Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citation Managers: Compare Citation Managers

This guide features citation managers Zotero and Mendeley. We also share information about how to move references from platform to platform.

Compare Zotero and Mendeley

What sets Zotero apart:

  • Great at gathering sources right from your browser window
  • Collects attached audio and video files as well as PDFs, text files, and website snapshots
  • Lets you create multiple private groups to share citations and files with collaborators for free (Mendeley allows one free group)
  • Offers bookmarklets for saving sources from mobile phones/tablets

What sets Mendeley apart: 

  • Allows you to highlight and annotate PDFs
  • Watches designated folders on your computer to import new sources
  • Provides its own database for discovering new research and makes personalized suggestions
  • Offers a great social network for connecting with other researchers and promoting your own work
  • Offers apps that let you read and annotate PDFs on your mobile phone/tablet 

Comparison Handout

Citation Manager Workshops

Getting Started with Citation Managers – Mendeley & Zotero

Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 11 am

Presenters: Ruth Owens & Casey Koons

Location: 19 Moon

Managing your research articles and citing them can be a time consuming task. There are many tools available to make this task easier, streamline the reading and citation process, and make creating bibliographies easy. Prepare to be “wowed” with how much time can be saved with these tools! Please bring your laptop or device, if you have one.

Advanced Citation Managers – Mendeley & Zotero

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 11 am

Presenters: Ruth Owens & Casey Koons

Location: 110 Moon

We will go over some of the more advanced features of Mendeley & Zotero to help you organize and cite your research, going beyond basic set-up and importing papers. This session is for you if you have already downloaded and begun using either program. Please bring the device on which you use either Zotero or Mendeley.

Sync Mendeley with Zotero

Want to benefit from the features of both Zotero and Mendeley? You can actually set Mendeley up to automatically import any citations and files you add to Zotero. There are a couple ways to do this.

You can import at set up:






To set importing up later, just open Preferences from the Mendeley Desktop menu.


Then, click on the tab for Zotero and follow the instructions to enable continuous import.