RefWorks Mendeley Zotero Notes

Refworks, Mendeley, Zotero, oh my!
Facilitators:  Helen Josephine & Anne Rauh
Notetaker:  Neil Dazet

List of products mentioned

  • Refworks
  • Mendeley
  • Zotero
  • Endnote
  • Papers
  • Readcube
  • Scrivener
  • Bibtech
  • Easybib

Discussion started with each participant stating the name of their institution and what their experiences have been with these products.

Brooklyn College – Refworks, Mendeley (esp. Health and Nutrition Sciences dept.)

NYU – Endnote & Refworks primarily.  Some Zotero, and Easybib (which some students used in high school).  A few users on Scrivener and Papers.

Maryland – Originally had subscription to Refworks, then moved to Endnote.  Then added Refworks back.  Adding instruction for Mendeley and Zotero.

Dartmouth – Primarily Refworks but it is not liked, doesn’t work well with Macs.  Some Zotero, and are now interested in Mendeley.

Cold Spring Harbor – Endnote used in BioSciences.  Papers used by Mac people.  Plus some Mendeley and Zotero.

Princeton – Supports Refworks, but some Scrivener, Endnote and Papers.

Common discussion themes during this part of session:

  • Librarians not happy with Refworks.  Long periods of time in between new releases, and it seems like not much has been added.  One participant mentioned that the Univ. of Wisconsin also recently cancelled RefWorks.
  • Mac users favor Papers (recently bought by Springer).
  • Librarians have some trouble keeping up with the increasing number of these products that students/faculty ask for help with at reference desk.

One participant stated that they steer away from teaching any of these tools to some undergrad classes since most article databases used give a fully formed citation and that is usually sufficient for their needs.  Tools are more appropriate for students with large research projects, grad students, and faculty.

Helen led the next part of the session, focusing on Mendeley.  She logged in to her Mendeley institutional version account at Stanford, which currently has 585 members.

Pricing for the institutional version of Mendeley is based on FTE, and there are 9 tiers to the pricing structure.

Additional features:  7GB of storage, 10 groups, with 15 members each.

FAQ for Mendeley institutional version:

When list of papers published by other members, dropdown menu shows Find It at Stanford functionality to retrieve that article from library’s databases.

Within groups, analytics for content usage:

  • Admin can see what members are reading and publishing
  • Screen shows Top Journals by discipline
  • Admin can view members’ social activity, ex. What groups they’ve joined and what groups they have created.
  • Graphs shown for readership of members’ publications and for articles added to member’s libraries.

At Stanford, advice given to students who have not used any of these tools is to use Mendeley and point at hard drive to scrape all PDFs then cleanup unwanted articles in Mendeley after.

Standford has promoted Mendeley by using email blasts and offering classes and workshops -> new graduate students.