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Citation Managers

Citation Management Tools

Zotero, Refworks, Endnote: these three popular citation managers provide the same basic features and functionality with some exceptions. Below are a few scenarios that might be helpful when choosing a citation manager. Once you have narrowed down the choices, the rest is personal preference. Some tips: Consult the comparison chart below for specific features. Talk to people in your department – some disciplines tend to use one tool more than others. Consult your subject librarian for a recommendation. For a more complete list of citation management options see this Comparison of reference management software article.

Citation Manager Comparison Chart



Features EndNote RefWorks Zotero


Cost covered by Libraries

Cost covered by Libraries (continued availability to alumni)


Share resources w/ others

Using EndNote Sync


Using Group Libraries

Social network



Follow profiles, join public group libraries at

Compatible w/ current browsers 

n/a desktop app
Firefox and Chrome for direct export

Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, 
Internet Explorer (8.0 or later)

Firefox, Chrome & Safari

Direct export from databases

Can search some databases from within EndNote Direct export from Web of Science Indirect export using ResearchSoft Direct Export Helper

Save to RefWorks Tool

One-click via browser connectors

Creates formatted bibliographies, in-text citations,  & footnotes

Yes, using Write While You Cite

Yes, using Write-N-Cite or using the RefWorks Citation Manager

Quick copy or right-click options. Word processor plugins installed automatically.

Store PDFs



PDFs stored on your personal computer

Annotate PDFs



Not directly through Zotero,

3rd party app support

Extract data from PDFs




Citation styles


4,200+, with 2,000+ CSL's and the ability to create and modify styles




Set up an account
Migrate from Legacy RefWorks

Download from

Mobile Technology

EndNote Online (with fewer features)

iPad compatible through EndNote Sync

Responsive design

The Zotero Bookmarklet allows you to save items from your mobile device's browser directly to your account.
IOs app in development.

many third-party apps.





Zotero is based on Mozilla, which has a good record of working with the JAWS reader

Word Processor Citation/Bibliography creation capabilities

MS Word

MS Word and Google Docs

Word processor plugins downloaded automatically.  Works with Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, and Google Docs




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