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What reference management software do you use?

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Total number of votes: 12


  • Love Zotero

    Fabulously useful for references as well as just about everything else a scholar needs to keep track of including websites and documents of all types.

    Madelaine Befus September 4, 2012 - 8:56am

  • For the past five years I have been using Mediawiki (, the same Open Source software powers Wikipedia.

    I manage all my learning materials with Mediawiki, no matter they are  links to websites, files, video, documents. I can access those information anywhere in the world with only a web browser. 

    The most powerful feature of Mediawiki is I can associate (or reference) all the materials with links. I can easily jump from one reference to others.

    Here is my PLE

    Lawrence Poon

    Lawrence Poon September 28, 2012 - 10:41am

  • Voted for other because I use all of commercial (EndNote), free (Mendeley - not just an online service as it also provides servicable clients for Mac, Android, and iOS ) and open source (Zotero, which is of course also online) variants. Usually use EndNote because of collaborators that use it. Hate it. Hate them all actually! Why can no one produce reference software that actually works? It's not a trivial problem, but it really doesn't seem that complex.

    Jon Dron February 7, 2013 - 12:37am

  • Jon, Mendeley does have a desktop version but if you try to use the web importer, you are faced with a page ( that states "Please login to import documents to your library".  I would expect that web browsers are a common search viewer and hence reference integration without login provides less road blocks.  Thus I see Mendeley in the Internet perspective as favouring an online service model whereas Zotero is completely independent when acquiring web references.

    Zotero format is available in mobile applications but not inhouse, which means the apps are likely commercialware (

    Zotero is under AGPL license whereas Mendeley is proprietary.  Ironically Mendeley Desktop v.1.8 MAC can import Zotero but not export to Zotero format.

    Mendeley does have a marketing angle with its comparison chart ( that avoids information about licensing and login considerations when using their application.

    Students and researchers now have more freely available tools for referencing than ever.  Sharing reference banks hopefully will save time and effort (assuming accuracy of data).   However, in regards to Zotero 'open-source' code, I have yet to see a download link @ .  If Zotero is truly open then why is the code so invisible?

    Reference Links:


    Steve Swettenham February 7, 2013 - 9:35am

  • An interesting open-source document management system is Docear ( that blends mindmapping and referencing.

    Steve Swettenham February 7, 2013 - 9:52am

  • I have tried Zotero, EndNote, REfWorks and settled on Mendeley. It is not perfect but it is the closest to how I think about references, and therefore works for me.  Besides, until my thesis is completed I am not changing applications.  There are rumblings that Elsevier is considering buying Mendeley so who knows what I will use in the future. 

    Barbie Bruce February 7, 2013 - 10:22am

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