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Overview of Citation Software

Why has the library chosen to support RefWorks and Zotero?

The library subscribes to RefWorks and it is a reliable, web-based citation management tool.

Zotero is a "freemium" tool developed by a nonprofit organization. It is also reliable and a popular tool used by our undergraduate/graduate students and faculty.

Comparision of citation management tools

 

RefWorks

Zotero

Link to web guides

RefWorks Research Guide

Zotero Research Guide

Type

Web-based

Desktop software and browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari

Cost

Free via Claremont Colleges Library license.

See the RefWorks guide for information and how to sign up for your individual account. 

Free with 300 MB of back-up storage. 

Storage upgrades available for a yearly fee. Open source. 

Download Zotero

See the Zotero research guide for more information.

Learning curve

Fairly quick to learn; many online user guides and demos

 

Claremont Colleges Library does offer Refworks training classes

Quick to learn; simple design, many online user guides and demos

 

Claremont Colleges Library does offer Zotero training classes

Strengths?

Web-based

Good for organizing citations for papers

Since Claremont Colleges Library has a site license, there's no cost

Simple download of citation records

Good for managing a variety of formats, including web pages

Offers most functionality in a free, open-source product

How does it work?

You export references from compatible databases into RefWorks

Zotero can tell when you are looking at an item and shows an icon for it in the browser URL bar.  Click the icon to add the item to Zotero

Does it have many output styles and bibliographic formats?

Yes, many popular styles and formats

Yes, many popular styles and formats

How simple is it to import records?

Simple to import records from most research databases.

Very simple, as long as the resource is compatible with Zotero

What kinds of records can you import and organize (PDFs, images, etc.)?

Records for articles and books. PDFs can be attached, but are not imported.

Books, articles, patents, and webpages; Can also store PDFs, web screenshots, files, and images in records.

Are records in your library viewable by others?

Yes; Users can share references in library with other RefWorks users

Yes.  Users can set up individual and group profiles and share records

Can you export records to other citation software?

Yes

Yes

Is managing and maintaining a big library (1000 records) complicated?

Not complex, but it can be cumbersome to manage large libraries

More difficult; takes time to sort out duplicates and verify that records are complete

Does it work with word processing software?

Works with Word through "Write-N-Cite"

 

Please verify that it works with your version of Word

Works with Word and Open Office

 

Please verify that it works with your version of Word

Does it back up your records?

Yes

Yes, if you choose to back up/sync your Zotero library 300MB of storage is free

Other important features

Since it's web-based, you're not limited to a single machine

Good choice if you research on shared computers, such as library computers

Since it’s web-based works on tablet browsers

refworks.com/mobile works with phones

If you back up records, you can sync multiple computers

Cannot be used with a shared/public computer

zotero.org/downloadbookmarlet provides access options for tablets and phones

 

 

 

This chart adapted with permission from the MIT Overview of Citation Software at MIT research guide.

Which citation management tool is right for you?

 

 

RefWorks

Zotero

Strengths?

Allows users to share citations

Good for organizing citations for papers

Web-based

Since Claremont Colleges Library has a site license, there's no cost

 

Simple download of citation records

Good for managing a variety of formats, including web pages

Offers most functionality in a free, open-source product

Cost?

Free via Claremont Colleges Library license. See the RefWorks guide for information and how to sign up for your individual account. 

Free with 300 MB of back-up storage.  Storage upgrades available for a monthly fee. Open source. 

Download Zotero

See the Zotero research guide for more information.

 

Learning curve?

Fairly quick to learn; many online user guides and demos

 

Claremont Colleges Library does offer Refworks training classes

Quick to learn; simple design, many online user guides and demos

 

Claremont Colleges Library does offer Zotero training classes

This chart adapted with permission from the MIT Overview of Citation Software at MIT research guide.