Compare EndNote, Sciwheel, Zotero: At a Glance

Reference Citation Managers

EndNote, Sciwheel, and Zotero are tools that serve the same purpose. They all allow you to create a database of references that you can use to keep track of your reading and to create references when you write. So how do you choose which one to use?

Comparing reference managers

Zotero Sciwheel (formerly F1000Workspace)
HSL Online Guides EndNote Zotero Sciwheel (formerly F1000Workspace)
Classes at HSL EndNote Classes   Sciwheel Classes
Cost Under $100 through UNC-CH
Zotero is free Free through UNC-CH
Notes See EndNote Basic/Online guide for further details on the free online version   Use this link to create account.  Select No, I'm a new user then select password.
How is it used? Computer
+ Web
+ Web
Major citation styles?
Annotation of PDFs
Locate full-text using UNC-CH subscriptions
Instructions for EndNote

Instructions for Zotero

Instructions for Sciwheel
Adds citation from a PDF
Sharing options X7 and above users have sharing options / email compressed libraries See group options here
Share unlimited projects and manuscripts
Free online storage X7 and above: unlimited 700+ papers
(more space can be purchased)
Word Processor Microsoft Word Microsoft Word
LibreOffice (all)
Microsoft Word
Google Docs
Manuscripts for Mac

How to Choose: Balance Your Priorities

Basically, think about your needs and decide on your priorities. Possible priorities:

  • Cost: There is no cost to start using EndNote Basic, Sciwheel, or Zotero.
  • Working without internet access: You can use the references stored in EndNote, or Zotero without being connected to the Internet. This feature is coming soon from Sciwheel.
  • Storing PDFs: EndNote, Sciwheel, or Zotero allow you to integrate downloaded PDFs with your reference database. EndNote will search for available full-text when you are on campus and this is a very quick way to download and organize the full-text of multiple recent references.
  • Working with a team: If you are joining an established team that has already chosen a particular reference management tool, it is a good idea to learn to use that tool. If you are just forming a team, look at the sharing features in Sciwheel and Zotero.
  • Systematic Reviews: HSL librarians prefer EndNote Desktop or Sciwheel for systematic reviews. Both allow ingestion of large result files from multiple databases and provide deduplication options.

Remember that you may move your references between programs, so if you don't like one program you can always switch.

How to Choose: Compare Features

See the PDF below for a more detailed comparison of EndNote Basic, EndNote Desktop + Basic, F1000 Workspace, and Mendeley, including application to four use cases (Public Health Graduate Students, Medical Residents, Research Lab Team, Systematic Review Team)

Need More Help?

Want to arrange to have a librarian teach your class or group?
Want to schedule a one-on-one consultation with a librarian?

Click on the Ask Us link at the top of all our web pages and fill out the email form.