Choosing a Citation Manager

Choosing between EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero and NoodleTools to manage your citations.
  EndNote Mendeley Zotero NoodleTools
Cost $24 for U of U students, $250 for public. (EndNote Web is free) Free Free Free for U of U students, $15 per year for public.
Location Computer Web & computer Computer Web
Operating systems Mac & PC Mac, PC & Linux Mac, PC & Linux Mac, PC & Linux
Mobile app iOS iOS & Android iOS & Android (both only available via 3rd party) iOS & Android
Word processors Microsoft Word & Open Office Microsoft Word, Open Office & Libre Office Microsoft Word, Open Office, Libre Office & Google Docs Google Docs. LaTeX
Cite while you write feature Yes Yes Yes No
Open source No No Yes No
Automatic citation extraction Yes Yes Yes No
Creates bibliography with different styles Yes Yes Yes Yes (only three)
Number of citation styles 100 most common downloaded, 4000+ available 1180+ 16+ pre-loaded, "thousands" available for download MLA, APA, Chicago
Number of import filters 700+ About 50 + COinS + integrates with Zotero's "translators" 247 "translators;" other sources captured as webpage Can only import books (via title, author or ISBN)
Full text search across PDF Yes, but spotty Yes Yes (not enabled by default) No
Can annotate PDFs Yes Yes No No
Organize PDFs and other documents Yes Yes Yes No
Able to share in private groups Yes Yes Yes Yes
Able to share in public groups No Yes Yes No
Community platform No Yes (strongest) Yes No
Free storage Unlimited local storage Unlimited local storage & data syncing; 1GB personal & 100MB shared online space Unlimited local storage & data syncing; 100MB free Zotero file syncing N/A
Tagging Yes (keywords) Yes Yes Yes
Selective syncing of documents between web and desktop app No Yes Yes No desktop app
Accessibility ADA compliant Not accessible to screen readers N/A N/A

Use each citation manager because...

Use EndNote:

  • Because it is more flexible, customizable and has more citation styles than any other program
  • Because it gives you the ability to create your own citation style or document type

Use Mendeley:

  • If your research content is primarily contained in PDF files
  • Because it has the strongest community platform
    • You can create your own research profile to share and promote your work to scientific communities
    • Make your research and CV discoverable to others in your field
    • See what others in your field are reading and commenting on
    • Network with other scholars to discover research trends and discoveries in your field of study
  • Because out of the three, Mendeley is the most similar to social networking sites
  • Because it has the strongest website

Use Zotero

  • If your research content is diverse
  • If you're using many web-based publications and other websites that may be difficult to cite
    • Allows you to easily save snapshots of webpages and annotate them within your citation library
  • Because it's best for gathering citation records for non-PDF and PDF content
  • Because Zotero's single-click capture works with more databases, catalogs, and websites than Mendeley's Web Importer
  • To search for groups relevant to you to network with other scholars in your field of study

Use Noodle Tools

  • If you want to learn how to manually put together your citations
  • You are new to academic writing and researching and need guidance organizing your research
  • If you are an undergraduate writing a short research paper with 10 or fewer sources
  • Because teachers can monitor student's research process
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Which citation manager do you prefer?
EndNote: 8 votes (32%)
Mendeley: 6 votes (24%)
Zotero: 5 votes (20%)
NoodleTools: 5 votes (20%)
Other: 1 votes (4%)
Total Votes: 25
Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library