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Comparison Chart

Last updated Spring 2011; all three systems available free to members of the Northeastern community.

 

EndNote Desktop

RefWorks

EndNote Web

Best suited for...

Single-author projects, detailed manuscript formatting

Someone who usually uses one main computer for research and writing

Group projects

Someone who uses many different computers (e.g., computer labs, library workstations, etc.)

Group projects

Someone who uses many different computers (e.g., computer labs, library workstations, etc.)

Learning curve

Basics are fairly quick to learn, but taking full advantage of all options is more difficult and may require training

Easy to learn

Easy to learn

Access

Special software downloaded to your computer from myNEU

Account on RefWorks website ; contact Ask a Librarian if you need the group code.

Account on EndNote Web website

Collaboration and sharing citations

More difficult: citations and PDFs live on your computer, but can be sent to colleagues through compressed files and traveling libraries.

Colleagues will need EndNote to view.

Easier: use RefShare feature to give access to anyone with an Internet connection, and even publish your citations as an RSS feed.

Can control read-write access, and limit folder-by-folder.

Easier: user Group feature to give access to anyone with an EndNote Web account.

Can control read/write acess, and limit folder-by-folder.

Location of your files

Locally on your computer

On the RefWorks website

On the EndNote Web website

Backups

You must back them up, or use sync to EndNote Web as backup.

On the RefWorks website, but you may save backups to your computer.

On the EndNote Web website, but you may save backups to your computer.

Word processor integration to auto-format citations and bibliographies

Easiest with Word, also very easy through Pages; toolbars automatically installed with program.

Also LaTex through BibTex, and most other word processors through the "RTF Document Scan" workaround.

Easiest with Word through Write-N-Cite feature.

Also LaTex through BibTex, and other word processors through One Line/Cite View workaround.

Works with Word through Cite-While-You-Write feature.

Capturing citations from library databases

Many databases provide auto-export.

If not available, can use two-step process to import a file saved from a database.

Many databases provide auto-export.
 

If not available, can use two-step process to import a file saved from a database.

Includes RefGrabIt plugin to add citations for website, however citations often require additional attention to make sure data is correct.

Fewer auto-export options available, best with EBSCO and Web of Science.

If not available, can use two-step process to import a file saved from a database.

Includes EndNote Web plugin to add citations for website, however citations often require additional attention to make sure data is correct.

Capturing citations from websites

Not automated, but possible to capture and sync citations via EndNote Web.

Partially automated: use RefGrabIt plugin to capture some website information, but citations often require additional attention to make sure data is correct.

Partially automated: use Firefox and the EndNote Web plugin to capture some website information, but citations often require additional attention to make sure data is correct.

Links to documents (Word or PDF) and web pages

Can link to online documents or documents saved on your computer.

Also allows attachment of full PDF, charts, and images, and therefore can be used to organize PDFs, images and other documents saved on your computer.

Attachments can also be saved and shared via compressed or traveling library.

Can link to online documents or documents saved on your computer.

Allows upload and attachment of full PDFs to RefWorks servers, but there are file size limits.

Can link to online documents.

Does not allow upload of PDFs.

Managing and maintaining a large citation library (1,000 records plus)

EndNote is a better option for maintaining large citation libraries, and allows creation of specialized subject bibliographies and formatted lists of figures and charts.

RefWorks can be slightly more cumbersome for managing large libraries, but it is still possible.

EndNote Web can be slightly more cumbersome for managing large libraries, but it is still possible.

Number of bibliography styles

Over 4,500: List

Over 2,700: List

Over 3,300: Log-in for full list

Number of reference types

47, pre-defined and customizable. 3 additional completely user-defined.

31 pre-defined. Not customizable.

44 pre-defined. Not customizable.

Strengths

Most robust, including advanced features like many customizable reference types, fields, displays, searches, and filters.

Good for organizing citations for long papers and theses.

Good option for complex major research projects, becuase it offers the most options for customization and formatting.

Easier to learn with auto-export from many databases.

Web-based account, which allows you to access your files from the Internet and does not restrict access to a single computer.

Allows users to easily share lists of citations.
 

Easily organizes citations for smaller (under 50 pages) papers.

Easier to learn.

Web-based account, which allows you to access your files from the Internet and does not restrict access to a single computer.

Allows users to easily share lists of citations.

Easily organizes citations for smaller (under 50 pages) papers.