Citation Management Tools - Alternatives to EndNote

Many are familiar with EndNote as a helpful citation management tool that assists with collecting, saving, and citing papers. But sometimes EndNote can feel somewhat cumbersome to use. If you are on the market for a new citation manager, you might want to try out these other options.

Zotero is a freely available tool that offers desktop and Web versions and works well with both Windows and Mac. It is easy to use and makes collaborative projects relatively simple via Google Docs. If you run out of free storage, additional inexpensive storage space is available for purchase.

Mendeley is a free Web-based tool similar to Zotero, but it sets itself apart with a robust PDF annotating tool. Because Mendeley doesn't work within Google Docs, you would have to create a bibliography and copy it over to the document. Thus, Mendeley might be a great fit for those who use citation managers for personal projects but not for those participating in a lot of group work.

RefWorks is another Web-based tool that a lot of people know and love from their undergraduate programs. RefWorks features a lot of storage space for people who like to gather PDFs.

Leaving Duke soon? Zotero and Mendeley are both free and do not require a paid subscription. If you have downloaded EndNote, you will be able to keep that software, but you won’t be eligible for version upgrades through Duke. Sciwheel and RefWorks are only available for free while at Duke.

More details about the different features in these citation managers can be found in our Reference Management Libguide.