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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Literatuurbeheer: Vergelijking van tools

Comparison of reference management tools 1: general (updated 20141006)

Show columns: Colwiz Endnote Endnote Basic Google Scholar My library Mendeley MS Office ref. tab Papers UBU Pers. Library Reference Manager RefWorks Proquest Flow Zotero browser ext. for FF Zotero stand alone
Colwiz Endnote Endnote basic Google Scholar my library Mendeley MS Office ref. tab Papers (3) UBU Pers. Library Reference manager (phased out) RefWorks Proquest Flow Zotero browser ext. for FF Zotero stand alone
supplier Colwiz (with T&F) Thomson Thomson Google Elsevier Microsoft Springer UBU Thomson Proquest Proquest Open source Open source
PC or web? PC + web + bookmarkl. PC + web web web PC + web + bookmarkl. deskt. PC + web web PC web web + bookmarkl. PC + web + bookmarkl. PC + web + bookmarkl.
UU-license free no free free free, no inst. license yes no free for UU no yes free, no inst. license free free
on UU PCs? no, but web no web web yes yes no, but web web no web web web no
also for Mac? yes yes web web yes yes yes web no web yes yes yes
mobile (phone) ioS + Android iOS web web iOS no iOS web no mobile web web web web
(free) web space 3 GB no limit 2 GB no 2GB no no no no set by admin 2 GB 300 MB 300 MB
basic workflow bibl. bibl. bibl. bibl. full text bibl. full text bibl. bibl. bibl. full text bibl. bibl.
built in reader / PDF-viewer yes yes no no yes no yes no no no yes no no
citing support for Word yes yes yes no yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes yes
store PDF's yes, web yes, local + web yes, web no yes, local folder and web no yes, local bundle + dropbox no yes, local yes, web yes, web + dropbox yes, local folder and web yes, local folder and web
search stored PDFs no yes no no yes no yes no no yes yes option in prefs option in prefs
deduplication no yes yes no yes no yes no yes yes yes yes yes
export BibTex format yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes no yes yes yes yes
export Endnote format yes yes yes yes yes no yes no no yes yes yes yes
export RIS format yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
free groups yes, 5 GB per group yes 15p, no data limit no no 1, 100 MB, 3 p/group no yes yes, refs only no no yes, max 10 p/group yes yes
supports text file import (RIS / BibT. / Endn.) yes (desktop) yes yes no yes no yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
Colwiz Endnote Endnote Web Google Scholar my library Mendeley MS office Papers UBU personal library Reference Manager RefWorks Proquest Flow Zotero browser ext. Zotero stand alone

Please remember that feature parity does not imply same quality: the technical implementation, performance, look and feel may vary strongly, resulting in different user experience.

N.B. For some tools there are pro, group or site wide institutional licenses that expand your web space, group size&space and more. This holds for Mendeley, Flow, Zotero and PapersApp.

This table is not exhaustive. Only criteria often used to determine the tool of your choice are listed. More extensive comparisons are available in the Wikipedia article comparing reference management tools. Also see the in-depth comparison of Zotero, Mendeley and Docear (by the latter) or the comparison by the Technical University of Munich (in German).

There is so much to cover that we chose to do develop this table further step by step, on request....  Annotate PDFs? Google Docs support? Automatic file renaming? Dropbox integration? Institutional editions? Number of available styles? Style editing option? Webpage snapshots? Tagging? Advanced search? (Public) author profiles? Possibilities of add ons for Zotero such as Zotfile? Find full text from bibliographic reference? Page numbers in in-text citations (Mendeley does not supp[ort that)? Library link resolver support? Support for citing with LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice? Available document types? (Global) search and replace? Share annotations? Would you like to see an aspect added to the table? Or would you like to see additional tools added, such as ReadCube, Citavi, Docear, PaperShip, F1000, RefMe, Paperpile (with citing support for Google docs) or Qiqqa (with full text analysis of your documents)? Just ask, using the comments link below.

Comparison of reference management tools 2: getting stuff in (updated 20141004)

Show columns: Colwiz Endnote Endnote Basic Google Scholar My library Mendeley MS Office ref. tab Papers UBU Pers. Library Reference Manager RefWorks Proquest Flow Zotero browser ext. for FF Zotero stand alone
Colwiz Endnote Endnote basic Google Scholar my library Mendeley MS Office ref. tab Papers (3) UBU Pers. Library Reference manager (phased out) RefWorks Proquest Flow Zotero browser ext. for FF Zotero stand alone
supports text file import (RIS / BibT. / Endn.) yes (desktop) yes yes no yes no yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
supports scraping with browser button (bookmarklet) yes no yes no yes no yes no no (yes) yes yes yes
supports direct search from within tool yes (desktop) yes yes no no no yes no yes yes no no no
supports extracting bib. data from PDF no yes no no yes no yes no no no yes no yes
(best/easiest) import method from:
catalogue Utrecht U. (scrape) save & import (scrape) x (scrape) man. save & import

direct

save & import save & import (scrape) scrape scrape
Google Books (scrape) save & import (scrape) x (scrape) man. save & import save / import save & import save & import (scrape) scrape scrape
Google Scholar scrape direct (1-by-1) (scrape) direct (1-by-1) scrape man. save & import

UBUlink* (1-by-1)

direct (1-by-1) direct (1-by-1) direct (1-by-1) scrape scrape
PsycInfo (OvidSP) (scrape) direct (scrape) x scrape man. save & import UBUlink* (1-by-1) direct direct direct scrape scrape
PubMed scrape save & import scrape x scrape man. save & import UBUlink* (1-by-1) save & import save & import (scrape) scrape scrape
RepEc (scrape) save & import scrape x scrape man. save & import save / import save & import save & import (scrape) scrape scrape
Scopus scrape save & import (scrape) x direct man. save & import UBUlink* (1-by-1) save & import direct, with sync direct scrape scrape
Web of Science scrape direct (scrape) x scrape man. save & import UBUlink* (1-by-1) save & import direct direct scrape scrape
Worldcat (scrape) direct scrape x scrape man. save & import UBUlink* (1-by-1) direct direct direct scrape scrape
Colwiz Endnote Endnote Web Google Scholar my library Mendeley MS office Papers UBU personal library Reference Manager RefWorks Proquest Flow Zotere browser ext. Zotero stand alone

N.B. The indication of the "easiest/best" import methods in the table above does not take into account the possibility to search databases from within the tool (because most people prefer the native interface). It also does not take into account the possibility to download a PDF and have the tool build up the bibliographic metadata from that. Please consider these two options in the light of your personal workflow when comparing tools on their importing abilities.

N.B. Colwiz, Endnote, Reference Manager, RefWorks, Papers and EndnoteWeb also have the option to search literature databases from within the tool itself. This offers limited search functionality but makes for easy importing of references. There is much variation in which databases are supported.

N.B. Mendeley has the additional optiopn to save references by searching the combined library of Mendeley users' references

N.B. Zotero has the additional option to add items by identifier (DOI, PMID, ISBN). Zotero does a lookup in Crossref, PubMed or Worldcat to get the bibliographical data.

N.B. RefWorks (and also Zotero??) has the additional option to add items through RSS-feeds (e.g. of a search in Scopus).

Explanation of the terms:

  • Direct: the search engine has a menu option to export directly to the reference management tool: this is fast, reliable and allows for exporting of not just the bibliographical data, but also abstracts and references lists.
  • Man(ually): type in or copy/past all the bibliographical data by hand: slow and prone to errors.
  • Save&import: save the bibliographical data in a standard format (RIS, BibTex, Endnote etc.) and then import that file into the reference management system: relatively slow, but reliable.
  • Scrape (aka web importer method): the reference management tool offers installation of a browser bookmarklet that can recognize and capture bibliographical information on any web page. This is easy initially, but does require that you check on the completeness and correctness of the data capture. It may be 100% correct or very incomplete and useless. When it is useless the option is placed between brackets in the table above.
  • UBUlink: download is through an option in the Utrecht University library link resolver that shows up in search results. This uses OpenURL technology. It is relatively fast, but does not support batch import and extracts only the most basic data, that is also sometimes incomplete (e.g. only first authors or no author initials or missing titles - the UBUlink relies on how search engines construct their OpenURL). Search engines for which UBUlink import may be incomplete are indicated with an asterisk.

Wish to see import options from another search engine covered in this table? Just let us know, using the comments option below.