EndNote Online vs EndNote Desktop


Both do the same essential job of collecting references and storing them into a library and both have the Cite While You Write plugin in Word so you can easily cite your sources.

EndNote Online is a web based. Your reference library is stored in the online application and not on your computer. To cite using EndNote online you must download the EndNote Online plugin and when citing in word you need to be connected to the internet).

*The library offers support and training for EndNote Online only.  

The desktop version is installed on your device, it is more powerful than EndNote Online but there is more to learn with it. The desktop version includes additional features such as: working offline, unlimited storage of pdfs, annotation of pdfs, Searching for the full text of articles, and access to additional referencing styles. Endnote Desktop and Endnote Online can be synchronized so you can access your references from any location or device.

* EndNote Desktop cannot be installed on Chromebook; you need to use EndNote Online.

More information:


Other popular referencing software. (You can switch between tools, if you are using Zotero and then decide that you want to use EndNote Online you can export your reference list.

  • Citavi - paid for reference management program that helps you collect, organize, and cite sources for your writing and note taking.
  • Mendeley - free reference manager that can help you store, organise, note, share and cite references and research data (you can upgrade at a cost).
  • RefWorks – paid for online research management, writing and coloration tool.
  • Zotero – free, open source, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organise, annotate, cite, and share research.


  • Last Updated Feb 21, 2024
  • Views 91
  • Answered By Kathryn Briggs

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