Comparison of Endnote, Endnote Web and Reference Manager

Choice of EndNote or Reference Manager is largely a matter of personal preference (and both are owned by the same company, ISI). They store databases of references, can import from a variety of sources and allow inserting citations and a bibliography/reference list into a document. The method of manual data entry differs and users may find one system more accessible or better suited to their working style.

Key advantages of Endnote

  • The most intuitive and easy to use package and widely used across all disciplines
  • Can embed full text documents in the database (instead of just linking to the file)
  • Works on Windows and Apple Mac, and also has a web-version (which can synchronise with the desktop version)

Key advantages of Endnote Web

  • Can be used on non-university owned machines without buying a license
  • Similar features to Endnote - with some features absent
  • Can transfer references between Web and Desktop versions
  • Can share references

Key advantages of Reference Manager

  • Can be used in a multi-user setting (i.e. more than one person using the same database, adding/editing records at the same time)
  • Through the 'term manager' it is possible to specify synonyms (e.g. Myocardial infarction & heart attack), searching for 'heart attack' will find records with either/both terms.
  • Can make a database available online via the 'Web Publisher'

Reference Manager 12 is the most recent edition and Adept have no plans to release new versions of this software. However it is still being supported by the Library and iSolutions.

There is more detailed information in the table below.

Comparison of the features of EndNote, EndNote Web and Reference Manager
Feature EndNote EndNote Web Reference Manager
Suitable for Windows and Mac users? Yes - both versions are available (new versions are likely to be released in Windows first). Suitable for Windows & Mac Only suitable for Windows
Multi-user access to database (network or Web) No, single user database. Can collaborate by transferring references to EndNote Web. Can share groups of references Yes
Access to references Desktop & Network Web browser Desktop, Network &
Web browser (via Web publisher)
Store and cite images and objects Yes No No
Find full text articles automatically Yes No No
Link to PDF files on your computer Yes No


Link to PDF files etc. on the internet Yes Yes Yes
Automatically import a PDF and extract basic bibliographic data Yes No No
Online database searching Yes Yes Yes
Find full text articles automatically Yes No No
Store and cite images and objects Yes No No
Create table and figure lists Yes No No
Create a subject bibliography Yes No Yes
Organise references into groups Yes - groups and smart groups (saved searches) Yes - groups Not a straight forward function. Use keywords to identify references belonging to a group or use multiple databases
Max number of References Unlimited 10,000 Unlimited
Define journal abbreviations and use them in a reference Yes No Yes
Cite While You Write Compatible with Microsoft Word, Apple Pages and Writer 3 for Windows
Compatible with Microsoft Word (optional installation) Compatible with Microsoft Word
Construct document with MS Word templates – to guide you through the exacting manuscript requirements of publishers and useful for creation of Thesis. Yes No No
Spell check. Yes No Yes
Number of output styles 4,500+ predefined; create your own 4,500+ predefined 1,000+ predefined; create your own