as functional as Zotero

Yes

Can also archive snapshots of web pages

Yes

Synchronise libraries across devices?

Yes, through the Online version

Yes

Yes

Full-text attachment storage?

Desktop version: no limit; Online version: limited storage

Can highlight and annotate PDFs

Can automatically extract citation from modern publishers' PDFs

First 300MB of attachment storage is free; more storage is available with the premium version

Can automatically extract citation from modern publishers' PDFs

2GB of attachment storage

Can highlight and annotate PDFs

Can automatically extract citation from modern publishers' PDFs

Sharing with other researchers

  • Desktop version: share entire library (including PDFs) with up to 100 people
  • Online version: Share groups of references (not PDFs)
  • Researchers can be outside Massey University
  • Everyone must have EndNote Online accounts
  • Copyright Warning: Do not share PDFs obtained through Massey University Library with anyone outside of the Massey University community
  • Create groups and share with an unlimited number of people
  • Groups can be private, public with closed membership, or public with open membership
  • Full-text files cannot be shared in groups that are public with open membership
  • Create private, invite-only, or open groups
  • Only private groups have access to full-text files and annotations, and are limited to 25 members

Provides social networking tools for collaboration with other researchers

Citation style range

Desktop version: Over 7,000 citation styles

Output styles can be edited

Online version: 21 styles, unless used with the Desktop version

Over 9,000

Limited ability to edit output styles

Over 9,000

Output styles can be edited

LaTex support/export to BibTex

Yes

Yes

Yes

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