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Citation Management: Comparison

An overview and comparison of different citation managers, including RefWorks, Zotero, EasyBib, and BibMe.

Comparing Citation Managers

Need help deciding which citation tool to use?  The following table compares a number of popular citation managers based on general access, functionality, and special features.  Sometimes it helps to try out multiple ones before deciding on the one that's right for you.  This is just a subset of citation managers.  If you want to see the many, many other citation managers available out there, see this Wikipedia article.

NOTE: Automatic citation generators are a good place to get your citations properly formatted, but they are not always perfect.  Always review your citations to make sure they are consistent with recommended formats for your style.

RefWorks EndNote Zotero EasyBib BibMe
GENERAL FEATURES
Cost Free for UT students - access on or off campus

$114 student pricing

Many students or faculty may have previously used EndNote so it is included for comparision purposes.  It is not available at UT.

Free; Upgrades available for extra storage ($20 and up) Free; Pro version $4.99/mo OR $19.99/year Free, donations welcome
Ads No No No Yes with free version Yes
Ease of Use Less difficult More difficult Less difficult Easy Easy
Learning curve    Medium High Medium Low Low
Access

Login here and create a new account.

If you are off-campus, you will have to sign in first.

Purchase at http://endnote.com/

Download and install on personal computer.  Includes EndNoteSync which provides online access and file storage.

Go to https://www.zotero.org/ and download browser plugin or standalone version for free.

Paid version give you more storage.

http://www.easybib.com

Create free account to save bibliographies.  Paid account removes ads and has other features.

http://www.bibme.org/

Create free account to save bibliographies.  Paid account removes ads and has other features.

Access from any computer yes yes with EndNoteSync yes - data synced through Zotero server but not attached files yes yes
Work offline no yes yes - data saved in Firefox profile no no
Mac/PC Compatibility Mac and PC Mac and PC Mac and PC Mac and PC Mac and PC
CITATION FORMATS
MLA yes yes yes yes yes
APA yes yes yes With paid Premium account yes
Chicago    yes yes yes With paid Premium account yes
ADDING REFERENCES
Import from library databases yes yes yes no no
Import from websites yes no yes yes yes
Manual entry yes yes yes yes yes
EXPORTING
Export bibliographies to Word yes yes yes yes yes
Footnotes yes yes yes no no
In-text citations yes yes yes no no
SPECIAL FEATURES
Works with most smart phones yes - Mobile version yes - Mobile version No yes yes
iPad/iPhone app no no BibUp (3rd party) yes no
Android app no no Zandy (3rd party) yes no
Share references yes yes yes yes