Let’s face it – no matter whether you’re an undergraduate, professor, postgraduate, veteran researcher, or even an academic tutor, writing research papers can be mentally draining no matter your academic level.
Aside from the stress, it also takes time to write a perfect paper – from inserting citations, organizing your workflow, and finding research materials. That’s why a lot of academic researchers rely on EndNote to speed up their workflow.
With EndNote, you can be adding your citations and bibliography while writing your research paper. You don’t have to wait till you’re done writing to format your citations.
You’ll also have access to better research tools that will help you easily locate PDFs needed for your papers. You can read, review, and explain your findings.
Your references are also better organized which creates more room for multitasking. It’s also easy to gain access to research materials from other parts of the world.
In the end, you can use the Manuscript Matcher to compare your work with other respected and relevant journals and subsequently get published.
As much as EndNote has its beautiful side, one can’t help but notice the limitations it comes with. First, the mobile app can only be accessed by Apple users. If you’re using an Android smartphone, you can’t download the app to your device.
Also, the tool is quite pricey and complex to use. You can imagine a tool creating a full “Training Center” on YouTube which every user ought to watch before using the software.
I honestly don’t think this is what you want. You want a tool that will simplify your research process and not teach you how to start using the tool.
Thankfully, there are lots of other tools that provide the same services as EndNote but are either free or more affordable and less complex to use.
I have reviewed some of them in this article. So, without much ado, let’s look at the best EndNote alternatives!
Papers is a reference management tool created for academic researchers. Unlike EndNote, this tool has both a web version and a mobile app that works on iOS and Android devices.
Generally, Papers enhances the way you collect, organize, read, cite, and share references in your research work. Not only are you getting personalized recommendations through your searches but also able to import materials in bulk, find related article feeds, and download PDFs.
Papers’ advanced sorting and filtering feature helps you to stay organized. You can adequately categorize your PDFs, use tags, ratings, and labels to narrow down your research materials and easily locate them when needed.
Rather than wasting time manually jotting down points, Papers’ enhanced PDF viewing helps you to read, highlight, and add inline and sticky notes when reading articles. There is also a text-to-speech tool that helps to speed up your writing process.
If you’re working as a group, you can easily share references, PDFs, notes, tags, and PDF annotations with your colleagues.
Best of all, there can be more than 30 users working together at a given time! All you need to do is to add their email and they will gain access to your shared folder. Papers is perfect for people working remotely or in lab collaborations.
Unlike EndNote, Papers is super easy to use and reliable too. Its SmartCite tool allows users to cite faster either by using the built-in search engine or by inserting references from their personal or shared libraries.
There are over 9,000 citation styles available for you including APA, MLA, Chicago, IEEE, or Nature. You can use one of these or customize or import your reference style.
Overall, Papers offers a 30-day free trial, and no credit card is required to even get started. The pricing plans are very affordable as well and you can choose the category that best describes you – whether you’re a student, academic, or corporate researcher.
Mendeley is another EndNote alternative that will bring your research to life. The platform is not as complex as EndNote and is also free.
You don’t need to sweat so much working on your research papers. Thanks to Mendeley’s Reference Manager that works to simplify your workflow so that you can pay more attention to smashing your goals.
Rather than have your materials scattered all over the place, you can simply bring them all together and store them in one place for easy access.
Mendeley also comes with a Notebook that helps you to highlight crucial points from different web articles and PDFs. More so, Mendeley Cite can be added to your Microsoft word to make your citation as seamless as possible.
When in use, a different panel is opened alongside your word document for you to add your references, citations, and bibliographies.
Most of all, you can access your library from anywhere and even import documents in bulk from your computer. Unlike EndNote, Mendeley is free to use and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as all web browsers.
Weava is a free online research tool created to ease up your academic and corporate research work. Just like EndNote, you can better organize, highlight, annotate, and collaborate on your papers.
However, what sets Weava apart from EndNote is that it comes in two different versions – a Chrome Extension (otherwise known as the sidebar), and a web application (also known as the dashboard). Both of them have free versions.
Weava makes it more convenient for you to highlight text directly on websites and online and local PDFs on your computer. I particularly love that your highlights are automatically saved on your Weava account and synced to the cloud. That means you can read them from anywhere.
To also tune down distractions when working on your project, Weava allows you to add notes directly on the material you’re reading. Not only does it save a lot of time but also makes it easier to retain the knowledge acquired.
I also love that citations and references are created with few clicks. And if there is an update on the website or PDF’s URL, you can easily affect that change on your paper.
Weava’s premium version is as low as $3 per month and can be used by students, and academic and corporate researchers.
Qiqqa is another research and reference manager trusted by students, businesses, and researchers all over the world. Unlike EndNote, Qiqqa is free to use except for the premium version which costs just a few bucks.
The tool generally helps you to organize your research PDF materials and make them easily accessible on your computer so that you wouldn’t spend time looking for missing papers. You can group documents with tags and use the tag explorer to locate them when needed.
Aside from organizing PDFs, you can also read and make important notes on the materials either online or offline. Thanks to the annotation report that allows you to highlight important text when reading.
On days when you are so overwhelmed by the volume of research materials and can’t decide on the PDF to read next, Qiqqa helps to streamline your options. Because the tool is designed such that it automatically understands your research niche, it will easily take you to the citation, authors, and keywords that best match your topic.
Best of all, Qiqqa presents users with everything they need to cite their papers. I love that the tool instantly reformats your bibliography as you’re adding your citations.
Qiqqa’s unlimited storage is also another helpful feature for your research project especially if you are working with a team remotely. You can create a group library or share yours with other team members.
Since documents are synchronized between all the members, everyone can submit their papers and make contributions where necessary. I also love how the administration is well laid out.
Members can either be admins, contributors, or viewers. EndNote doesn’t offer such freedom nor does it allow you to backup your work to a zip file in case of any loss. Qiqqa allows this which is an incredible plus.
Sciwheel is one of the best alternatives to EndNote that presents an easy way to find, read, annotate, and write your research papers. Though it is mostly used by scientific researchers.
The most interesting feature of Sciwheel is that it enables you to save references directly from the web. For example, let’s say you came across some interesting and relevant articles during your research, this tool saves the web link, citation data, and even the PDF if it’s available.
In addition to that, users can highlight and add notes to either the web pages or PDFs during their research. And it doesn’t stop there. These notes are also easily accessible whenever you search for them.
To make your research project even easier, Sciwheel recommends articles based on your topic. That way, you’ll hardly miss important materials for your paper.
Everything you need to write your paper, like references, is accessed from one single location either on Microsoft Word or Google Docs. The tool also has more than 8,000 bibliography styles available.
Again, since Sciwheel has both the desktop app and mobile or tablet version (Android and iOS), you can easily read, make notes, and save them on your devices. EndNote doesn’t have an Android version which gives Sciwheel an edge over it.
Not just that, Sciwheel has a free trial, unlike EndNote. You can at least get started with it until you’re ready to pay for the premium plan which doesn’t cost very much.
Finally, Sciwheel helps you to add your collaborators and colleagues to your research dashboard and share your project with them. This makes it easier to write and edit citations on a document.
At first glance, Zotero promises to be your “Personal research assistant,” and it has conveniently kept that promise since it was created in October 2006 by the Corporation for Digital Scholarship, a non-profit organization.
This research tool is completely free to use, unlike EndNote. Though both of them generally help researchers to collect, annotate, organize, cite, and share their projects.
I particularly love how Zotero automatically detects your research topic and helps you to locate the materials you need whether it’s from JSTOR, arXiv.org, preprint, or even the New York Times.
Also, your works are better organized and you can arrange them in collections using tags or keywords.
It’s also great how the tool automatically creates references and bibliographies for your research paper when you’re working with any text editor or inside MS Word, Google Docs, or LibreOffice. The tool supports over 10,000 citation styles and you can structure your work to match any style publication or style.
To ensure that your files, notes, and bibliographies are up to date, Zotero synchronizes your data across all your devices. That way, your research materials can easily be accessed from any web browser.
Most of all, unlike EndNote, Zotero users can share their library with as many people as they like at no cost. That way they can co-write their paper with colleagues, distribute course materials, and collectively build a bibliography.
Your data is safe with Zotero since it’s an open-source platform created by an independent and non-profit organization that isn’t looking to make money from your private information.
Finally, the tool is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, and iOS and allocates a free 300MB online storage space for your files. You’re free to upgrade the storage at an affordable price.
Auratikum was created specifically to empower efficient research. The tool can be used in place of EndNote to facilitate your academic writing by streamlining the time spent on finding notes, organizing research materials, and managing citations.
This research tool also serves as your writing buddy whether you are an undergraduate or a researcher. First off, just like your normal sticky notes, the note archive collects and saves your thoughts and ideas.
Each note has a headline, body, comments, and citation and can be tagged with keywords for easy location.
After collecting your notes, you can then structure your content by dragging, dropping, and arranging your ideas, talking points, and key references in a logical order. You can even add headers and subheaders to make it more visually appealing.
With your outline, notes, and references in place, you can start putting them together. So, your research writing ends up being as painless and seamless as possible. When you’re done, you can then export the final result.
Unlike EndNote where you have to download and install the tool to your computer, Auratikum doesn’t require such. Since it’s a web application, you can easily open and use it on every browser on either Windows, Mac, Linux, or mobile devices as well.
Best of all, you don’t have to worry about losing any of your files. The tool stores your data in an EU database and you can easily recover it in case of any loss.
Unlike EndNote which looks complex, Auratikum is completely easy to use, efficient, and flexible.
Paperpile is another best EndNote alternative that helps users to manage their research library right from their web browser. This reference management tool works on both iOS and Android devices, unlike EndNote.
When working on a research project, there are usually thousands of documents to deal with which might overwhelm you in the long run. Paperpile allows you to organize your materials into folders and even add a hierarchy to them so that you can quickly find what you need.
You can also add colored labels for easy filtering. When searching large libraries, it’s easy to find the paper you want using keywords, authors, or the paper’s publication date.
It’s also effortless to cite journals, articles, books, and conference papers relevant to your research. In addition to that, you can save news articles, presentations, computer programs, websites, and everything you need to cite.
Paperpile has more than 100 reference styles that will help you generate accurate citations for your paper. I think the most interesting feature is the ability to create keyboard shortcuts for crucial tasks. That way, you can better manage your references and save time while at it.
Paperpile offers a 30-day free trial, unlike EndNote. The academic and business plans cost just $2.99 and $9.99 per month respectively.
Citavi is a reference management software designed to help researchers work efficiently on their projects. It helps you to sort and organize your materials in one place.
You can drag and drop PDF files, or import other file formats and sources from your device. It becomes easier to locate them from search catalogs and research databases.
While writing, Citavi automatically adds citations to your project. The reference tool has more than 10,000 citation styles including MLA, Turabian, Chicago, and APA.
If you can’t find your desired style, you can either create it yourself or contact the platform’s support team to do it for you. To top it off, all the references you cite instantly appear in your bibliography.
Like EndNote, Citavi helps you to break projects into tasks and highlight important points in your articles.
To ensure that you don’t lose any information, Citavi automatically backs up your work. Your works are saved in the Citavi Cloud and you can access them from anywhere you are.
Users can also add their team members to their projects to either edit or read their documents.
JabRef is another EndNote alternative guaranteed to simplify and ease up your research project. One of the similarities it shares with EndNote is that it allows users to import files of any format and help them easily recover important information needed for their project.
You can also edit your bibliographical data and instantly rename and move research files around. I particularly love that it’s easy to group your research and arrange them in hierarchical collections for quicker access.
Your files can be organized based on keywords, search terms, or keywords. JabRef’s in-built citation styles will also make your work faster.
It lets you cite as your write. And even though the style you want isn’t in their catalog, you can create your own. Another amazing feature that sets JabRef apart from EndNote is that it is free and works across all kinds of devices including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
All the EndNote alternatives I have reviewed above are great picks. However, my favorite is Zotero. I love that it’s free software that helps you to collect, annotate, organize, cite, and share your research works.
To make your project easier and faster, the tool automatically detects the kind of articles you’re searching for and helps you to locate them online.
There are more than 10,000 citation styles you can select from or you can create your publication style if you don’t find any that fits your work.
However, you’re free to choose any of the reference management tools that work best for you.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.