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Reference Management Software

Reference management and citation plugins for MS Word. Manage your research, cite in-text, generate reference lists & collaborate with others.

Mendeley vs Zotero

Website
Review by ACAP librarians Since the upgrade to Mendely Reference Manager, we have found Mendeley performance to be unreliable.  Citations are often incorrect and Mendeley Web Importer does not always recognise citations in a database or download the PDFS Zotero performance is excellent.  The citations are downloaded mostly without errors (pay attention to reports from websites).  The browser extension can be used to download citations from a database easily.  The only downside is the limited cloud storage.
Cost

Basic software is free.
Charge for adding additional cloud storage space.
Charge for collaborating with larger groups.

Basic software is free.
Charge for adding additional cloud storage space.
 

Free Storage Capacity

2GB of cloud storage.

You have to use Mendeley’s cloud storage in order to have a fully functioning account. However, 2GB is usually enough space for your collection.

300MB of cloud storage which is limited. You may need to buy more storage if you choose to use Zotero.

By not syncing your Zotero account, you can have unlimited storage but only on ONE computer. Once you sync your account with Zotero’s servers, the cloud storage limitations will activate. 

Installation instructions

Basic Installation process:

NOTE: if you already use Mendeley Desktop:

  • Make sure you’ve synced your existing Mendeley Desktop library
  • Download and install Mendeley Reference Manager
  • Sign in using your Mendeley credentials and your existing library will sync

Download the Mendeley Quick User Guide

Basic Installation process:

  • Create a free account on the website
  • Download either Zotero for Windows or for Mac
  • Install the Chrome or the Firefox connector
  • Install third party Zotero plugins such as Zotero for Word
  • Install other third part Zotero plugins such as Zotero for Google Scholar.

 

Does it create in-text citations and bibliographies?

Yes.

Follow the installation instructions above to install Mendeley Cite into Word.

Yes.

Follow the installation instructions above to install the third party Zotero plugin for Word.

How many citation styles does it support?

Mendeley uses Citation Style Language, which offers over 7,000 free CSL citation styles.

Check or change your citation style in Mendeley Cite which you installed into your Word application.

Zotero uses Citation Style Language, which offers over 7,000 free CSL citation styles.

 

Can I save citations while I browse the internet or a database?

Yes.

After you have installed the Mendeley Web Importer into your browser, you can save citations by clicking on it.

If you are using the library catalogue or a library database, use Exporting citations directly from databases.

Yes.

Use the Zotero Connector for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari, which you installed using the installation instructions above.  Ensure that Zotero is open on your computer.

The Zotero Connector's save button is the most convenient and reliable way to add items with high-quality bibliographic metadata to your Zotero library. As you browse the web, the Zotero Connector will automatically find bibliographic information on webpages you visit and allow you to add it to Zotero with a single click.

How do I export citations from Multisearch and Databases directly into the software?

Go to  Exporting citations directly from databases.

Use the export function on the database to download a .ris file to your computer and import this file into Mendeley.

Go to  Exporting citations directly from databases.

Use the export function on the database to download a .ris file to your computer and import this file into Zotero.

How well does it extract metadata from other types of resources automatically?

You can use the  Mendeley Web Connector or you can export directly from Multisearch or library databases - AVERAGE 

Exporting from webpages - POOR

Mendeley will import some metadata from webpages, but you may have to add or edit some elements.
                                                             

IT IS IMPORTANT TO CHECK YOUR CITATIONS IN YOUR REFERENCING SOFTWARE

Use the Zotero capture icons in your browser to import from the library catalogue or export a *.ris file - VERY GOOD

Exporting from webpages - GOOD

 Zotero will import most of the metadata from webpages, but you may have to add or edit some elements.
 

IT IS IMPORTANT TO CHECK YOUR CITATIONS IN YOUR REFERENCING SOFTWARE

Can I save PDFs to my account?

Yes.

Yes.

  • Automatically grab PDFs and relevant citation information from websites.
  • Drag and drop PDF files into the library.
  • More info - Adding files
Can I export my library from my current Reference software manager to Mendeley or Zotero

Yes.

  1. You can transfer your library from EndNote, Zotero, Refworks and more.
  2. Use the Export option within the other software to extract your references to RIS, BibTeX, or EndNote XML file format.
  3. In Mendeley Desktop, click File > ‘Import’ and select the exported file to add its contents to your Mendeley library.

Yes.

For detailed instructions on how to make the switch from Mendeley to Zotero, see Importing Records From Mendeley.

 

What type of organisation features does it offer?
  • You can create notes for each citation
  • You can create unlimited folders
  • You can add tags to items and search using tags
  • More info
  • You can create notes for each citation
  • You can create unlimited collections (folders)
  • You can add tags to items and search using tags.
  • More info
Can I share my folder with my supervisor?

Yes. 

With your free account:

  •     1 private group OR invite-only public group with 3 group members. Share documents and citations in private groups. Share citations in invite-only public groups.
  •     Public groups: No limit to the amount of public groups that can be created. Share references only.

Watch the video on how to create groups.

Yes, however your free account will probably not have enough space.

You can create unlimited private or public groups and collaborate by sharing files and citations.

    Private groups: can share documents and references with each other.
    Public, closed membership groups: can share documents and references with each other.
    Public, open membership groups: can share references, but not documents.
 

To create a shared library, click the Create Groups button near the top left of your Zotero window (small blue/green button with two “people” icons, second from the left)
To join an existing Zotero library, search for it at zotero.org/groups or be invited by the group's owner

More info.