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Citation Managers

A guide to citation managers which are used to collect, organize and cite references.


  Zotero Mendeley
Cost Free and open source (additional cost for more storage available from Zotero) Free (additional cost for more storage and group functionality available from Mendeley)
System requirements Windows XP SP2 or later, MacOS 10.9 or later, and Linux, more details from Zotero Windows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.10 and above, and Linux, more details from Mendeley
Where data is stored Computer with optional web based syncing Computer with web based syncing
Work offline Yes Yes
Work from multiple computers Yes Yes
Word Processors MS Word 2003-2016, Word for Mac 2004-2016, Google Docs MS Word, Libre Office, BibTex export for use with LaTex
Mobile app iOS and Android apps iPad/iPhone/Adroid apps
Share library Yes Yes
Storage size 300 mb free, $ for more storage 2 GB free, $ for more storage
Number of reference types 38 20
Import citation information from web Yes Yes, with a bookmark for a limited number of sites (mostly publishers or databases)
Import citation from library catalog Yes Yes
Import citation from library databases Yes Yes
Search database/catalog from within program No Catalog only
Retrieve citation information from pdf Yes - uses DOI, extracted information from PDF or Google Scholar Yes - extracted information from PDF, DOI, PubMed and Mendeley database
Global find/replace editing No No
Field searching Yes, any field Yes, author, title, publication name, year & notes fields
Duplicate detection Yes Yes
Add notes to references Yes, attached to references or as standalone notes Yes, use notes tab in desktop version
Spell check No No
Attach pdfs Yes, with option to attach automatically Yes, and can highlight and annotate PDFs
Search for and attach PDFs Yes Yes
Annotate pdfs Yes Yes
Search attached pdfs No Yes
Create bibliography with different styles Yes, limited default number, others download from Zotero Yes
Edit output style Yes, but very difficult No
Online Tutorials & Videos Zotero Tutorials Mendeley Videos & Tutorials


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