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A Look at RefWorks, Zotero and Mendeley:

Three Reference Manager Tools Compared -- October 2010 update

Features RefWorks Zotero Mendeley (beta)


http://bit.ly/4r9wVA http://www.zotero.org/ http://www.mendeley.com/

Mission “online research "See it. Save it. “Organize research,


management, writing & Sort it. Search it. Cite." collaborate and discover new
collaboration tool” knowledge…”
Cost Subscription (Library Free (downloadable Firefox Free (downloadable plugin &
buys RefWorks) plugin) web interface)
Ease of use Average Average Average -- some challenges if
changing PCs
Web accessible Yes Yes, With USB
anywhere but requires plug-in
Direct Yes (some require Yes (list of databases Yes (list of databases
import/export from downloading text) supported) supported (COinS)
databases
Auto-download pdfs Yes Yes Yes
Source file link Yes Yes Yes
# of citation styles 16 pre-loaded, "hundreds"
~800 formats available for install to Zotero ~1200 styles available
plugin
Link to journal on Yes Yes Yes
web
Format references Write-N-Cite needed MSWord (plugin), Google MSWord, Google Docs, any
into manuscripts (MSWord & Open Office) Docs, any text file, html, rtf text file, html, rtf ?
Duplicate record Yes No Yes – check?
detection
Extract metadata No Yes Yes
from PDFs
PDF No No Yes
markup/annotation
Web “scraping” Fair Very good for webpages in Excellent with pdf files
ability html especially for metadata
Sharing possible Yes Yes Yes

Compatibility issues None FireFox browser only iPhone & iPad compatible
Mobile version
Yes (no mobile version yet) Yes
Notes 100mb but you can ask 100 mb free storage 500 mb free storage
for increase

This document is a merging of numerous academic library handouts, see RefWorks, Mendeley and Zotero 1
Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian, Fall 2010
RefWorks: http://hlwiki.slais.ubc.ca/index.php/Bibliographic_citation_software
• citation management tool, widely-used in academic libraries in Canada, and web-based
• Byline is: “Your online research management, writing and collaboration tool…”
• accessible from any web-connected computer so you can create a personal database
• import and store citations, format bibliographies and import citations from RSS feeds
• link to files (e.g., PDFs, word documents, Excel spreadsheets)
• add new citations by importing or manual entering; share citations for collaborative projects
• Go to: http://bit.ly/4r9wVA and “Sign up for an individual account”

Interface overview
• References: add references with pull-down menu
• Search: search for citations by access point (i.e. author, descriptor, journal name)
• View: view your Folders
• Folders: view, edit or delete Folders
• Bibliographies: create bibliographies
• Tools: download plugins e.g. RefGrabIt and Write-N-Cite

This document is a merging of numerous academic library handouts, see RefWorks, Mendeley and Zotero 2
Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian, Fall 2010
Creating & organizing features:
• Select Folders and choose Create …
• Give your folder a name; rename or delete as necessary

Importing references:
• Search PubMed and select some citations
• Choose Send to and select File MEDLINE
• Save file as pubmed_result.txt (use “Send to” “File” option)
• In Refworks click on References …then Import
• From Import Filter/Data Source pull-down menu, select “NLM Pubmed”
• Create Folder you want to add references to import pubmed_result.txt file
• Use RefGrab-It to capture webpage content.
• Download plugin within RefWorks under “Tools”

Searching your reference collections:


• Your references are all searchable. Choose “Search” then, “Advanced. Ignore “Search Name”
• Change your search field from “Descriptors” to “Anywhere” and choose folder to search
• Type a keyword into the search box and click on “Search.”

Annotating references, adding PDFs & other files:


• Click on “Edit” to add comments, keywords, or attachments to a reference
• Note the “Attachment” option. Note the “User” fields

Creating footnotes & citations in papers:


• Download Write-N-Cite

Zotero: http://hlwiki.slais.ubc.ca/index.php/Zotero_-_open-source_citation_management
• A non-commercial, open source, extensible web-based social media tool (shareware really)
• Byline: "See it. Save it. Sort it. Search it. Cite."
• download Firefox plugin: http://www.zotero.org; Zotero sits at bottom of browser, far right
• enhances ability to be social through new Zotero Groups
• annotate, tag and organize citations; use notetaking with autosave for enhanced descriptions
• gather, organize and cite sources (papers, fulltext pdfs, web pages, images & other objects)
• use Collections and Groups to store and share items
• to start Zotero on your desktop, click the icon in the lower right of Firefox browser
• Preferences allows you to install plugins to search text of PDFs and add metadata

This document is a merging of numerous academic library handouts, see RefWorks, Mendeley and Zotero 3
Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian, Fall 2010
Interface overview:
• iTunes-like interface “window pane” appears at the bottom of your Firefox browser; collections
and groups are listed on the left; titles are in the center; metadata at the right column
• “My Library” (left column) contains ALL items; click a folder to see citations in that folder
• Add Notes and Tags to individual items

Adding items to Zotero:


• Click icon in browser address field
• Websites such as library catalogues and book vendors that display a “book” icon are indicating
Zotero; tool will recognize items and add them to your collection
• Add items manually by clicking on the green “New Item” icon

Searching:
• Use basic search or advanced via magnifying glass icon; search text, tags, terms, etc.
• Save searches by clicking magnifying glass icon and clicking on “Save Search”

Adding attachments
• Example: Highlight an item in the middle column, right click and choose “Add
Attachment/Attach Stored Copy of File.”
This document is a merging of numerous academic library handouts, see RefWorks, Mendeley and Zotero 4
Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian, Fall 2010
Create bibliographies in Zotero
• download Zotero plug-in for word processing to add citations while you write
• create bibliographies: highlight references and right click; choose Generate Bibliography
from Selected Items and select style type needed
• Choose Copy to Clipboard and paste the bibliography into a document
• Choose Preferences/Advanced to access fulltext

Synching & sharing your Zotero library


• Save & back-up items, notes and metadata to Zotero server; access from other desktops.
• To save attached files, you are limited to 100 mb of space. More space is available for a fee.
• Use “Group Settings” in your Zotero online account to add members to groups you want to
share. Be sure to register with Zotero to access these options.

Mendeley: http://hlwiki.slais.ubc.ca/index.php/Mendeley_-_Manage,_Share_%26_Discover_Research
• Free, cross platform reference & document manager (free to use but not open source)
• Byline: “Organize research, collaborate and discover new knowledge…”
http://www.mendeley.com/
• Two parts: downloadable desktop application & web interface (hosted at Mendeley)
• Easy import, index, annotation, collaboration and backup for your documents
• Citations created with metadata in pdf files; imports documents and extracts metadata
• Create Collections to store documents and citations; share with others
• Plugins for creating bibliographies and scraping webpages; web snapshot feature
• LastFM-like but a research network of other users to share and discover ideas
• Share references, and engage in collaborative tagging of documents

This document is a merging of numerous academic library handouts, see RefWorks, Mendeley and Zotero 5
Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian, Fall 2010
Import to Mendeley

Manage your citations & pdf files in Mendeley using Collections

This document is a merging of numerous academic library handouts, see RefWorks, Mendeley and Zotero 6
Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian, Fall 2010