Pros and Cons of Particular Bibliographic Software


Zotero

Pros: Free and open-source; easiest to install and learn to use; largest number of downloads of citations and full text from databases, including Amazon and Flickr; granular, tagged research notes; easy and flexible tools for inserting citations into texts; many interesting plug-ins available from user community

Cons:  Somewhat cramped workspace for editing citation records; one-by-one import of metadata from pdfs; lack of fast tech support from producer

Mendeley

Pros: Free software; best import of and creation of bibliographic records from pdfs; easy import of records from broad range of databases; social networking tools for sharing citations and text and for discovery of articles used by other researchers in your field; built-in tools for for highlighting and annotating pdfs; most intuitive interface to web version; large user community in the fields of science and engineering

Cons: While currently free, recent acquisition of software by Elsevier may place this status in question.

EndNote:

Pros: Large, comfortable editing space; largest number of pre-created citation styles; easiest customization and creation of citation and bibliographic styles; most reliable import of data from other bibliographic citation softwares; largest online free storage of content (5GB); excellent telephone technical support; works particularly well with PubMed and Web of Science

Cons: Greatest learning curve for importing data from specific databases; much less automatic capture of attached full-text content from online database records than with Zotero or Mendeley; while free to Columbia users, updates to desktop software and continuing support for web libraries after graduation require payment of a fee