Choosing a Citation Manager

The UW-Madison Libraries supports four citation managers: Mendeley, Zotero, EndNote, and EndNote Basic. If you are working in a collaborative group, you should consult with your colleagues as there may be benefits to using the same citation manager.

Criteria to Consider

  • Cost
    • Mendeley is a free software that allows you to download the basic program but charges for more storage and social features.
    • Zotero is a free software that allows you to download the basic program but charges for more storage.
    • EndNote costs $80 through the DoIt tech store and will likely need to be upgraded every few years. EndNote does provide perks like fully integrated customer support and customized searching.
    • EndNote Basic is free to campus students, faculty, and staff. It has fewer features than the other citation managers.
  • Collaborative Features
    • All four of the citation managers allow you to sync, store, and share collections of research.
    • Mendeley and Zotero allow you to make create community groups which allow for communication in a way similar to a Facebook. The groups may be public or private.
  • Access
    • Mendeley is installed on your computer, allows you to store and annotate pdfs, and has apps for the iPad and iPhone.
    • Zotero is a web browser add-on. There is a free standalone version, and there are third party apps for mobile devices.
    • EndNote is installed on your computer, allows you to store and annotate pdfs, and has an app for the iPad.
    • EndNote Basic can be used anywhere there is a web browser.

Additional resources

  • A more in-depth comparison chart can be found here.
  • If you have more specific questions about a citation manager, you can work with a consultant. Contact information can be found here.