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8 Mendeley Alternatives

Mendeley Alternatives

Looking for a Mendeley alternative? We’ve prepared a list of 8 you can sift through to decide which one you like best. A haven for researchers, the said desktop and web program is a solid reference management tool that doubles as a sharing platform for study papers. It is also a social network for those from the research profession. What Mendeley actually does is that it automatically generates bibliographies for your papers, while also letting you collaborate easily with other researchers online.

It even lets you import papers from other research software, apart from letting you find relevant papers based on what you’re reading. Over 400 million documents are currently accessible via the utility, and for those on the move, it has an iOS app they can download on their iPhones and iPads. A publishing company named Elsevier recently purchased the software in question, which led to a public outcry of sorts due to the buyer’s reputation of indulging in restrictive publishing practices. If you’re searching for something new to move onto, you’ve come to the right place. Our compilation is bound to prove helpful to you.

1 – Paperpile


Paperpile is a fully web-based reference manager that takes the pain out of managing your academic literature. Automatic PDF downloads, PDF annotation and citing your sources in thousands of reference styles are just a few of the many benefits. Its full integration with the Google Apps ecosystem lets you collaboratively write papers and edit citations in Google Docs. Paperpile’s Chrome extension also integrates with thousands of publisher websites and research databases, which allows you to add papers to your library with just one click while making sure to get extremely accurate metadata.

The user interface is very simple and intuitive, which saves you a lot of time as there is not much learning needed to be able to use it. Paperpile has no storage limitations – once synced to Google Drive, you can make use of gigabytes of free storage that comes with your Google account. It is a paid software, but it does have a free trial for testing and the Google Docs add-on is completely free and can be used without a subscription. We just heard from the Paperpile team that mobile apps for both Android and iOS as well as integration with MS Word are about to be rolled out.

2 – EndNote


EndNote works brilliantly if you’re interested in searching online publication databases and managing publications. And it’s also a great tool for managing bibliographies and references while writing essays and articles. Available for Windows as well as Mac, it holds the ability to export citation libraries in the form of plain text, Rich Text Format, HTML and XML. EndNote can be tried for free, but you’ll need to shell out some cash in order to access it fully. Enterprise subscriptions and a student version make up for the available options. EndNote also has a companion app for iOS.

3 – Zotero


The makers of this program like Mendeley prefer referring to it as a personal research assistant, and we do believe they’re quite right in saying that. Its unique ability is that it automatically detects content in your web browser, and allows you to swiftly insert it in your personal library with a single click. And it does not limit itself to text, for it provides support even for images, audio, video, snapshots, and other things. And the great news is that it’s free and open-source, while its online syncing capability, its bibliography features and integration with Microsoft Word, LibreOffice, OpenOffice.org Writer, and NeoOffice make it quite a desirable option for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.

4 – BibDesk


Aimed only at Mac, BibDesk is an intuitive bibliography and reference management software. Yet another free and open-source program in this list, it provides a front-end for creating, editing, managing as well as searching BibTeX databases. Its integration with external databases like PubMed, the US Library of Congress and Web of Science proves to be quite resourceful. And despite the fact that it has been crafted to export in the BibTeX format to be used in LaTeX documents, it also possesses the ability to export citations formatted in any other citation style in plain text, RTF, HTML, and RSS.

5 – Qiqqa


Apart from its own PDF reference management tools, Qiqqa also features a citation manager and a mind map brainstorming tool to provide you with further help in your tasks. Its cloud-based web libraries enable researchers as well as their groups to store, synchronize and collaborate on their PDF documents with annotations, tags and comments, making it a superb app similar to Mendeley for them to have a look at. You get access to a bevy of features in its free version, but it’s Premium and Premium Plus editions that need you to shell out some coin open up new doors altogether. Qiqqa is available for Windows and Android.

6 – Papers


Our next pick is a Windows and Mac utility which is an excellent source for finding papers and citations. It’s basically a huge database for papers from all around the globe which you can search through. This software allows you to read them in full screen, highlight and keep notes as well as sync them to your iPad or iPhone. Moreover, you can even cite them in word processors and share them with your colleagues. Papers can be downloaded in the form of a free 30-day trial, but beyond that, you’ll need to pay if you wish to keep using it further.

7 – JabRef


One more interesting program like Mendeley is JabRef, and just like BibDesk, this one too utilizes BibTeX as its native format. It is a free and open-source program written in Java and available for Windows, Linux and Mac. A simple interface is one of JabRef’s many advantages. This software possesses advanced grouping options which let you arrange reference entries clearly, based on keywords or general search terms

8 – RefWorks


The seventh and final reference management software on our list is a web-based tool that provides immense help in online research management, writing, and collaboration. This centrally-hosted program is intuitive and proves to be quite easy to access. It comes equipped with a useful tool called RefGrab-It which has been designed by its makers to capture bibliographic information from websites such as Amazon, Google Scholar, PubMed, the BBC, USA Today, Wikipedia, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. However, this trait works only with Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers. RefWorks is a paid software, but it does have a trial version for testing.


That’s the end of this roster of Mendeley alternative options. We hope to have provided you with some valuable choices that you can have a go at. Do use the one you find interesting and get back to us with your feedback.