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Alternative Citation Managers: How to choose: RefWorks, Zotero AND/OR Mendeley?

This guide will assist students and faculty at SPC with switching from RefWorks to Zotero or Mendeley citation managers.

Reasons to choose to use Zotero

Zotero: pronounced [zoh-TAIR-oh]. Albanian word for "to acquire, to master"

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself.

  • Your Research content is diverse
  • Downloading and Storing Research: PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages, and really anything else
  • Easy to gather citation records from databases, catalogues and websites
  • Zotero's single click capture
  • Synchronizes your data across as many devices as you choose: All of your notes, files, and bibliographic data remain seamlessly up to date
  • Sharing and Collaboration
  • Share your own work or sources with others who are working in related areas.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, publicly or privately, on ongoing research.
  • Discover other people with similar interests and the sources they are citing: browse for people by discipline
  • Zotero groups can be private or public, open or closed.
  • Organise your Research
  • Sort into any number of named collections and subcollections
  • Organise collections like iTunes playlists
  • Assign tags to organise your research with your own keywords
  • Citations and Bibliographies
  • Create footnotes, endnotes, in-text citations or bibliographies
  • in Word and OpenOffice
  • Powerful and flexible Citation Style Language for all publication formats and styles

Mendeley vs Zotero

Rhodes University Credit

This guide was created with permission for reuse by Rhodes University Library.

Reasons to choose to use Mendeley

Mendeley is a free online service that allows you to index and organize your PDF documents, collaborate with fellow researchers and share information via shared and public collections, and discover new research through the Mendeley research network.

You can create reference lists and bibliographies in Word (Windows only) or OpenOffice (all platforms).

  • Free software/web hybrid for PC, Mac, Linux
  • Organizes and manages the pdfs that are already on your computer
  • Introduces social networking tools to collaborate with fellow researchers, including sharing lists of references and collaborative tagging of documents
  • Sync PDFs to your web account for access to them anywhere you are online
  • Annotate PDFs
  • Search within the text of all of your PDFs
  • Good way to capture citations from the PDFs on your computer and export them into EndNote

Interesting fact: Mendeley was founded in November 2007 by three German PhD students based in London. When Elsevier purchased Mendeley in 2013, it created a fuss on scientific networks and media. It also opened up the scope for Open Access (the huge collaboration features)