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Refworks & Mendeley & EndNote: Support, access and duplicates

* Support: 

Questions regarding any of these reference managers can be send to

* Access:

To use Refworks, Mendeley or EndNote at the UMCG network you need to get rights on the network. Contact your department's systems administrator or contact us at

To use it from home:  Refworks is online only and Mendeley is free to download ( To use EndNote from home please contact us!

* EndNote & duplicates

EndNote has the most deduplication options and we therefore recommend EndNote if you are doing a systematic review.

* Refworks & duplicates

You may search your RefWorks library for duplicate documents. If references are similar, RefWorks will suggest it as a match and you can delete any unwanted records. 

** Mendeley & duplicates (advise: better not use Mendeley for a systematic review)

Mendeley reviews references’ titles, authors, file hashes, etc, when a file is imported to Mendeley, and these are checked against your existing library in Mendeley, even records that have been deleted in the past. The program will merge duplicate references into one record. You can't assess if these are true duplicates, because you can't see which records have been merged. There is no way to prevent this from occurring at the present time. Mendeley also appears to find more duplicates than other programs, like RefWorks or EndNote, so it's likely you'll lose studies due to false positives. 
Mendeley is therefore NOT recommended for a systematic review, because for a review you should to be able to justify every step. The numbers are too big to easily detect mistakes, and it's extra important to have as little mistakes as possible with this type of research.

Compare Refworks vs. Mendeley vs. EndNote







Light-weight reference manager. Easy to use


Good for organizing and deduplicating citations

Good for organizing citations

Recommended for doing Systematic Reviews.

Good for organizing and deduplicating citations

Endnote can automatically harvest pdfs and add these to references in your database. -

Duplicates ​RefWorks allows you to determine yourself which duplicates should be removed. * more info Mendeley determines for you which references are duplicates and removes them without consulting you, so you better NOT use Mendely for a systematic review. EndNote allows you to determine which duplicates should be removed. And is therefore very suitable for Systematic reviews
Add documents (PDFs) ​Loading PDFs into RefWorks goes slow and RefWorks adds very little metadata, such as authors, volume, pages and abstract. Often metadata are missing or incorrect ​Loading PDFs into Mendeley goes well and fast, but Mendeley adds very little metadata, such as authors, volume, pages and abstract. Often metadata are missing or incorrect

EndNote has a "find full text" feature. It will search for the full text of your references and download the PDF if available.

Plugin for Word

​The plugin doesn't work well in the virtual environment of the university (

undefinedWorks fine in general, but interference by other plugins might affect it. At the UMCG virtual workspace ( you need to use the shortcut "Refworks for Word" to work with refworks

The plugin works fine in a virtual environment (like

​01-02-2024: Mendeley is no longer available on the university network. (It is still available on the UMCG network).

The plugin works fine in a virtual environment (like or

undefinedEndNote plugin in Word will not work when the Mendeley plugin is active too.

Search option PubMed You can search PubMed within RefWorks and add papers from the results ​There is no PubMed search option within Mendeley You can search PubMed within EndNote and add papers from the results
Cloud/desktop undefinedOnly cloud Cloud ánd desktop Cloud ánd desktop
Speed ​Slower processing time than other tools Especially the desktop version is fast Especially the desktop version is fast
Google Docs Supports Google Docs ​Does not support Google Docs

​Versions before EndNote 21 do not support Google Docs

With EndNote 21 comes support for Google Docs

Library databases Works well with library databases ​Not as agile with EBSCO databases (AMED, CINAHL, ERIC, Medline, PsycInfo and SocINDEX) Works well with library databases. Either with direct export to EndNote online or by exporting from the database and importing in EndNote
After UMCG / University You may continue using RefWorks after you leave the UMCG or University  Free (2 GB storage) EndNote onilne is free, but the EndNote desktop software is not. After leaving the UMCG or University you need to either buy EndNote or get access via another institution.
Mobile options ​Not available ​Not available undefinedOnly works on iPads. No Andorid support

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Subjects: Faculty of Medical Sciences