Zotero versus Mendeley

© lifecreations via CC

So, what are they?

These are free, easy to use and convenient reference management applications to help you save, organise and store your references. They allow you to create in-text citations and bibliographies, and both offer a desktop and online access.

But which one is the best for you?

The I&LS team has done a bit of research to find out how these two products compare. But deciding which one to use will depend on your preferences and working style…

 mendeley zotero_logo
AccessDesktop and online. Works with IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.Online: on Firefox browser with plug-in installed. A desktop version – Zotero Standalone – works with Chrome and Safari.
Free online storage2GB personal space + 100MB shared300MB
Additional storage cost
  • 5GB: £3.99/month
  • 10GB: £7.99/month
  • Unlimited: £11.99/month
  • 2GB: $1.67/month (£1)
  • 6GB: $5/month (£3.10)
  • 10GB: $8.25/month (£5.10)
  • 25GB: $20/month (£12.50)
AnnotationIntegrated PDF viewer (highlights and annotates files). Plus you can attach notes to itemsYou can attach notes/tags to items and add notes to collections
Rich text notesNoYes
Compatibility/mobile versionMendeley Lite app for iPad/iPhone.Third party apps for AndroidOnly third party apps: Zandy, ZotPad, BibUp, Scanner for Zotero, ZotFile
Citation countNoYes – Zotero Scholar Citations plugin for Firefox version only
Search for full-text within CambridgeYes, but only when using the online versionYes, using a proxy server available from UL
  • Social collaboration features: possible to see what other users read/cite; easy to find people with similar research interests
  • Works well with large collections of PDFs
  • Can automatically re-name and organise PDFs
  • Good at pulling bibliographical data from PDFs
  • Open source
  • Save as you browse: you can save almost anything you find on the web
  • Can automatically save PDFs
  • Strong online support, lots of user documentations
  • Advanced search functionality
WeaknessesUnreliable web importerLimited free online storage
Exporting directly from databases (save as you browse)
  • ABI Inform Complete (ProQuest)
  • Key Note
  • PubMed
  • Web of Knowledge
  • Google Scholar
  • Google Books
  • Wikipedia
  • ABI Inform Complete (ProQuest)
  • Business Source Complete
  • PubMed
  • SAGE journals
  • Science Direct
  • Scopus
  • Web of Knowledge
  • Dawsonera (ebooks)
  • LibrarySearch catalogue
  • Google Scholar
  • Google Books
  • Amazon
  • Wikipedia

The above information  is correct @ 11 November 2013. Please do come and talk to us if you would like advice in person.

Information & Library Services

Information & Library Services

Information & Library Services

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