Comparison of reference management software

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The following tables compare reference management software.

Contents

General

In the "notes" section, there is a difference between:

  • web-based, referring to applications that may be installed on a web server (usually requiring MySQL or another database and PHP, perl, Python, or some other language for webapps)
  • centrally-hosted website
Software Developer First public release Latest stable version Cost (USD) Open source License Notes
2collab Elsevier 2007-11 ? Free No proprietary centrally-hosted website, web-based
Aigaion Aigaion developers 2005-01 2.1.2 (2009-03-12) Free Yes GPL web-based
Bebop ALaRI Institute 2007-11-08 1.1 (2009-11-10) Free Yes BSD web-based BibTeX front-end
BibDesk BibDesk developers 2002-04 1.3.20 (2009-05) Free Yes BSD BibTeX front-end + repository
Biblioscape CG Information 1998 7.19 (2007-11-15) Non-freeUS$79-299[1] No proprietary ODBC; web access in Pro ed; optional client/server
BibSonomy University of Kassel 2006-01 ? Free No proprietary centrally-hosted website
Bibus Bibus developers 2004-06-03 1.4.3 (2008-05) Free Yes GPL integrates with Word and OO.o Writer
Bookends Sonny Software 1988 (Mac) / 1983 (Apple II+) 10.4.3 (2009-1-15) Non-freeUS$99[1] No proprietary integrated web search, pdf download, auto-completes reference details
GradeGuru Citation Manager GradeGuru 2009-12-01 1.0 (2009-12-01) Free No proprietary centrally-hosted website
CiteULike Oversity Limited 2004-11 ? Free No proprietary[2] centrally-hosted website
Connotea Nature Publishing Group 2004-12 1.7.1 (2006-02-01) Free Yes GPL centrally-hosted website, web-based
EndNote Thomson Reuters 1988 X3 (2009-06-17) bdl 4043 Non-freeUS$299.95[1] No proprietary often used in academia, industry; includes EndNote Web account
gPapers Derek Anderson 2008-01 r150 (2009-01-21) Free Yes GPL Python PDF / bibliography manager [3]
I, Librarian I, Librarian developers 2003 2.0.9 (2009-08-23) Free Yes GPL web-based
JabRef JabRef developers 2003-11-29 2.5.0 (2009-06-22) Free Yes GPL Java BibTeX manager
Jumper 2.0 Jumper Networks 2009-3 2.0.1.1 (2009-3-26) Free Yes GPL web-based, centrally managed knowledgebase [4] Javascript & PHP
literaturedb Ulrich Wolffgang 2009-01 1.0.6 (2010-01-21) Free Yes GPL web-based collaborative sharing of references and documents; can store document files (e.g. PDF); PHP & MySQL; LDAP support
Mendeley Mendeley 2008-08 0.9.5 (December 3, 2009; 4 year(s) ago) Free No proprietary Desktop & Web components
Papers Mekentosj 2007 1.9.3 (2009-09-04) Non-freeUS$42[1] No proprietary search repositories from interface; supports plug-ins
ProCite Thomson Reuters 1984 ? 5.0.3 Non-freeUS$299.95[1] No proprietary supports network access
Pybliographer pybliographer developers ? 1.2.12 (2008-11-30) Free Yes GPL Python/GTK2
refbase refbase developers 2003-06-03 0.9.5 (2008-11-19) Free Yes GPL web-based for institutional repositories/self-archiving[5]
RefDB refdb developers 2001-04-25 0.9.9 (2007-11-05) Free Yes GPL network-transparent; XML/SGML bibliographies
Reference Manager Thomson Reuters 1984 11.0.1 Non-freeUS$239.95[1] No proprietary network version available; built-in web publishing tool
Referencer Referencer developers  ? 1.1.6 (2009-08-02) Free Yes GPL BibTeX front-end
RefWorks RefWorks 2001 2007-08 Non-freeUS$100 per year No proprietary centrally-hosted website
Scholar's Aid Scholar's Aid, Inc. 1998 4.1 (2008-4-1) US$149[1] / Free Lite version No proprietary integrates with Word and OpenOffice
Sente Third Street Software, Inc. 2004 6.0.26 (2009) Non-freeUS$129.95[1] No proprietary integrates with Word, Mellel, Pages, and Nisus
Wikindx Mark Grimshaw 2004-02 3.8.2 (2008-02-06) Free Yes GPL web-based
Zotero Center for History and New Media 2006-10-05 Template:Latest stable release/Zotero Free Yes GPL Firefox extension

Operating system support

In the case of web applications, this describes the server OS. For centrally-hosted websites that are proprietary, this is not applicable. Any client OS can connect to a web service unless stated otherwise in a footnote.

Software Windows Mac OS X Linux BSD Unix
2collab Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a
Aigaion Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bebop Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
BibDesk No Yes No No No
Biblioscape Yes No No No No
BibSonomy Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a
Bibus Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bookends No Yes No No No
CiteULike Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a
Connotea Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
EndNote Partial[6] Yes No No No
I, Librarian Yes No Yes No No
JabRef Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jumper 2.0 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mendeley Yes Yes Yes No No
Papers No Yes No No No
ProCite Yes No No No No
Pybliographer Partial[7] Partial[7] Yes Yes Yes
refbase Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
RefDB Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Reference Manager Yes No No No No
Referencer No No Yes No No
RefWorks Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a
Scholar's Aid Yes No No No No
Sente No Yes No No No
Wikindx Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Zotero Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Export file formats

This table lists the machine-readable file formats that can be exported from reference managers. These are typically used to share data with other reference managers or with other people who use a reference manager. To exchange data from one program to another, the first program must be able to export to a format that the second program may import. Import file formats are in a table below this one.

Software BibTeX Endnote/Refer/BibIX Medline MODS XML RIS Other
2collab Yes No No No Yes CSV [4]
Aigaion Yes No No No Yes none
Bebop Yes No No No No unAPI
BibDesk Yes No Yes Yes Yes Endnote XML, user customizable
Biblioscape Yes Yes Yes No Yes none
BibSonomy Yes Yes No No Yes various [5]
Bibus Yes Yes Yes No Yes SQLite
Bookends Yes Yes Yes No Yes various user-customizable
CiteULike Yes No No No Yes COinS, Delicious
Connotea Yes Yes No Yes Yes RDF
EndNote Yes Yes Yes No Yes various [6]
I, Librarian Yes Yes No No Yes CSV
JabRef Yes Yes No Yes Depends[7] BibTeXML, DocBook, OpenDocument for OO.o, user-customizable
Jumper 2.0 Yes Yes No Yes Yes various [8], user-customizable
literaturedb Yes Yes No Yes Yes Word 2007, Word2008
Mendeley Yes Yes No No Yes Endnote XML
Papers Yes Yes No No Yes Bookends, CSV, Endnote XML, PDF
ProCite No No No No Yes none
Pybliographer Yes Yes Yes No No Ovid
refbase Yes Yes No Yes Yes COinS, OpenDocument for OO.o, SRW XML via SRU, unAPI, Word XML
RefDB Yes Yes No Yes Yes SRW XML via SRU web service, DocBook, TEI
Reference Manager Yes No No No Yes MEDLARS, TSV, CSV, Reference Manager XML, user-customizable
Referencer Yes ? ? ? ? ?
RefWorks Yes No No No Yes various [9]
Scholar's Aid No ? No No No user-customizable
Sente Yes Yes No No Yes user-customizable
Wikindx Yes Yes No No Yes COinS
Zotero Yes Yes No Yes Yes RDF, Wikipedia citation templates

Import file formats

This table lists the file formats which may be manually imported into the reference managers without needing to connect to one particular database. Many of these database companies use the same name for their file format as they do for their database (including Copac, CSA, ISI, Medline, Ovid, PubMed, and SciFinder). For the ability to retrieve citations from the particular databases (rather than the file format), please refer to the database connectivity table that is below this table.

Software BibTeX Copac CSA Endnote/Refer/BibIX ISI Medline MODS XML Ovid PubMed RIS SciFinder Other
2collab No No No No No No No No No Yes No IE and Firefox bookmarks [10]
Aigaion Yes No No No No No No No No Yes No none
Bebop Yes No No No No No No No No No No none
BibDesk Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes MARC, JSTOR, Reference Miner
Biblioscape Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes  ?
BibSonomy Yes No No Yes No No No No No No No Firefox bookmarks
Bibus Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No none
Bookends Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes various[11]; user-customizable
CiteULike Yes No No No No No No No No Yes No none
Connotea Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes No Firefox bookmarks
EndNote No[8] No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes various [12]
I, Librarian No No No Yes Yes No No No No Yes No none
JabRef Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes BibTexML, Biblioscape, Biomail, Inspec, JSTOR, REPEC (NEP), SilverPlatter, SixPack
Jumper 2.0 Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Firefox bookmarks
Mendeley Yes No No Yes No No No No No Yes No Browser bookmarks
Papers Yes No No No No No No No No Yes No Endnote ENW, Endnote XML, CHM eBook, PDF
ProCite No No Yes ? Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No various [13]
Pybliographer Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No none
refbase Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes RefWorks
RefDB Yes Yes[9] No Yes[9] Yes[9] Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes[9] MARC, risx
Reference Manager Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes various [14]; user-customizable
Referencer Yes ? ? Yes ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
RefWorks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes various[15]
Scholar's Aid[10] No No No Yes ? Yes No No Yes ? No  ?
Sente Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No Dublin Core, Marc21 SUTRS, JSTOR, SilverPlatter
Wikindx Yes Depends[9] No Yes[citation needed] Depends[9] No Depends[9] No Yes[citation needed] Yes[citation needed] No User plug-ins[citation needed]
Zotero Yes No[11] No[11] Yes Partial[12] No Yes Partial[12] Partial(directly from webpage, not from saved files)[12] Yes No COinS, MARC, RDF, unAPI

Citation styles

Software APA Chicago/Turabian Harvard MLA Other Extension method
2collab ? ? ? ? ? ?
Aigaion Yes Yes Yes Yes BMJ, IEEE OSBIB
Bebop No No No No none none
BibDesk Yes No No No various BibDesk export templates
Biblioscape Yes Yes Yes Yes 2000+ styles[citation needed] GUI style editor
BibSonomy Yes No Yes No none none
Bibus Yes No No No user-contributed bibus format (through GUI)
Bookends Yes Yes Yes Yes various[citation needed] ?
CiteULike Yes Yes Yes Yes various[citation needed] none
Connotea ? ? ? ? ? ?
EndNote Yes Yes Yes Yes various EndNote format (through GUI)
I, Librarian No No No No none none
JabRef Yes Yes Yes Yes any BibTeX style BibTeX
Jumper 2.0 No No No No none none
Mendeley Yes Yes Yes Yes various CSL
Papers No No No No No No
ProCite Yes Yes Yes Yes various ?
Pybliographer Yes No No No none Pybliographer XML
refbase Yes Yes Yes Yes various polar & marine journals PHP
RefDB Yes Yes Yes Yes Various biomedical & law journals XML (citestylex.dtd), interactive script
Reference Manager Yes Yes Yes Yes various ?
Referencer ? ? ? ? ? ?
RefWorks Yes Yes Yes Yes various RefWorks format through GUI
Scholar's Aid Yes Yes Yes Yes MHRA SA format through GUI
Sente Yes Yes Yes Yes various[citation needed] Sente format through GUI
Wikindx Yes Yes Yes Yes BMJ, IEEE OSBIB
Zotero Yes Yes Yes Yes various CSL

Reference list file formats

Software HTML LaTeX[13] RTF Plain text RSS Other
2collab Yes No No Yes Yes No
Aigaion Yes No Yes Yes ? No
Bebop Yes No No No Yes unAPI
BibDesk Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Atom, DOC, PDF, XML,
Biblioscape Yes No Yes Yes No No
BibSonomy Yes No Yes Yes Yes OpenOffice-CSV
Bibus Yes No No No No No
Bookends Yes No Yes Yes No clipboard
CiteULike Yes No Yes Yes Yes PDF
Connotea Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a Template:N/a Yes Template:N/a
EndNote Yes No Yes Yes No clipboard,XML
I, Librarian No No No No No none
JabRef Yes ? Depends Yes No clipboard
Jumper 2.0 Yes No Yes Yes Yes XML, PDF
Mendeley Yes Yes[citation needed] Yes Yes Yes clipboard, embeddable HTML widget, RSS
Papers ? ? ? ? ? ?
ProCite Yes No No No No No
Pybliographer Yes ? No Yes No No
refbase Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Markdown, PDF, unAPI
RefDB Yes ? Yes Yes No DocBook, TEI
Reference Manager Yes No No Yes No No
Referencer ? ? ? ? ? ?
RefWorks Partial[14] No Yes Yes Yes DOC, ODT
Scholar's Aid No No Yes Yes No clipboard
Sente Yes No Yes Yes No clipboard
Wikindx Yes No Yes No Yes No
Zotero Yes No Yes No Beta clipboard

Word processor integration

Most reference management software supports copy/paste or drag-and-drop of references into any editor. Some reference management software includes further support for automatic embedding and (re)formatting of references in some programs. This table lists support for the latter.

Software Microsoft Word OpenOffice.org Writer Kile/LyX Other
2collab ? ? ? ?
Aigaion No No No none
Bebop No No No none
BibDesk No No Yes ?
Biblioscape Yes No No WordPerfect
BibSonomy No No No none
Bibus Yes Yes No none
Bookends Yes Partial[15] No Partial[15]
CiteULike No No No none
Connotea No No No none
EndNote Yes Yes No Apple Pages '09
I, Librarian No No No none
JabRef Depends[16] Partial[17] Yes Emacs,Vim,WinEdt
Jumper 2.0 Yes Yes No WordPerfect, OpenOffice
Mendeley Yes Yes No none
Papers Yes Yes ? Pages, Mellel, TextEdit; plus RTF, HTML
ProCite Yes ? No WordPerfect
Pybliographer No Yes Yes none
refbase No Yes[17] No PIRA, MediaWiki, SPIP
RefDB No No No none
Reference Manager Yes No No No
Referencer ? ? ? ?
RefWorks Yes Partial[15] No Partial[15]
Scholar's Aid Yes Yes No WordPro, WordPerfect, HWP
Sente Yes Partial[15] No Pages, Mellel, Nisus, TextEdit; plus RTF, HTML and plain text scan[15]
Wikindx No No No Integrated WYSIWYG word processor[15]
Zotero Yes Yes (with Lytero)[18] RTF Scan[15]

Database connectivity

This table lists the academic databases and search engines which reference managers can import from. In some cases, a search and retrieval can be conducted directly in the reference manager. In others, a bookmarklet or Firefox extension will allow a site to be scraped.

Software ArXiv CiteSeer IEEE Xplore PubMed Other
2collab ? ? ? ? ?
Aigaion No No No No none
Bebop No No No No No
BibDesk Yes Yes No Yes Web of Science, any Z39.50 or Entrez
Biblioscape No No No Yes Import from integrated web browser
BibSonomy Yes Yes Yes Yes various [16]
Bibus No No No Yes none
Bookends Yes No No Yes Web of Science, Amazon, Google Scholar, Z39.50
CiteULike Yes Yes Yes Yes various [17]
Connotea Yes Yes No Yes various [18]
EndNote No No No Yes various [19]
I, Librarian Yes No No Yes HighWire Press, NASA ADS, PubMed Central
JabRef Yes Yes Yes Yes none
Jumper 2.0 Yes Yes Yes Yes various [20]
Mendeley Yes Yes Yes Yes various [21]
Papers Yes Yes Yes Yes ACM, ADS, Google Books, Google Scholar, JSTOR, MathSciNet, Project Muse, Scopus, Web of Science
ProCite No No No Yes various [22]
Pybliographer No No No Yes none
refbase Yes No No Yes DOI lookup
RefDB No No No Yes any Z39.50
Reference Manager No No No Yes various [23]
Referencer ? ? ? ? ?
RefWorks No No No Yes various
Scholar's Aid No No No Yes Z39.50
Sente No No No Yes Z39.50, SRU, Web of Knowledge
Wikindx No No No Yes none
Zotero Yes Yes Yes Yes various [24]

Password "protection" and network versions

Some reference managers provide network functionality. (N/A means the product has no networking, while "no" indicates it does (but lacks an implemented feature))

Software Passworded Networking
User-specific permissions[19] Simultaneous write access
2collab Yes No ?
Aigaion Yes Yes Yes
Bebop No Template:N/a Template:N/a
BibDesk Yes No No
Biblioscape Yes Yes Yes
BibSonomy Yes Yes Yes
Bibus ? ? ?
Bookends ? ? ?
CiteULike Yes No Yes
Connotea Yes ? Yes
EndNote No No No
I, Librarian Yes Yes Yes
JabRef No Template:N/a Template:N/a
Jumper 2.0 Yes Yes Yes
Mendeley Yes Yes Yes
Papers ? ? ?
ProCite No No No
Pybliographer ? ? ?
refbase Yes Yes Yes
RefDB Yes Yes Yes
Reference Manager Yes No Yes
Referencer ? ? ?
RefWorks Yes ? Yes
Scholar's Aid No Template:N/a Template:N/a
Sente No No No
Wikindx Yes Yes Yes
Zotero Beta Beta Beta

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 MSRP for full version, usually with physical media. Discounted downloads and academic discounts might be available. More expensive workgroup/server/librarian versions may be available.
  2. A developer kit is available. The community is invited to create plugins to access data off databases
  3. Available from [1]
  4. A web-based knowledgebase is available from Jumper Networks
  5. A centrally-hosted website is available at refbase.org.
  6. Problem with Vista & Word 2007 in EndNote X2 is reported. Some user fails to solve the problem even after they try the solution on the EndNote's homepage. There's another solution by nickname endo0005 on EndNote Forum, but the exact cause of the problem and general applicability of that solution is still in question.
  7. 7.0 7.1 The GUI requires gnome-python, which isn't available for Windows or OS X.
  8. Endnote cannot import directly BibTex files, but there are various methods to transform these into the refer format, which may be imported [2]
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Supported through the bibutils plugin
  10. The DataRetriever module that imports and exports data is not compatible with Vista.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Zotero can import references directly from the database after which this format is named, although it cannot read the format itself.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Zotero imports directly from the webpage to the library, so many users find it more convenient than traditional two-step way of saving reference files to the disk and then importing it into the library. Zotero can import references in these formats directly from some databases, but not from files saved on the disk.
  13. This refers to the direct output of raw LaTeX (often in a format similar to the BibTeX-generated .bbl files). Many programs can export BibTeX (see above table), which can then be processed into LaTeX.
  14. URLs aren't active links
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Can reformat references in a properly saved RTF document, allowing limited use in OpenOffice.org Writer, StarOffice, FrameMaker, Microsoft Works, WordPad, WordPerfect, and others. Bookends is able to scan files from Pages, Mellel, Nisus Writer Express and Pro Macros.
  16. JabRef can be integrated in Microsoft Word using bibtex4word.dot.
  17. 17.0 17.1 JabRef and refbase can create a spreadsheet for import into an OO.o database to use the native OO.o bibliography tool. refbase's MySQL database can additionally be used directly by OO.o [3].
  18. The Lytero extension integrates Zotero with Lyx/Kile
  19. Most databases allow one to create different user accounts to store records. Some further allow you to specify permissions (granting and denying some users the rights to edit or read some or all of your records. This column describes the latter.

External links

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