You cannot go wrong choosing any of the tools, but it helps if you take a few things into consideration before starting. Remember that you can switch between the tools, it just becomes less convenient the longer you use a tool and the more file attachments you collect.
Some reasons to choose Zotero:
- It gathers citation records for non-PDF and PDF content. Zotero's single-click capture works with many databases and websites, and works well with many catalogs, including WU Classic, MOBIUS, and WorldCat (FirstSearch interface)
- You can also enable the retrieval of PDF metadata, which allows you to create citation records just from dragging a PDF into Zotero.
- Zotero has built in PDF reading and annotation tools. (newly added feature 3/2022)
- Zotero is open source and cannot be acquired by a company.
- *Pricing structure: Zotero follows the "freemium" model: 300 MG for the free version with additional storage available for purchase
- For continuously updated Zotero information, downloading, and excellent help pages, and forums, check their website: https://www.zotero.org/support/.
- WUSTL Libraries has a helpful Zotero guide. In addition, the Libraries have more support available for the Zotero program. To make an appointment for help, see Zotero Help appointment button on your left.
Some reasons to choose Mendeley:
- Your research content is primarily contained in PDF files: Mendeley has an integrated PDF viewer and can create citation records just from importing a PDF file. Mendeley.org has the strongest website and community platform.
- Mendeley’s PDF viewer has excellent, easy-to-use, built-in capability. You may also edit with another Mendeley user simultaneously.
- Mendeley is owned by the for-profit publishing company Elsevier.
- *Pricing structure: Mendeley follows the "freemium" model: 2 GB for the free version with additional storage available for purchase
- For continuously updated Mendeley information and excellent help pages, check their website: https://www.mendeley.com/guides.
Some reasons to choose EndNote:
- Zotero and Mendeley are relatively young tools when compared to EndNote. EndNote X9 offers some additional features that might be necessary for your discipline and work flow.
- There are two versions of Endnote -- a stand alone desktop program and EndNote Online, a cloud-based version. If you want to use both, they can be synced so that you have the same references (from a single desktop library) in both places.
- However, EndNote X9 is not free but can be purchased with a significant educational discount through the Washington University STS. Currently, EndNote for WUSTL students for $24. For purchasing information, go here: https://sts.wustl.edu/sas-mathematica-and-endnote-for-students/.
- For additional info, help pages, and videos about Endnote X9, check their thorough company guide: EndNote X9: https://clarivate.libguides.com/endnote_training/users/enx9
- To establish your free Endnote Online account use the following steps:
- Go to the Web Of Science from a computer connected to the campus network
- Click the Products link at top right of page. EndNote will be one of the options
- Click register on the pop up window
- Storage limit: EndNote online via the Web of Science provides 2GB of storage with upgrade packages available.
- Scroll down on this website to see a comparison of the two EndNote options: https://endnote.com/product-details/basic/
- This guide at WUSTL’s Becker Medical School is also a helpful resource.