RefWorks, EndNote and Zotero

Currently EndNote and RefWorks are the only two reference management programs that create citation styles as per the Australian Guide to Legal Citations, 3rd edition, (AGLC3) style citations. An Australian legal citation style has been developed for Zotero based on AGLC 3.

There is an online 'view only' copy of AGLC 3. Print copies are also available for loan in the Law Library High Use area under the call number K114 AUST.


Law Library EndNote for Law Page: Guidance for using EndNote and the AGLC3, including downloads and links.

UQ Guide to using EndNote with AGLC3: A comprehensive, detailed guide to using EndNote and the AGLC3 produced by the University of Queensland.

General EndNote Resources: University of Melbourne Library page, information on usage, downloading and installation.


Law Library RefWorks for Law page: Resources and guidance on using RefWorks and AGLC3, includes links.

General RefWorks Resources: University of Melbourne Library - setting up an account, installation, general how to use, tutorials.

Guide to Using RefWorks and the AGLC3: University of Melbourne's guide to working with RefWorks and the AGLC3 legal citation guide, including working with reference types, law database compatability and the reference table.


The Zotero website includes details of how to download and use Zotero. The Law Library is currently developing a guide on how to use Zotero with law resources. See the table below for an overview of Zotero.

EndNote, Refworks and Zotero for Law - a Comparative Table

This table compares the features of RefWorks, EndNote and Zotero.

Features RefWorks EndNote Zotero
Compatible with the AGLC3? Yes Yes Yes (Australian Citation Guide developed, with ongoing improvements/additions).
Installation Web Based. Will need to install word toolbar(Write n Cite) and offline software Computer based program, so program needs to be installed and a number of files downloaded Zotero can be downloaded as a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari and as a standalone program that works with Windows, Mac, or Linux systems.
Work Offline Yes, though RefWorks is primarily designed to work online Yes Yes
Number of databases and catalogues compatible with 786 4,477 Compatible with anything on a web browser. Because Zotero runs within Firefox, it is simple to create new items from information available on the internet.
Supports Chinese Language articles Yes Yes Yes, Zotero is Unicode-compliant and can process non-Western characters.
Compatibility issues between versions None Older libraries, Pre EndNote X may need to be converted None
Updates Two major releases and 2-3 maintenance released annually Typically one major release for Windows & Mac each year and 1 or 2 minor updates
Updates as and when needed
Guide to using with AGLC3 available? Yes Yes (Guide by University of Queensland) No
Operating system Compatibility Web based so will work in most browsers Windows XP/Vista/Windows 2000 Mac OS X (Universal) Can be downloaded as a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari and as a standalone program that works with Windows, Mac, or Linux systems.
File Storage References are stored on RefWorks servers Data stored on local or network hard drive Zotero File Storage is a cloud-based syncing and storage solution for PDFs, images, web snapshots, and any other files attached to your Zotero libraries. Zotero File Storage synchronizes the files in your personal Zotero library to all your computers.
Number of Reference types 31 45 35
Customize Reference type definitions No Yes Yes
Maximum number of records Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited, but is purported to not handle large libraries to well. 
Attach files? Yes Yes Yes
Attachment limits No limit to number per record or account, 20 MB file size per attachment, 200 MB per account (with option to go to 5Gb) 45 file attachments, 1 figure per record Each Zotero user is given 100 MB of free Zotero File Storage, with larger storage plans available for purchase. Unlimited on desktop (size restricted by local storage capacity).
Check for duplicates during import No Yes Yes, you can find and merge duplicates.
Feeds RefWorks is a feed reader and can import citations from RSS feeds- it can also create RSS feeds from recent added records, and share via Refshare No Yes, it is possible to create feeds from your library.
Maximum number of Groups/Folders Unlimited 500 custom and 500 groups sets Unlimited (however, there are storage limitations and paid for paid for storage plans available if you wish to increase size).
Annotate Records Notes field Notes field Store notes in your Zotero library: child notes, which belong to a specific item, and standalone notes.
Number of Output Styles 2,222 4,561 2,700
What happens when I leave the University of Melbourne? Alumni still receive access EndNote stays on your computer, though newer versions will have to be purchased Use not restricted to University of Melbourne staff or students. Anyone can establish a free account or pay for an upgraded account with additional storage.
Mobile Web Interface Yes No While there are no official Zotero apps for mobile devices, there are several third party solutions.

Please note: Table was last updated on 22 August 2012.