A Quick Comparison between Zotero and Citavi

A Quick Comparison between Zotero and Citavi

Sep 8, 2020


  • my team is already using this software
  • proprietary, mostly used by German institutions


  • in-app pdf viewer, pretty fast compared to Acrobat, similar with Preview
  • save pdf annotation directly in app
  • embedded todo management
  • powerful note taking system (Quotation)
  • able to preview search result


  • proprietary, not many users outside Germany (forum discussion mostly in German)
  • only supports windows
  • the transfer and sharing of references between projects is more effortful (import, export)
  • unable to change interface font size, unable to change layout to column and row


  • the reference management tool that I have used the longest and most often


  • free, light weight, open source, cross platform
  • active community for Q&A and add-on development
  • able to organize all references in library or in specific “Collection”
  • better bibtex support


  • note taking ability is very limited and simplistic

Current pick 2020-08-26

  • still using zotero for my personal library, but use Citavi for a cloud project shared with my team (share articles with each other for journal club and journal briefing)
  • importing Zotero bibtex to Citavi issues: no collection, tag, related (article) info

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This work by Eejain Huang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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