Zotero vs. Mendeley, Initial Thoughts

In my never-ending quest for world-domination a good PDF and bibliography manager I’ve been trying Zotero 1.5 beta and Mendeley 0.6.3 beta.

Both offer many of the same features. Tagging PDFs, extracting metadata, uploading PDFs to your account, etc.

I just never have been able to like Zotero, I’ve tried, alot, several times in fact. I just can’t get to like it for some reason. To me it seems like a separate program, not an add-on for Firefox, maybe that’s part of it for me. One of the biggest issues I have with the most recent version compared to Mendeley is the cramped UI. It just doesn’t work as well for me. Lastly, and this is a showstopper, when I installed it Web of Science quit working. Once I disabled it Web of Science came back for me, I get an Error 404. I didn’t look much further after that, if someone has a fix I’d be interested to hear it.

Mendeley is going the direction that I like and want. The interface is much easier for me to use mainly and it’s a standalone program with a web interface for when I need that sort of thing. That’s not to say Mendeley is perfect either. Since I’ve been using it the PDF metadata extraction can be erroneous and most frustratingly it crashes on me when trying to upload PDFs. I’ve about got all of them uploaded finally but it’s taken me several days of closing/reopening Mendeley to get it done. Just one niggle, Mendeley is free as in beer but not free as in speech. There is a feedback suggestion to publish Mendeleydesktop under the GPL here.

090320 16:10 – Updates –
Two items from Mendeley’s Feedback Forum.

It seems the problem I have with PDFs uploading is a Linux problem in general: http://feedback.mendeley.com/pages/general/suggestions/139511-error-unable-to-contact-mendeley-web


There is a suggestion in Mendeley’s feedback forum to work with Zotero, I like this idea.

It’s nice to see the developers addressing items in the feedback forum and moving forward. I know 0.6.3 is an improvement over 0.6.2 which I started using a few weeks ago.


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