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RefWorks and Other Citation Management Tools

Citation Management Program Help Guides & Tutorials on RefWorks and EndNote

Comparison between citation management systems

  RefWorks Legacy Refworks Endnote Zotero
Strengths

Many databases include direct exporting features to it.

Good tech support.

 

Many databases include direct exporting features to it.

Good tech support.

Excellent for organizing citations for papers and theses.

Good customer support.

Highly customizable.

Simple download of records.

Good for managing a variety of formats, including web pages.

Easily share citations and documents with others.

Weaknesses

Metadata may need to be cleaned up.

Platform can be unstable.

Need to upload PDFs one at a time.

Sharing requires multiple accounts. 

 

Expensive.

Learning curve may be greater than others.

Has different versions which have significant differences. 

Cannot annotate PDFs within system.

Must pay for additional storage.

Type Web interface Web interface Desktop software; also has a free web interface, EndNote Basic, available through Web of Science. Desktop software and browser add-on.
Cost Free (library subscribes) Free (library subscribes)

Discounted version ($95.00) available through the UIC Webstore.

EndNote Basic is free, but isn't as robust.

Free with 300 MB of storage. Additional storage and group upgrades are available for a fee. 
Learning curve Quick to learn; simple design. Quick to learn. Takes longer to learn, but not difficult with training. Quick to learn; simple design. Many online user guides and demos.
How does it work? Export references from compatible databases; also has browser plugin to save from the web. Export references from compatible databases. Export references from compatible databases. Can also search databases within EndNote Zotero detects bibliographic information on the web and allows you to save it.
What kind of records can you import and organize?

Best with traditional formats (articles, books, etc.).

PDFs and other file types can also be stored in records.

Best with traditional formats (articles, books, etc.).

Best with traditional formats (articles, books, etc.). 

PDFs and other file types can be stored with records.

Traditional formats as well as web pages.

PDFs, screenshots, and other file types can be stored with records.

Can you search within PDF files? No. No. Yes, but search isn't intuitive. Yes. Make PDFs searchable by choosing to index them in the preferences menu.
Are records in your library viewable by others? Yes; you can share folders within an institution or create a public URL. Yes. Yes. Starting in version X6, EndNote libraries can be shared with other users. EndNote Basic can also be synced to the desktop version for sharing citations. Yes, if you choose to share them. You can set up individual and group profiles to share records.
Does it work with word processing software? Yes. Includes add-in for Word and Google Docs. Two options, depending on software: Write-n-Cite or RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM). Yes. Users need to use Write-n-Cite available under "Tools". Yes. Powerful formatting and customization features in Word through Cite While You Write; also works with LaTeX through BibTeX and Open Office. Yes. Works with Word, LibreOffice and Google Docs. Also works with LaTeX through BibTeX.
Can you annotate PDFs? Yes. No. Yes. No.
Other important features Has a "find full-text" option to download full-text for records (when the library has access). Has a "find full-text" option to download full-text for records (when the library has access). Has a "find full-text" option to download full-text for records (when the library has access). Starting in version X7, PDFs can be uploaded into EndNote from a folder on your computer.

Can be used for collaborative work with groups.

Will automatically attach PDFs.

If you back up records, you can sync multiple computers.

Does it have a mobile site or app? No. Yes, but we do not recommend using it. Yes; an iPad app Yes, a mobile site through zotero.org. There's also an iPad app called ZotPad.
Link to vendor support/documentation. Refworks support Legacy Refworks support EndNote support Zotero support