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Manage Citations with Zotero, Mendeley and EndNote: Home

This guide provides an overview of several citation management tools, as well as information on print and online citation resources.

What is a Citation Management Tool?

Citation management tools allow you to download citations from various websites and databases, electronically store and organize the citations, and format the citations for your paper and bibliography.  Some citation management tools also make it easy to share references with other researchers.

There are a variety of citation management tools. This guide provides information about the tools on which the PSU Library can provide support:

  • Zotero
  • Mendeley 
  • EndNote
  • EndNote Online

Click here to watch a recorded (previously live) webinar on Zotero and Mendeley.

In addition to citation management software, there are free online citation generators that allow you to enter information from your resource (e.g. journal article, web page, book), the generator creates a citation for the resource which you are then able to copy and paste into your document.

Comparing Citation Management Tools

The table below describes many of the features of these citation management tools. For a comparison of Zotero and Mendeley, watch this video.

  Endnote EndNote Online Zotero Mendeley


Copes very well with a large library

Large number of citation styles

Journal abbreviation recognition

Works very well with Web of Science/Web of Knowledge

Free while you're at PSU.

Add citations (and sometimes also attached articles and page snapshots) from the Web, library catalogs and databases at the click of a button.

iPhone/Android apps

Nested folders

Free access independent of the library (you can use it forever)

Collaborative PDF annotation

iPhone/iPad interface

Social networking

Free access independent of the library (you can use it forever)


Not compatible with Linux

Desktop only

Costs money

Word processor plugin not compatible with Linux

Procedures differ for each database for exporting citations from each database and importing into EndNote Web.

Can only use it while you're at PSU.

Not compatible with Internet Explorer.

Clunky user interface.

The web bookmarklet doesn't always work for pulling in citations for database content.

Can not handle government publications.

Who can use it?

Must purchase a license PSU students, faculty and staff Anyone Anyone
How do I access it? On your desktop (can be synced with EndNote Online) Web access (can be synced with EndNote) Web extension for Firefox, desktop program if you use other browsers (with connections to Safari and Chrome) Desktop program with browser bookmarklet
Can I attach articles to my references? Yes (PDF, Word Doc, PPT, etc.) Yes (links to attachments) Yes (PDF, Word doc, PPT, etc.) Yes (PDF, Word doc, PPt, etc.)

Can I use it to cite sources in my document?

Yes (Cite while you Write plugin for Word, Open Office and Mathematica) Yes (Cite while you Write plugin for Word, Open Office and Mathematica) Yes (plugins for Word and Open Office) Yes (plugins for Word and Open Office)
Can I capture citation info from PDFs and Web pages?

Yes (PDF)

No (Web pages)

Yes (Web plugin for Firefox) Yes Yes (Web importer)
Captures web page snapshots? No No Yes Yes (Web importer)
Collaboration? Via EndNote Online Share references with groups Share references with groups

Share references and notes with groups

Academic social network

Search across papers? No No Yes


Annotation? Notes in the record, not the document Notes in the record, not the document Notes in the record, highlighting and annotation of web snapshots

Highlighting and annotation of PDF documents

Free web storage space for records and attached documents? N/A Only storage for 10,000 records 300 MB web storage (for-pay options for additional storage)

2 GB web storage (for-pay options for additional storage)

How accessible is it? To be determined To be determined About 80% accessible. Records can only be edited in the web version, citations cannot be pulled from webpages, and citations inserted into Word cannot be edited. Not accessible. Not recommended for screen reader users.

Benefits of Citation Tools

Citation management tools allow you to:

  • build a database of your references.
  • attach articles to references so that all your research is in one place.
  • store notes with references.
  • search references
  • cite your sources in your paper with a touch of a button.
  • automatically build your bibliography (also called works cited/reference list).
  • easily change your citation style if needed(e.g. APA to MLA, Chicago, etc).

Citation generators allow you to:

  • create a citation and bibliographic reference that you can copy and paste into your document.

 NOTE: Citation generators do not save your references.

Your Librarian

Michael Bowman
220C Millar Library


Content on this page was adapted/borrowed from Kim Glover at the University of Kansas.