Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Mechanical Engineering

Zotero

Cost: free; no UMD-affiliated account needed 
Writing Plugins: Word, Open Office
Browser Integration: Firefox (can also operate without client), Chrome, Safari, Opera
Groups: Public or private 
Desktop Clients: Windows, Mac, Linux 
Apps: no official apps

Zotero's big strengths are its browser extensions, which let you grab citations right off the web, and its user-friendly features, like enabling drag-and-drop citation placement. Zotero also has great options for power researchers, like automatically remembering proxies and assigning BibTeX labels based on author name. 

EndNote Basic

Cost: free while affiliated with UMD (Sign up)
Writing Plugins: Word
Browser Integration: bookmarklet; Firefox extension
Groups: Private only
Desktop Clients: None with Basic; paid desktop version
Apps: none

EndNote Basic (formerly EndNote Web) is the online-only version of EndNote, the popular desktop citation software. The desktop version is expensive, but EndNote Basic is free. EndNote Basic is good when you want a no-frills, entirely web-based citation management platform, but Zotero and Mendeley have more features. Consider EndNote desktop for dissertation, postdoc, and faculty research as it can manage hundreds of references efficiently.

Mendeley

Cost: free; no UMD-affiliated account needed
Writing Plugins: Word, Open Office
Browser Integration: bookmarklet, no extensions
Groups: Public or private
Desktop Clients: Windows, Mac, Linux
Apps: iOS

Mendeley is a citation management desktop client based primarily around the cultivation of PDFs. You can import PDFs, highlight and annotate them, get readership statistics, and even choose a folder on your computer for Mendeley to "watch" for new content. Mendeley also gives you the opportunity to search across papers cultivated by other Mendeley users.