Switching reference managers from “Mendeley” to “Zotero”

After getting so frustrated with Mendeley over the years, I finally decided to switch to another bibliography manager. Life is much better! This is the comparison article I read before I made this decision: http://www.docear.org/2014/01/15/comprehensive-comparison-of-reference-managers-mendeley-vs-zotero-vs-docear/. As it said, there is no perfect manager, you’d only find the one that matches your preference the most. For me, zotero is currently the best match for me, for several reasons:

  1.  It is open-source, and will be more likely to stay non-profit in the foreseeable future .
  2. It has no up-limit for the number of PDFs you can store/associate. It works perfectly with dropbox, so you can save as many PDFs as possible if your dropbox has space left. Without dropbox, you could add unlimited PDFs as well, but you would not be able to share the files across multiple computer. Check out this link to learn how to do it: http://libguides.princeton.edu/c.php?g=84032&p=544384
  3. It will not give you too much trouble for creating duplicated entries (which Mendeley does a lot if you turn on “watch folder”!)
  4. It by default uses external PDF editors, so no need to worry about the portability of your comments. (Mendeley has its internal PDF editor, so it would be difficult for you if you decide to switch to other software.)
  5. The web import system works much more smoothly.
  6. It has APIs for add-ons, supporting further improvements. I have tried a “google scholar” add-on. It could update the google scholar citations for each article. Super useful.
  7. More to come later….

The downside for Zotero is it does not automatically extracts information from PDFs. You’ll have to do it manually (adding reference and then associate the files). But on the other hand, it would not generate erroneous reference articles because of misreading the PDFs.