Comparing Citation Tools: what to consider
- How do you gather references?
- Do you have a bunch of PDFs on your computer that need organizing?
- Do you need to sync references and PDFs across different devices?
- What types of materials will you be working with, generally?
- What databases will you be using?
- Do you work in languages other than English?
- How much patience and skill do you have for troubleshooting technical issues?
- How much money are you willing/able to spend?
- Are you working with collaborators?
- Do you want your research to lead you to other researchers with similar interests?
- Is this tool something you picture yourself using beyond your time at Harvard?
Citation Tools Comparison Chart
|Storage space||Unlimited with EndNote X7||
5 GB with FAS or CfA email
|100 GB||300 MB|
|Cost||Student pricing; free FAS download (Free 30-day trial options)||Free||Free while Harvard maintains license||Free - more storage for a price|
|Cloud/desktop||Both||Both||Cloud||Cloud & browser plug-in|
|Technical support||Professional technical support||Good user community; limited direct technical support from Mendeley||Professional technical support||Good user community technical support|
|Strengths||Very robust; good search and storage capability; direct export option within library databases; works very well with PubMed||Large social component - can find other researchers in same field||Works well with library databases; good for organizing & formatting paper citations; PDFs import automatically||Good at pulling metadata from web resources; PDFs import automatically|
|After Harvard||$200+ post-graduation if not already purchased as a student||
Free (2 GB storage)
|Alumni accounts available||Free|
|Other considerations||Steeper learning curve; many customization features||Can use Mendeley with another tool; not as agile with EBSCO databases||Strong collaboration features; slower processing time than other tools||
Works best with Firefox, but Safari & Chrome versions available; open source
|Word-processing options||CWYW works with MS Word & OpenOffice; Format Paper works with Pages, Nissus, WordPad, others||Works with MS Word and OpenOffice||Write-n-Cite plug-in works with MS Word. Google Docs add-on available, but buggy.||
Plug-ins that work with MS Word, OpenOffice, LibreOffice
|Mobile options||iPad app||iPad, iPhone, & Android apps||Working on making interface responsive on mobile devices||Multiple options: see Zotero guide|
Citation Tools Comparison Sessions at Harvard
In these 90 minute sessions we discuss the elements that popular research management and citation tools have in common and how they differ, as well as special features and potential pitfalls of each. Our sessions currently cover New RefWorks, EndNote, and Zotero.
We do not plan to offer any more Citation Tools Comparison Classes during the spring 2017 semester. If you need assistance choosing a tool, use the comparison chart above and contact the librarians who teach citation tools classes via the form on the first page of this guide.