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Manage Citations with Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote: EndNote

This guide provides an overview of citation management tools, as well as citation generators.

What is EndNote?

EndNote is another citation management software. Unlike Zotero and Mendeley, EndNote is not free. 


  • Organize and annotate your research, create bibliographies
  • Insert citations as you write into Microsoft Word, Pages, and Wolfram Mathematica 8
  • Import and search PDFs
  • ADA compliant and has accessibility features
  • Attach up to 45 files to your references
  • Collaborate and share your research with other EndNote users


  • Not free (PSU students pay $100 for a student discounted version and faculty pay $250)
  • Not automatically updated; users must pay for each new version of EndNote
  • The free web version, called EndNote Basic, has far less functionality than either Mendeley or Zotero (it does not easily add citations from the web or allow you to add annotations or notes to your PDFs) and it has a 2 GB storage limit. Because of the free version's limitations, it should really only be used with the paid version.
  • Clunky user interface

How much does it cost to use EndNote?

You can try out EndNote with a free 30 day trial. After the trial, EndNote can be purchased with a one-time cost starting at $100. For more information about EndNote's prices, visit the EndNote website.

The online-only version, EndNote Basic, is available for free but with far fewer features than competitors like Zotero and Mendeley.


EndNote is ADA compliant. It supports screen readers, large fonts generated by computers, and has other ADA features like accessible technical support. More information about EndNote’s accessibility features can be found at EndNote's ADA compliance page.

Install EndNote

EndNote has a free 30-day trial so you can try the application without paying for it. After the 30-day trial is over, EndNote is no longer free. You may download EndNote and start a trial at the EndNote website.

EndNote Basic is the web version of EndNote that is available to you as a student, faculty member, or staff member at PSU. It lacks features that are available in Zotero and Mendeley but you can save citations and work with other EndNote users. Create an account for EndNote Basic at the EndNote Basic website.

Please note that you cannot install EndNote or the Cite While You Write tool on the PSU lab computers. You can access your EndNote Basic web account from the lab computers, and you can install the Firefox extension to capture citations to your EndNote account.

Save Citations in EndNote

There are several ways to import citations to EndNote. You can export research articles from the web, Microsoft Office, and PSU's research databases. Each database has a slightly different interface, and sometimes the option to export a citation to EndNote can be listed under a different term, such as "Save" or "Export."

The images below show several different methods of importing citations from PSU's database to EndNote so you can see a comparison. The first image shows a citation export using the EBSCO database.citation export in EBSCO database


The image below shows a citation export using  the JSTOR database.

citation export in JSTOR


The image below shows a citation export using the ScienceDirect database.

citation export in ScienceDirect database

As you can see, the PSU Library databases allow for citations to be exported into EndNote. It may be slightly different in each database, but the steps and interface will be similar. 

EndNote also has a Firefox browser extension that lets you capture citations from the web. If you use only EndNote Basic (and not the full version), the Firefox extension is the only way you can capture citations. You will generally need to fill in the citation information yourself, as the extension can be unreliable at automatically filling in citation information. Once you fill in the citation information, it is saved to your EndNote Basic account.

The image below shows what it looks like to capture a citation using the EndNote extension in Firefox to capture a citation.

citation captured with EndNote extension for Firefox

Finally, you can save citations to EndNote by using the search feature within the desktop application. Use the desktop application to a few databases and library catalogs, and then select citations from the search results. You may need to take some extra steps to configure EndNote to search only PSU's library databases. Please contact the PSU library if you need any assistance.

PDF Features in EndNote

EndNote allows you to read and annotate and highlight your PDF articles within the EndNote application. You can also search through your citations and PDFs, and organize your library by many different criteria, across multiple devices. You can use EndNote to attach up to 45 files to your citations, including sound and video files.

Organize Citations with EndNote

EndNote organizes your research with a feature called “Groups”. You can create custom groups and add articles to them, like adding files to a folder. EndNote's training page provides more information about groups.

  • Smart groups use search parameters that you create and automatically update with any articles you add if they meet these criteria.
  • Combined groups let you define overlapping ideas that connect one group to another.

Share Citations with EndNote

The newer versions of EndNote let you share your entire library (including references, PDFs, and annotations) with up to 14 others using the same version. Everyone can contribute to the shared research at the same time. You can also share just your references or groups of references without sharing your entire library. More information about collaborating in EndNote can be found by visiting the EndNote website.

Word Processors and EndNote

EndNote has a Cite While You Write tool that integrates its citation tools into Microsoft Word for Windows and for Macs. This comes with the standalone EndNote application, while people who only use EndNote Basic can download it separately.

EndNote's Cite While You Write tool integrates with word processors, including Microsoft Word, Wolfram Mathematica 8, and Pages. It creates a new EndNote tab in your word processor program with additional citation tools. As with other citation manager applications, you can easily change the style and format of your citations, and create in-text citations and a bibliography easily.