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Manage Citations with Mendeley and Zotero: Home

Online tools to help you store, organize, share and cite your resources.


Citation Management Tools are bibliographic tools that allow you to save, sort, share and cite your resources. The ones listed here are all free online resources selected by the librarians.You can read more about them and how to create an account by selecting the tabs above. If you aren't sure which one to use, see the chart below.

Comparison Chart:

Features:     Mendeley                               Zotero                                             


Free with 1GB of web space (500 MB personal & 500 MB shared.) Free with 100 MB of back-up storage.          
Operating System & Browsers

Macintosh, Windows, Linux

Works in: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari

Has a Save to Mendeley button you can add to your bookmarks toolbar

Macintosh, Windows, Linux

Works in: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera

Firefox has a Zotero for Firefox extension.

Zotero Standalone works with Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera using something called connectors. 

Zotero also has a bookmarklet you can download on any browser though this is more limited than those listed above.

Do I have to be online? No.  No. 
How does it work? You export references from compatible databases. Mendeley will also retrieve metadata for pdfs that are brought in.With a web browser plug-in, you can import web sources as well. You can download the standalone product or use the add-on for Firefox. The add-on can tell when you are looking at an item and shows an icon for it in the Firefox URL bar.  Click the icon to add the item to your Zotero references.
What word processors does it work with? Windows Word 2003, 2007, 2010 or 
Mac Word 2008, 2011 or 
OpenOffice 3.2 or 
MS Word, Open Office, Google Docs
  • Great for managing PDFs
  • Has a social aspect. Can see what other users are reading and citing. Find other members with common research interests.
  • Very good for collaborative work
  • Has a good PDF reader that enables highlighting and comments
  • Simple and fast download of records
  • Good for managing a variety of formats, including webpages
  • Offers most functionality in a free, open-source product
  • If you back up records, you can sync multiple computers
  • Integrated with work on web that you do
  • Saves snapshot of web pages
  • Allows users to highlight text and take notes on page
  • Allows users to tag records
Works on a mobie device Yes. Free app for iPhone and iPad, or check yourMendeley library on your mobile device's web browser. Yes. 3rd-party apps available (, or check your Zotero collection on your mobile device's web browser.
Storage Capacity Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 1 GB free Mendeley web space  Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 100MB free Zotero file syncing 
What kinds of records can you import and organize (PDFs, images, etc.)? You can import bibliographic citations and PDFs. Can also manually add citations Books, articles, patents, and webpages; Can also store PDFs, web screenshots, files, and images in records. You can make PDFs searchable by choosing to index them in the preferences menu.
Search the full text of PDFs Yes.  Yes. 
Create libraries for a group to share with others  Users can set up groups to share references. Users can decide whether or not to make their library viewable by others. Collaboration is limited to 3 users. 

Users can set up individual and group profiles and share records.

Unlimited number of collaborators per collection. 

Create a bibiliography with various citation styles Yes, it has many citation styles and formats available.  Yes, it has many citation styles and formats available. 
Duplicate detection Yes.  Yes. 


Learning Curve

Quick to learn. Pretty simple interface Quick to learn; simple design, many online user guides and demos
RSS Feeds Yes.  Yes. 
After you leave the college As long as it exists, you will have your account and information.  As long as it exists, you will have your account and information. 








Anu Vedantham, Leslie Vallhonrat. “Guides. Citation Management Tools. Overview.” (April 14, 2014).

Melissa Vetter, Brian Vetruba. “Research Guides. How to Choose: Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote. Comparison Table.” (April 14, 2014).

Michael Bowman, Meredith Farkas. “LibGuides. Manage Citations with Zotero, Mendeley and EndNote. Home.” (April 14, 2014).

Subject Guide

Heather Shalhoub's picture
Heather Shalhoub
(800) 847-3000 x2222

Normal Hours

Sun: 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Mon-Thu: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Summer Hours


Sun: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Mon-Thu: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

July - August:

Mon-Thu: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Please note: Ask a Librarian is closed during the Spring, Summer and Winter breaks. Academic librarians from the Ask Us 24/7 consortium are available to help any time via chat when Ask a Librarian is closed.

If you need to request accommodations for library content, on the basis of a disability or accessibility needs, please contact Accessibility Resources and Services by emailing them. Requests for accommodations should be submitted as early as possible to allow for sufficient planning. If you have questions, please visit the Accessibility Resources and Services website.