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Endnote Basic: EndNote Web vs. Zotero

This guide highlights the unique features of EndNote Basic (previously EndNote Web). EndNote Basic is free and can be used with or without EndNote Desktop software.

EndNote and EndNote Web Contact Librarians



Nastasha Johnson Math
Megan Sapp Nelson Engineering, Technology
David Zwicky  Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Engineering

  Zotero Contact Librarians

 All Purdue
Jane Yatcilla

 All Purdue

David Zwicky  All Purdue


For info on how to use Zotero check out this LibGuide by Michael Witt

Comparison Chart

EndNote Basic




Web-based add-on for Firefox


Internet Explorer

Firefox only

Library Location

Store at the EndNote server, not locally.

Store library locally and on free Zotero server group

Access to Your Library

Web based, can access with any internet connection.

Local library available locally; group library available with any internet connection


Free to Purdue Students, Faculty, and Staff.

Free to anyone. An open-source program.

How to Get It

Create a free account at

Download Zotero client at; download word processor add-in for Word or OpenOffice at

Ease of Use

Easy to use.

Easy to use.


Endnote Basic users can share collection of citations with each other.  Have “Read only” or “Read & Write” options.

Zotero users can collaborate on shared libraries of citations in “groups” that are 1) open--public can read and edit, 2) closed--public can read but edit limited to specific users), or 3) private--not public, read and edit limited to specific users.

Getting Citations

Easy direct exporting citations from “Web of Knowledge” and other databases hosted by major vendors (EBSCO, ProQuest, etc.) to your Endnote Web Library.

Fairly easy exporting citations from other vendors such as CSA.

Can “capture” bibliographic info of web pages, videos, etc.

Can add citations manually. 

Click on an icon in your browser URL bar to save citations to items on the page or a button in the Zotero window to capture the page itself.

Adding citations for web sites works just like adding citations from databases.

Can add citations manually.

Attach PDF’s, Images or Other Files

Can link and store, attachments (PDFs, images, etc.) to your Endnote Basic Library.

Can link and store web pages and files (PDFs, images, etc.) to your Zotero collection to use offline.

Finding Duplicates

Function built in:

    Organize – Find Duplicates

Not currently.


Locate Full Text

Yes.  Click on the “Go to the URL” or “Find it at Purdue” icon

Note: the “Find it at Purdue” icon is not working at IE currently

Yes.  Click the “Locate” button in the Info pane for each citation to locate full text.

Add Citations / Bibliographies to Papers

Yes, with the EndNote Basic MS-Word “Cite While You Write” plug-in installed.

Yes, with the Zotero MS-Word & OpenOffice plug-ins installed.