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Baltimore MD 21201-1512

Reference: 410-706-7996
Circulation: 410-706-7928

Citation Managers: Which citation manager is right for me?

Learn more about EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero

With the variety of citation management options available, it's important to choose the tool that is right for you. This page lists some alternatives to using RefWorks.

  EndNote Mendeley Zotero
Cost $75 per license Free for basic version (2GB of storage) Free
Web/desktop Desktop and web versions Desktop and web versions Desktop and web versions
Importing From databases From databases and webpages From databases and webpages
PDFs Allows highlighting and note taking Allows highlighting and note taking PDF files management and organization; can sync with third-party annotation software
Sharing and Collaborating Can share with up to 100 collaborators                                                                          Several types of groups available. Users with free accounts can only create one group with three members. Can sync group libraries
Learning Curve Not as user-friendly as other options.  Quick to install and easy to learn; user-friendly interface Easy to learn, simple design



UMB faculty, staff and students can purchase EndNote at a reduced rate through the Center for Information Technology Services. 

Mendeley is free to use and simple to install.  Both desktop and web versions are available and you can seamlessly sync data between both versions. Desktop installation is recommended as it provides a more robust version of the tool; it is also required in order to use certain features, such as the citation plugin.

Zotero is a free tool to help you collect, organize and cite references and share research. It is available for Mac, PC and Linux.

In addition to downloading Zotero, you will want to install the Zotero Connector for whichever browser(s) you use regularly. This allows you to save to Zotero from your browser. Connectors are available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Key differences


  • Has the most storage included - "unlimited" reference and attachment storage included in EndNote x9. Note that this program lives on your hard drive, so it will be limited by that.


  • Connects with social media platforms and facilitates connections between users
  • Has an associated Android and iOS compatible app, which works well on mobile devices


  • Is compatible with Google Docs

Contact Us

For assistance with RefWorks, contact:


Call the Information Services Desk at 410-706-7996