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Bibliographic Management Software: BMS Comparison


General Information

  EndNote Zotero Mendeley
Type Desktop Client Desktop client and browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari Desktop client and web-based. Works with IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari
Tutorials Endnote Training Zotero Tutorial Mendeley Tutorial


This may change, for the most up to date pricing, please check the website.

Free: 2GB, 50,000 citations (EndNote Basic)

One time purchase of $119.95 through the ThinkEDU online store

Free: 300 MB storage

$20/year: 2 GB storage

$60/year: 6 GB storage

$120/year: Unlimited storage

Zotero Lab

Free: 2GB storage

$4.99/month: 5GB storage
$9.99/month: 10GB storage
$14.99/month: unlimited

How It Works

  Endnote Zotero Mendeley
How it works Export references from compatible databases. Zotero identifies when you are looking at an item and will show an icon in the URL bar.  Click the icon to add the item to your references. Export references from compatible databases.
Learning Curve Higher Learning curve Quick to learn, very simple design Quick to learn, simple design
  • Numerous output styles     
  • Highly customizable
  • Can handle a large amount of references
  • Good for major research projects because it has the most options for customization and formatting
  • Excellent for organizing citation
  • Download of records is easy
  • Good for managing a variety of formats, including webpages
  • Downloads records for some databases that don’t work with Endnote and RefWorks such as Factiva
  • Manage PDFs
  • Share citations and documents
  • Social aspect, see what others are reading or citing
  • Pulls metadata from PDFs

Import / Export

Endnote Zotero Mendeley
Output styles and Bibliographic formats Many styles and formats Many styles and formats Many styles and formats
Importing Records Simple from most research databases. Simple, as long as the resource is compatible with Zotero.  Verify information is correct after import. Simple, use the Mendeley browser plugin.  Does not work with as many databases as other products.
What can you import
  • Bibliographic citations for books and articles
  • PDF’s and other file types (not searchable)
  • Bibliographic citations for books, articles, patents, and webpages
  • PDF’s (searchable)
  • Screenshots and images 
  • Bibliographic citations for books and articles
  • PDFs
Exporting Records to other citation software Yes Yes Yes, export to EndNoteXML, RIS and BibTex


Endnote Zotero Mendeley
Integration with word processing software Works with Word, Open Office and LaTex through BibTex. Works with Word, Open Office; and with LaTex through BibTex Works with Word and OpenOffice and LaTex through BibTex.
Important features PDF file management and organization.
  • Must sync to access via multiple computers
  • Integrated with the web
  • Fast download of records
  • Allows for tagging
  • Saves snapshots of web pages
  • Can highlight text and take notes on page
  • Works well for collaboration
  • Can highlight text and comment on page
Collaborate No Yes, both with individuals and groups. Yes, share with groups.
Record back up No Yes, if you choose to back-up or sync. Yes
Mobile Access EndNote Web has a mobile version. Login with your email and EndNote Web password.

Third Party Mobile Apps

iPhone & iPad Apps

Android Apps