Which bibliographic software is right for you?

A guide to help you choose whether to use EndNote, RefWorks or another option. The library provides training and support on Endnote and Refworks. Support on other packages is available via their webpages.
Issues to ConsiderEndNoteRefWorksOther Options
Where will you be working?
  • EndNote desktop software is only available on University computers.
  • You can sync the desktop software to EndNote Web to access your references online.
  • We recommend you only use EndNote if you are based on-campus or have a University laptop.
  • RefWorks is online software and can be accessed anywhere with internet access.
  • We recommend RefWorks for those working off-campus or across several computers.
  • Mendeley and Zotero are free bibliographic software packages that have desktop and online options.
  • Mendeley and Zotero are not available on student machines.
  • Staff/Researchers can request a program for their University IT account, but would need to prove why the alternative programs available were not suitable for their work.
What devices will you be using?
  • EndNote desktop software is available for Windows or Mac.
  • iPad app can be purchased.
  • RefWorks can be accessed on any device with an internet browser.
  • Zotero's web-based version has a mobile site.
  • Mendeley has apps for Apple and android devices.
Do you need to share references with colleagues?
  • You can share references via EndNoteWeb.
  • You can share a Word document which will have a traveling library of citations embedded.
  • You can share folders of references with specific people or with everyone at your institution.
  • You can create a shared RefWorks account for research groups/projects.
  • Mendeley and Zotero allow you to share references and documents with fellow users.
What kind of references will you be working with?
  • Wide range of reference types.
  • Can create customised reference types.
  • Wide range of reference types.
  • Zotero and Mendeley have a wide range of reference types.
Will you be using lots of PDFs of articles?
  • References can be created by importing (dragging & dropping) PDFs.
  • Can annotate PDFs.
  • Some PDF file management options.
  • Can search across PDFs.
  • References can be created by importing (dragging & dropping) PDFs.
  • Can annotate PDFs.
  • Mendeley -References can be created by importing (dragging & dropping) PDFs, can annotate & search across the PDFs. Good for PDF file management.
  • Zotero - can attach and search across PDFs. Can create references from PDFs.
What kind of citation style do you need to use?
  • Thousands of citation/bibliography styles.
  • Can create your own style and edit existing styles within the software.
  • Thousands of citation/bibliography styles.
  • Can create your own style and edit existing styles within the software.
  • Zotero and Mendeley both have over a thousand styles.
  • Can edit Mendeley and Zotero styles by editing the XML.
What word processing software are you using?
  • EndNote toolbar integrates with Word or OpenOffice.
  • Powerful cite as you write features.
  • Can insert citations into PowerPoint.
  • Can create standalone bibliographies.
  • Can be used with LaTex by exporting to BibTex.
  • RefWorks toolbar integrates with Word or Google Docs.
  • Powerful cite as you write features.
  • Quick Cite can copy & paste citations and create bibliographies into any document.
  • Can create standalone bibliographies.
  • Can be used with LaTex by exporting to BibTex.
  • Mendeley works with Word or OpenOffice, LibreOffice.
  • Zotero works with Word and LibreOffice, OpenOffice, NeoOffice.
  • Zotero has a Quick Cite function, can create standalone bibliographies and can be used with LaTex by exporting to BibTex.
What happens when you leave the University?
  • You can save or export your references in a number of formats to use with other bibliographic software.
  • Alumni can keep their RefWorks accounts as long as the University continues to subscribe to RefWorks.
  • You can save or export your references in a number of formats to use with other bibliographic software.
  • Mendeley and Zotero are currently free software.
  • You can save or export your references in a number of formats to use with other bibliographic software.
What other features might be important to you?
  • Good at handling large amounts of references.
  • Has 'find fulltext' and openURL link features.
  • Can drag and drop references into customisable sections in the bibliography (e.g. primary and secondary courses)
  • Better for footnote styles that require a ‘short title’.
  • Better for use with Law style OSCOLA.
  • Has Leicester eLink enabled.
  • Once Word toolbar has synced you can then work offline.
  • Save to RefWorks bookmarklet for saving webpages and blog posts.
  • Unlimited web storage space for references and PDFs.
  • Zotero has good integration with Firefox browser.
  • Mendeley and Zotero can sync across multiple computers.
  • Mendeley has its own social media features, which allow you to network with other researchers.

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