You Selected:

How do I choose a citation manager?


Choose a citation manager that best meets your requirements. EndNote, RefWorks, Mendeley, and Zotero each come with respective strengths and weaknesses, but all offer the same basic features:

  • Export a batch of references from a database
  • Organize references in folders 
  • Share citations with research groups
  • Create a bibliography of citations in a variety of styles
  • Add a Microsoft Word plug-in that allows citation while you write on the document

Compare Citation Managers

  RefWorks EndNote Mendeley Zotero
  • Free for Johns Hopkins affiliates
  • User must pay for a storage subscription
  • $5/mo. for 5 GB
  • $10/mo. for 10 GB
  • $15/mo. for unlimited storage
  • Users must pay for collaboration plans
  • Up to 300 MB free
  • User must pay for a storage subscription over 300 MB
  • $20/year for 2 GB
  • $60/year for 6 GB
  • $120/year for unlimited storage
Access Standard web client & mobile web client Desktop client, iPad app Desktop client, web client, iPhone app, iPad app Desktop client, web client, and bookmarklet for many browsers
  • Group accounts
  • Share folders from individual accounts
  • Available in EndNote X8
  • Free: 1 private group with up to 3 members
  • Group plans start at $49/mo for 5 people
  • Create groups within an account

PDF features 

(annotate, search full-text)

No Yes Yes Yes
Exporting from databases “RefWorks direct export” Direct export or “RIS” export Direct export or “RIS” export “RIS” export
Web pages



No Yes

“Web Importer”

Paper writing
  • “Write-N-Cite”
  • “One Line Cite”
“Cite While You Write” MSWord Plug-In MSWord Plug-In
  • Ease of use
  • Collaborative
  • Free at Hopkins
  • Size
  • Bulk download of pdfs
  • De-duplication
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Web importer
  • Download PDFs
  • Web features
  • Quick capture feature with no sign-in
  • Saves snapshot of entire webpage
  • Matches metadata to isolated PDFs
Limitations for large reviews
  • Small imports
  • Limited PDF storage
  • Limited de-duping
  • Limited web features
  • No collaboration prior to X8
  • Monthly cost for large projects and teams
  • No bulk downloads of PDFs
  • Monthly cost for large projects
  • Ref IDs do not export easily
  • Limited de-duping