12 Best Zotero Alternatives and Competitors

An open-source and free reference management tool called Zotero is used to arrange bibliographic data or other research materials, including PDF files.

The features include compatibility between Word Documents, OpenOffice Writer, Google Docs and an Internet browser connection, online synchronization, and more.?



Year Founded: 2006
Headquarters: Virginia
CEO: Dan Cohen

Pros and Cons of Zotero

✔Pros: Cons: 
Using Google Spreadsheets & Microsoft Word.Zotero is an independent, public open-source project.
It is available for free.It is dependent on user & programmer input to add features and address problems.
It provides capabilities for annotating, tagging, and adding comments to research resources.For-profit businesses with specialist assistance could be preferred by some consumers.

Key Features:?

  • Users may import, arrange, and save their study materials.
  • Users of Zotero can distribute their learning material to everyone else.
  • Zotero provides citation-making capabilities.
  • Zotero users have access to several different styles for creating bibliographies. 

Pricing Info:?.

An annual subscription to Zotero Premium costs $20.

12 Best Zotero Alternatives and Competitors

  • Readcube Papers
  • Sciwheel
  • RefWorks
  • Paper Pile
  • Citavi

Zotero Alternatives for Smarter Research Management



Year Founded: 2007
Headquarters: London
Ceo: Jorg Heizmann

Mendeley, a tool for organizing references, was developed by Elsevier. It manages and disseminates research reports and compiles bibliographies for academic works.

IOS and Android mobile applications and web browsers may be used to visit Mendeley. It is created with ease of usage in mind.?

In contrast to Zotero, Mendeley includes a vast array of features and tools that cannot be matched.

Pros and Cons of Mendeley

✔Pros: Cons: 
The article highlights Mendeley’s blend of font size and shapes.Group folders cannot be used to distribute work.
Information indexing is relatively simple.Mendeley is a service that requires subscriptions.
Mendeley includes several capabilities.Advanced features lacking.

Key Features:?

  • Mendeley provides tools for annotating research.
  • It can extend invitations to individuals to join groups.
  • Mendeley provides tools for teamwork on research projects.
  • Users may locate research resources using Mendeley’s search feature.

Pricing Info: ?.

Prices start from $10 per month.


End Note

Year Founded: 1989
Headquarters: Virginia
Ceo: Not Publicly Listed

The citation tool EndNote handles notes and sources when students write projects and articles.

It is a software used to keep track of citations, and bibliographies, including references for essays, articles, and other written work.?

EndNote offers an edge over Zotero because of a function named “Cite While You Write,” which enables users to add citations and build bibliographies in their word-processing application.

Pros and Cons of EndNote

✔Pros: Cons: 
· You may install EndNote on your PC.· The program might be rather expensive.
· EndNote offers a wide range of capabilities and tools.· EndNote only offers a few functionalities.
· a thorough research resource.· It can only be used to create simple citations and bibliographies.

Key Features:?

  • It includes tools for annotating and tagging.
  • EndNote allows for the sharing of research resources.
  • Users can do database searches to find them.
  • EndNote users may construct bibliographies.

Pricing Info:?.

Prices begin at $9.95 a month.

Readcube Papers

Readcube Papers

Year Founded: 2011
Headquarters: Cambridge
CEO: Robert McGrath.

Tools are produced by a digital firm called ReadCube for publications, academic institutions, including companies.

It’s a cloud-based platform with many features and tools for managing research papers, presentations, and other material.?

In contrast to Zotero, ReadCube offers a function called “ReadCube Papers” that enables users to highlight and annotate PDF files, giving it more popularity.

Pros and Cons of ReadCube

✔Pros: Cons: 
· Readcube Papers is reasonably priced.· Other than the research, only limited PDF organization is permitted.
· Serving as a thorough research tool· The ReadCube Papers service is a paid subscription.
· Programs called ReadCube plus Documents have just been released.· ReadCube is no longer the main project being worked on.

Key Features:?

  • The ReadCube Papers software package is currently being created.
  • It is a part of the digital sciences portfolio.
  • It may now be accessed using iOS & Android.
  • It contains a recommendation engine.

Pricing Info:?.

Subscription costs begin at $10 each month.



Year Founded: 2011
Headquarters: Greater New York Area, East Coast, Northeastern United States
CEO: Not publicly listed.

EasyBib is a reader platform that provides easy-to-use and educational citation, note-taking, and analytic tools to promote information literacy. ?

It is a web-based system with various tools and capabilities for organizing, producing, and formatting citations in several citation styles, such as MLA, APA, Chicago, and much more.

Unlike Zotero, EasyBib features an “EasyBib Plus” function that allows users to verify their work for grammar & plagiarism. This feature helps EasyBib become more well-known in the community.

Pros and Cons of EasyBib

✔Pros: Cons: 
· Once you’ve discovered cases of unintentional plagiarism.· EasyBib started asking a lot of unnecessary questions.
· Pleasant user interface· There is a cost for services.
· To avoid any unpleasant circumstances, you can properly credit your sources.· To utilize all of the features of EasyBib, users must subscribe to the service.

Key Features:?

  • EasyBib offers tools for producing citations.
  • Users may build bibliographies & works cited listings.
  • EasyBib’s plagiarism detector examines a user’s writing against a database.
  • You may add notes and tags with Easybib.

Pricing Info: ?.

Subscription costs begin at $9.95 per month.



Year Founded: 2007
Headquarters: London
Ceo: The Ceo of Sciwheel Is Not Publicly Listed.

Sciwheel is a young technology that provides flexible, user-friendly tools to improve investigation and discovery. ?

Research and data must be swiftly, openly, and economically made available to have the greatest possible impact.

It is a virtualized platform with various tools and functions for managing research articles, documents, or other material.

In contrast to Zotero, Sciwheel features a function called “Sciwheel Scholar” that enables users can search for it and find fresh research publications depending on their interests.?

Pros and Cons of Sciwheel

✔Pros: Cons: 
· Anyone who is publishing scholarly works will find Sciwheel helpful.· Sciwheel doesn’t provide a trial version or a premium consultation.
· For life scientists specifically, it was developed.· Only basic research management can be done with its few features.
· There are several features and methods for organizing on Sciwheel.· It is expensive.

Key Features:?

  • It offers tools for adding notes to research resources.
  • Sharing is a quick process.
  • Sciwheel offers tools for working together on different research topics.
  • A recommendation system provides pertinent study items based on the user’s preferences.

Pricing Info: ?.

The starting price is $11 per month & $800 per year.



Year Founded: 2001
Headquarters: Maryland
Ceo: The Ceo of Ref Works Is Not Publicly Listed.

RefWorks is a brand of the commercial online revision control system.

RefWorks is a reference management application created to assist authors, researchers, & students in producing precise and correctly styled references for their scientific articles, publications, or other written works.?

RefWorks is preferred over Zotero because it contains a function called “RefWorks Write-N-Cite” that enables users to add citations and build bibliographies directly in their word editing program.

Pros and Cons of RefWorks

✔Pros: Cons: 
· RefWorks facilitates communication between scholars.· RefWorks does not provide a free sample.
· Several file types are supported by RefWorks.· It just has a few functionalities.
· Computers, tablets, and smartphones may be used to access RefWorks.· It is solely appropriate for managing basic research.

Key Features:?

  • · It allows customers to create all or part of their RefWorks
  • · RefShare folders are used to create RSS feeds.
  • · RefWorks offers a wide range of collaboration features.
  • · Provide Technical and Customer assistance.

Pricing Info:?.

The starting price is $9.99 per month or $799 per year.

Paper Pile

Paper Pile

Year Founded: 2012
Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Ceo: Jose Jacinto

Paperpile incorporates data from academic publishers’ websites and indexes like PubMed, Scholarly Articles, Google Books, and ResearchGate.

It is an internet platform with various tools and functions for organizing journal articles, documents, and other material.?

In addition to the originality of its library and citations, which Zotero lacks, Paperpile features a function called “Paperpile Assistant” that enables users to produce citations and bibliographies directly in Google Docs.

Pros and Cons of Paper Pile

✔Pros: Cons: 
· With its fantastic Cloud Storage and Chromebook connection.· The process of creating tabular data files has a few quirks.
· Includes citation tools for Google Docs and Microsoft Word.· It might not offer as many features.
· Literature management software is available from Paperpile.· Very expensive.

Key Features:?

  • The creation of bibliographies and citations automatically within word processors.
  • Google Docs and Google Scholar integration.
  • Tools for collaboration so users may share projects.
  • It allows for highlighting and annotating documents.

Pricing Info:?.

Depending on the licensing type and user count, Paperpile costs vary.



Year Founded: 2022
Headquarters: Germany
Ceo: Developed by Swiss Academic Software

Citavi is a Windows program for organizing knowledge and maintaining references. With site licensing, Citavi is fairly popular. ?

It is software that keeps track of references, cites, and bibliographies for published papers, articles, and other kinds of written work.

Citavi is well recognized for its “Citavi Picker” tool, which enables users to save web pages, PDFs, and other online materials straight to their Citavi library.

Zotero does not have this capability.

Pros and Cons of Citavi

✔Pros: Cons: 
· A fairly lengthy list of skills is available.· Certain functionalities are lacking.
· Easy to use.· Some important things are missing.
· It includes a wide range of tools for organizing research.· Its price may be higher than that of certain alternatives.

Key Features:?

  • Support for a range of citation types and styles.
  • Automatic metadata download and processing from web databases.
  • The creation of bibliographies and citations automatically within word processors.
  • Integration with productivity programs like OneNote and Microsoft Outlook.

Pricing Info: ?.

The kind of license and the number of users affect Citavi’s prices.



Year Founded: 2003
Headquarters: Bib Desk Is Developed by A Team of Volunteers.
Ceo: Andrew Tchieu 

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics researchers are the main users of the free, open-source reference management program BibDesk (STEM).

It interfaces with word processing programs like Google Docs & Microsoft Word, enabling users to add citations and build bibliographies inside their works.?

It enables users to build and maintain a collection of citations & files and construct bibliographies with citations in academic papers; it is superior to other reference software solutions, such as Zotero.

Pros and Cons of BIBDESK

✔Pros: Cons:
· Its user interface is uncomplicated and uncomplicated.· It might not offer as many features.
· Intriguing for users who want a straightforward approach.· Very sluggish.
· It has strong word processor integration.· It might not be as well-supported.

Key Features:?

  • Integration to word processors for citation and bibliography creation.
  • Automatic metadata download and processing from web databases.
  • Imported files are renamed and organized automatically.
  • The ability to search and filter documents and references using different criteria.

Pricing Info: ?.

Use is free.



Year Founded: 2010
Headquarters: Germany
Ceo: Docear Is a Free, Open-Source Software Project, so It Does Not Have a Ceo.

Docear is another outstanding and unique reference software suite that enables users to manage and organize their citations and PDF files.

It is a software used to keep track of citations, and bibliographies, including references for essays, articles, and other written work.?

This excellent Zotero replacement includes many helpful features, including citation management, mind maps, document tracking, and note-taking.

Pros and Cons of DOCEAR

· Docear is a free, open-source program.· Users of Docear may experience a challenging learning curve.
· The decor has access to the source code and can alter it as necessary.· Docear is not as popular or well-supported.
· Docear offers a wide range of functions for managing.· Quite unfriendly to users.

Key Features:?

  • Using mind mapping software to organize a body of literature graphically.
  • Metadata-based automatic renaming and sorting of PDF files.
  • Full-text scanning and search for PDFs automatically.
  • PDF annotation & highlighting features automatically.

Pricing Info:?.

Use is free.


⭐Make sure the option you select offers the qualities you value. Take these into consideration. For instance, you may pick a platform like Mendeley or ReadCube Papers if you want one with extensive research management and collaboration capabilities. ?

Choose a program like EndNote or EasyBib if you require one with robust citation and bibliography-generating options. ?

Frequently Asked Questions for Zotero Alternatives and Competitors

How can I access my Zotero library from several computers?

Using Zotero Sync, you may connect your Zotero catalog across many machines.

How is using several Zotero accounts on the same machine possible?

Creating additional Zotero accounts will help you to achieve this.

How can I make use of all of my storage space?

Disabling automatic attachments and connecting to files on your computer rather than storing them on the Zotero server.

What happens if the Zotero tab is absent in Word for Mac?

Word for Mac technical help is available from Zotero. Additionally, remember that you might need to install the Word plug-in manually.

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