What are the best Zotero alternatives in 2021?

    Zotero is described as 'free, easy-to-use Firefox/Chrome extension or standalone program to help you collect, organize, manage, search and cite your research sources directly in your favourite word processor, with 300 MB free online storage' and is a well-known app in the Web Browsers category. There are more than 50 alternatives to Zotero for a variety of platforms, including Online / Web-based, Mac, Windows, Linux and iPhone. The best alternative is Mendeley, which is free. Other great apps like Zotero are Qiqqa (Free, Open Source), Polar (Freemium), JabRef (Free, Open Source) and TheBrain (Freemium).

    This page was last updated Aug 23, 2021

    1. Mendeley helps manage and share academic knowledge: Mendeley Desktop is free academic software (Windows, Mac, Linux) for organizing and sharing research papers and generating bibliographies with 1GB of free online storage to automatically back up and synchronize your library...
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      Mendeley vs Zotero opinions
      Most users think Mendeley is a great alternative to Zotero.
      JohnFastman Mendeley differs from Zotero like this: 1) It is not open source, but it's still free (as in beer); 2) it has better features for annotating pdf files; 3) It emphasizes connections between academics working in similar areas, which helps in discovery of references. Zotero doesn't do that. However, Zotero is better at extracting meta data from pdf files and has the superior browser plugin.
      Positive comment almost 5 years ago

    2. Qiqqa is a free research and reference manager. Search for, read and annotate your PDFs. Then review your work, write up and create bibliographies instantly.
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      Qiqqa vs Zotero opinions
      Most users think Qiqqa is a great alternative to Zotero.
      phytographer Qiqqa does not have: 1) Chrome connector for gathering citations 2) Google Docs integration 3) LibreOffice Integration
      Negative comment 12 months ago

      They both manage PDFs and allow you to do reference management and bilbiographies.
      Positive comment almost 6 years ago

      altenativeto The open source transparency and the WebDav sync make Zotero a better option for Users with a certain degree of Data control/ privacy needs.
      Negative comment over 1 year ago


    3. Polar is a powerful desktop app for managing all your web content, books, and notes. Polar keeps all your content in one place, supports tagging, annotation, highlighting and keeps track of your reading progress.
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      Most users think Polar is a great alternative to Zotero.
    4. The efficient way to collect, organize & discover Collect Import options for over 15 reference formats Easily retrieve and link full-text articles Fetch complete bibliographic information based on ISBN, DOI, PubMed-ID and arXiv-ID Import new...
      JabRef vs Zotero opinions
      Almost everyone thinks JabRef is a great alternative to Zotero.
      Open source, clean, robust. Works best with BibTex/Latex environment.
      Positive comment 12 months ago

    5. TheBrain helps you organize all your Web pages, contacts, documents, emails and files in a context-driven visual map. Items are linked in a visual network that is designed to mimic the way you think.
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      TheBrain vs Zotero opinions
      pros, cons and recent comments
      TheBrain is a non-linear visual mapping tool. It is not first and foremost a reference manager. I own it, and use it, and it's never struck me as a good alternative to Zotero.
      Negative comment about 1 year ago

      InfinitlyZero Simply not a viable alternative.
      Negative comment 8 months ago


    6. DEVONthink is a solution to the digital age conundrum. It is your second brain, the one and only database for all your digital files, be they PDFs, emails, Word docs or even multimedia files.
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    7. WizNote is a Note software, which is especially designed for Internet users and mobile Internet users. WizNote focuses more on notes of rapid collection, management, reading and sharing. WizNote is smaller, more stable, and more suitable for computers, phones and mobile devices.
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    8. BibSonomy is a system for sharing bookmarks and lists of literature (BibTex format).
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Online
      • Android
      • iPhone
      • Android Tablet
      • iPad
      Papers helps you collect and curate the research material that you're passionate about. This award-winning reference manager will improve the way you find, organize, read, cite, and share.
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    9. A handy, intuitive reference-managing tool. Citavi researches in over 4800 databases and catalogs, organizes and structures your literature, references, quotes and idea collections and assists you with your documentation or publication.
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      Citavi vs Zotero opinions
      pros, cons and recent comments
      altenativeto It is sadly unstable software. It has of course more professional functions than zotero but also problems with stability. For Example: when I had my computer in standby, I have to restart the software.
      Negative comment about 2 months ago

    Showing 10 of 58 alternatives