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Citation Style Guides: Select a Citation Management Software Product

Select Zotero

Select Mendeley

Select EasyBib

Select APA Style Central

Compare Software Products

Citation Management Software Product Comparison

 

Recommendations:

  • Use Zotero IF:
    1. use personal computer,
    2. use multiple databases and websites, use multiple document formats,
    3. need simple collaboration tools,
    4. use journal-specific citation styles,
    5. prefer open access products,
    6. use after graduation or employment,
    7. only need limited storage
  • Use Mendeley IF:
    1. use personal computer,
    2. extensive collaboration both in and outside of institution,
    3. want to use citation management tool to discover other literature,
    4. share resources and datasets with public,
    5. use primarily pdf documents,
    6. want to annotate and note on pdf,
    7. have extensive pdf library (simple drag and drop),
    8. use after graduation or employment,
    9. want unlimited storage
  • Use EasyBib IF:
    1. use multiple public computers,
    2. want simple implementation – little to no learning curve,
    3. MLA citation style (free version),
    4. use primarily to generate citations and not as a management system,
    5. use GoogleDocs,
    6. do not need document storage

 

NOTE: If accessibility is an issue, please contact the Office of Disability Services for a software solution.

 

Feature

Zotero

Mendeley

EasyBib

Price

Free download and account. Subscription price for upgraded storage plans. No institutional subscription offered.

Free for basic individual plan. Subscription price for Max individual plan.

Free for MLA style. Subscription cost for other citation styles.

Accuracy[1] (APA)

2.4 errors/citation, volume/issue, article title, access

Unknown

Unknown

Platform

Web. Browser. Desktop client. Firefox is preferred browser, also works with Safari and Chrome.

Web. Desktop client. Browser button

Web

Commercialization

Open source

Proprietary - Elsevier

Proprietary - Chegg

Citation Styles

Major styles included in default list. 8,000+ styles available through style repository – requires separate download.

All major styles included. 6,000+ styles.

MLA only in free version. Other styles in subscription version.

Customer Support

Discussion boards. No direct support.

Online community and video tutorials for free customers.

Very little in free. Search youtube for tutorials.

 

 

Collaboration and Data Sharing for group projects. Social media capabilities.

Add collaborators to group folder. Share items in folder.

Add collaborators to group folder. Share items in folder. Group can be private or public. Private groups can share documents as well as references. Groups have newsfeed which allow groups to communicate and follow progress. Group annotations of documents and group notes beside document.

 

Create profile to connect with researchers in similar fields. Follow colleagues. Browse public groups to discover similar research and researchers.

Email bibliography to collaborators

Installation/Setup

Create account. Download software. Sync account. Confirm presence in desktop MSWord.

Create account. Download software. Must manually sync account.

Generate bibliography (free), create account (paid)

Available to students after graduation

Yes. Citations and saved pdfs available

Yes. Personal account with personal storage limits available.

Yes

Full text (pdf)

Yes. Saves pdf when available. Upload separately when obtained later (such as ILL)

Yes. Saves pdf when available. Can also drag and drop from computer.

No

PDF Annotation

No.

Yes. Highlight, sticky notes.

No

Notes

Yes

Yes.

Yes (paid)

Organization

Folders, subfolders, tags.

Folders, subfolders, tags.

Folders, subfolders and Online notebook (paid)

Word-processing integration

Zotero plugin. MSWord in-text citations and bibliography. Not Pages or GoogleDocs.

Mendeley citation plugin.MS Word for in-text citations and bibliography. Not Pages or GoogleDocs.

EasyBib add on for GoogleDocs (paid). Only creates bibliography, doesn’t integrate with in-text citations.

Mobile apps

Zotpad – access to citations, pdfs

Mendeley app.

EasyBib app.

Processes to Add Citations

  1. Zotero button on browser.
  2. Manual entry.
  3. Import from other citation managers.
  1. Mendeley button on browser.
  2. Add papers from computer (click and drag). Mendeley will extract citation from pdf.
  3. Manual entry.
  4. Import from other citation managers.
  1. Citation generator – select format, search for item, select item, cite, copy.

ADA Compliant – 508 compliance (discuss software options with Office of Disability Services if accessibility is a concern)

Not explicitly. Zotero states that it depends on whether browser chosen is ADA compliant.

No information found.

No information found.

Storage limits

300MB/user for free version. Rate plans vary.

2GB for free plan. Rate plans vary.

N/A

Search features

Yes, global search. Includes pdf documents that can be searched.

Yes, global search. Includes pdf documents.

Search web for resources

Extract citation data from pdf format

Yes, with plugin installed

Yes.

No

Datasets

No

Yes – share datasets with other researchers.

No

 

 

 

 

Products

 

 

(copy URL and some of these may work well)

Library Catalog

Direct

No.

No.

EBSCO Databases

Direct

Direct

Direct

ACS Publications

Direct

Direct

No

AnthroSource

Direct

Direct

No

AVON

Direct (use export).

Direct (use export).

Direct (use export).

BioOne

Direct

Direct

No

BIOSIS

No

No

No

Choice

No

No

No

Cochrane

Direct. Incomplete.

No

No

Digital Theatre Plus

Direct. Incomplete.

Direct. Incomplete.

No

Ebrary

Direct

Direct

No

Engineering Village

No.

Direct (use export)

No

Films on Demand

Direct. Incomplete.

No

Direct

GenderWatch

Direct

Direct. Incomplete

No

JSTOR

Direct

No

Direct

MathSciNet

Direct

No

No

Media Education Videos

Direct. Incomplete.

No

No

Opposing Viewpoints

Direct. Incomplete.

No

Direct

LexisNexis

Direct

No

No

NAXOS

Direct. Incomplete.

No

No

Policy Map

Direct. Incomplete

No

No

Primal Pictures

No

No

No

PubMed

Direct

Direct

No

Sage

Direct

Direct

No

ScienceDirect

Direct

Direct

No

SciFinder Scholar

Direct

No

No

Springer

Direct

Direct

No

Wiley

Direct

Direct

No

WorldCat (public)

Direct

Direct

Direct

Youtube

Direct

Direct. Incomplete.

No

Google Scholar

Direct

No, go to actual site.

No

Wikipedia

Direct

Can save and cite resources, but not actual Wikipedia page.

No

Amazon

Direct

Direct

No

Database direct export totals

22 complete plus 7 incomplete

13 complete plus 3 incomplete

6

 

 

[1] Lindley Homol, “Web-Based Citation Management Tools: Comparing the Accuracy of Their Electronic Journal Citations,” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 40, no. 6 (November 2014): 552–57, doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2014.09.011. I have provided the average number of errors/citation for APA citation format in the three products evaluated in the journal article. MLA was not used because the article was published when MLA7 was in use. The article discovered that majority of errors were based on errors imported from EBSCO. It should be noted that all three tools had lower error rates than the EBSCO citation feature itself.