This is table list system requirements, software installation, and some general features.
|EndNote Basic||Mendeley||Zotero and Juris M|
|Can still use after graduation||yes||yes||yes|
|Operating System||Windows 7 or later and Mac OS X 10.10 or later. Minimum system requirements for EndNote Basic opens new window. Not recommended for Linux.||Mendeley Desktop is compatible with many versions of Window, Mac, and Linux. Minimum system requirements for Mendeley opens new window.||Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Compatibility Matrix for Zotero opens new window.|
|Word processing||Plug-in for Microsoft Word.||Plug-in for Microsoft Word and LibreOffice.||Microsoft Word and LibreOffice. There are numerous plug-ins for Zotero and Juris-M. For more information, use the Zotero tab.|
|Browser||Compatible with versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. For more information, go to EndNote Online compatibility opens new window. ||Mendeley Web and the Save to Mendeley Button can be used with many versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Mendeley browser support opens new window. ||The Zotero Connector works for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.|
|Install software||Not required, but Cite While you Write plug-in recommended. Capture works better with some partner Web sites than others. For a list of partners regarding the capture button, go to EndNote Online Help - Capture opens new window.||Must install Desktop. Plug-in and Save to Mendeley button recommended.||Not all plug-ins are compatible with Zotero 5 yet. If all your plug-ins work, use it; otherwise, use Zotero 4 Standalone. The firefox extension for Zotero 4 works better, but Mozilla is changing the how their plug-ins must be written and this extension will not work at some point. For more information about Zotero and Juris M, use the Zotero tab. |
|Use of Web version or download software||No Desktop version||Desktop and Web work together. You could not use important features if you did not install desktop and you have no choice but to create a login for the Web version.||If you want to use Zotero on multiple computers, you will need to create a Web account on zotero.org to sync with. If you don't save to zotero.org, you have to back-up your library manually.|
|Amount of space||2GB for attachments and 50,000 references. ||2GB||300MB|
|languages||EndNote Basic interface available in 8 languages. The bibliographies cannot be automatically generated in other languages.||The Desktop interface and the Mendeley Web interface are only available in English. You can change the bibliography in 50 different languages though.||Can import, store, and cite items in any language. You can change the language of the user interface too. For more information, go to supported languages in Zotero documentation. opens new window|
|Full text search PDFs||no||yes||yes if install the plug-ins, pdftotext and pdfindex. You might need to rebuild the index for existing unindexed PDFs.|
|Add notes to PDFs||no||yes (visible in Mendeley only unless export). Notes are not searchable.||If you annotate a PDF in another program like Adobe Reader, you can import the notes into Zotero with the plug-in, Zotfile. This makes the annotations searchable.|
|ADA compliant||There is a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for the full version of EndNote; however, all functionality for the Web portion is listed as not applicable. There is not evidence that it was tested by the vendor. Go to accessibility information from vendor opens new window.||No VPAT from vendor.||No VPAT from vendor, but some users say works with NVDA screen reader. The Zotero Forums have information about screen readers opens new window.
|Versions of Styles||Many citation styles, but can only choose 25 at a time.||Thousands of citation styles with the two latest edition of APA, Chicago, and MLA.||Thousands of citation styles can be downloaded from the Zotero Style Repository opens new window. There are multiple editions of common styles.|
|Sharing||Can share folders with other EndNote Basic users giving them read or read/write privileges.||With any Mendeley user, but only one private group with two additional users with a free account. Problems with private groups like having to upload documents multiple times. Can create unlimited public groups, but cannot include PDFs.||Zotero groups has no limit on how many members may join your public or private groups. For more information, go to Zotero groups opens new window.
|Searching external database directly||yes||no||no|
|Technical support||Much of the online material is for those that purchase EndNote, so look for EndNote Basic first. Much of, but not all of, EndNote Online will be relevant. There is technical support available. For more information, go to Endnote Online Help opens new window.
||Mendeley online tutorials, guides, Mendeley support forum, and support team opens new window. Email available, but might take longer to respond.||Documentation and forums on Zotero's page. Some universities have how-to pages and/or videos on YouTube.|