Citation software: comparing EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley, and Jabref

There are many different kinds of reference management software available. Some are free, some require a license. Here, we compare four common software packages:

  • EndNote
  • Zotero
  • Mendeley
  • Jabref

Installing the software

Price

  • EndNote: free for our UGent students and staff (go to Athena)
  • Zotero: free (open source)
  • Mendeley: free (developed by Elsevier)
  • Jabref: free (open source)

Operating systems

  • EndNote: Windows / Mac
  • Zotero: Window / Mac / Unix / Lunix
  • Mendeley: Window / Mac / Unix / Lunix
  • Jabref: Window / Mac / Unix / Lunix

Apps available

  • EndNote: iOS App
  • Zotero: iOS App, Android App (both developed externally)
  • Mendeley: iOS App, Android App
  • Jabref: iOS App, Android App (both developed externally)

Available offline

  • EndNote: no, available through Athena only
  • Zotero: yes
  • Mendeley: yes
  • Jabref: yes

Gathering data

Manually

  • EndNote: 47 templates, possibility to make your own template
  • Zotero: 33 templates, possibility to make your own template
  • Mendeley: 20 templates, possibility to make your own template
  • Jabref: 14 templates, possibility to make your own template

Through a browser

  • EndNote: Internet Explorer 11
  • Zotero: Firefox, Chrome, Safari
  • Mendeley: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer
  • Jabref: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera

Through an identification number (e.g. ISBN, DOI, ...)

  • EndNote: ISBN, DOI
  • Zotero: ISBN, DOI, PMID
  • Mendeley: not possible
  • Jabref: DOI

Managing data

Capacity

  • EndNote (desktop): unlimited
  • Zotero (free): 300 MB
  • Mendeley: 2 GB personal, 100 MB shared
  • Jabref: unlimited

Ways of structuring your data

  • EndNote: Group Set, (Smart) Group ; tags, notes, stars, mark as read/unread
  • Zotero: (sub) folders ; annotations, tags
  • Mendeley: (sub) folders ; notes, mark as read/unread/favourite
  • Jabref: groups ; marking items

Sharing citations

  • Zotero: group library
  • Mendeley: group library
  • Jabref: SQL database, LaTeX database

Annotate PDFs

Annotation is possible in all four. Searching through your annotations is not.

Using your data

Compatible with these word processors

  • EndNote: MS Word, Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice, ApplePages
  • Zotero: MS Word, Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice
  • Mendeley: MS Word, Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice
  • Jabref: MS Word, Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice, ApplePages

Citation styles

  • EndNote: 3.300+, it is possible to create your own style(s)
  • Zotero: 7.800+, it is possible to create and share your own style(s)
  • Mendeley: 6979, it is possible to create and share your own style(s)
  • Jabref: every BibTeX style, itis possible to create your own style(s)

More tips

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Last modified Aug. 1, 2019, 9:59 a.m.