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Mendeley: Mendeley vs. RefWorks

managing your resources with Mendeley

Which citation management tool should I use?

RefWorks vs. Mendeley



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.
** more info
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
Plugin for Word

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

the plugin works fine via the virtual environment of the UMCG (

The plugin works fine in a virtual environment (like or
Search option PubMed You can search PubMed within RefWorks and add papers from the results ​There is no PubMed search option within Mendeley
Cloud/desktop Only cloud Cloud ánd desktop
Speed ​Slower processing time than other tools Especially the desktop version is fast
Google Docs Supports Google Docs ​Does not support Google Docs
Library databases Works well with library databases ​Not as agile with EBSCO databases (AMED, CINAHL, ERIC, Medline, PsycInfo and SocINDEX)
After UMCG / University You may continue using RefWorks after you left the UMCG or University  Free (2 GB storage)
Stength Good for organizing and deduplicating citations Large social component - can find other researchers in same field
Mobile options ​Working on making interface responsive on mobile devices  iPad, iPhone and Andriod apps

How RefWorks & Mendeley deal with duplicates

* 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.

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Ask your question to the Central Medical Library during opening hours.

Workshops at the CMB

Start pages RefWorks

Interested in RefWorks? Take a look at our start pages about RefWorks (in Dutch & English):