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CFAES Wooster Campus Research Library


Zotero is a solid workhorse of a citation manager. While it might not have the elegant interface of Mendeley or the features of EndNote, it also works well with a variety of formats (PDFs, websites, etc) and consistently pulls correct citation information. For more information



Consistently pulls correct citation information

Open Source


Allows for synchronization between devices

Captures website data well



Less attractive, somewhat clunkier interface

Fewer features than EndNote




While EndNote (desktop version) might be more challenging to learn than its free counterparts, it also offers more features. It is a top-of-the-line citation manager with solid customer support--although at $94.95, the price might not justify its features for some users.

EndNote web is free for use to OSU users, integrated into Web of Science, and offers write and cite capabilities.  Users can sign up for an account at




Excellent for organizing citations

More features available than other citation managers (highly customizable)

More citation styles than free citation managers

Good customer support

Attractive Interface


Slightly steeper learning curve than with Zotero or Mendeley

Price ($94.95 with discount through OSU Tech Hub)

Issues with large Microsoft Word documents (software crashes)




Mendeley's attractive interface and social networking component makes it a good choice for saving, sharing, and discovering resources. While it doesn't pull non-PDF citation information as consistently as Zotero, Mendeley is a popular choice among students on the Wooster campus. 



Attractive interface

Easy to share and find content shared by other users

Has a social networking feel

Easy to organize files

Ability to view citation information before importing



Doesn't always pull citation information from websites correctly

Mendeley browser extension has compatibility issues with certain databases



The real benefit with using RefWorks is how well it is integrated into Ohio State's Library system. Importing correct citation information is quite simple. The downside being that you can't import the PDF itself, unlike other available citation managers.



Easy to correctly import citations--in many databases there is even a RefWorks tool built into the database itself

Works well with the OSU "Find It" button

Checks for duplicate citations

Free for OSU students, faculty, and staff


Can't import PDFs

Less user-friendly interface

Only free while you are with OSU



The best citation the one that works best for you.


All of the citation managers listed here are  reasonable choices--some just might work better than others depending on your individual preferences and how you like to organize and share your information. Many of these tools are free or at least offer free trials, and saved citations can easily transfer from one manager to another. So it's definitely worth experimenting with until you find one that suits you. 


For more detailed information about each one, see our detailed comparison chart (right).


Other popular managers to consider: 

F1000 Workspace




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