Currently I use Mendeley. I have heard some stuff about ReadCube, but they don't have a Mendeley quick import tool, so… before I go through the hassle of resetting up my library with them, I wondered how it compared to Mendeley. What are its extra features? What is missing? How smooth is it to use, how widely adopted is it, that sort of things…

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    Hi Keevs, and welcome to Academia Stack Exchange! “Is X better than Y questions” are frowned upon around here, as they are quite subjective (different people want different things in a reference manager). I've edited your question a bit in order to make it more objective, I hope you don't mind! (and if I lost any of the original meaning, please feel free to edit it back in)
    – F'x
    Commented Aug 27, 2013 at 18:18
  • I think this Q is a poor fit for SE, since program features change over time (ie the Q is localized in time and answers may quickly become obsolete) and answers are likley to be based on personal preferences. Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 11:08
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    @fileunderwater many questions are localized in time (policies change, application procedures evolve)… that doesn't necessarily make them bad fit for the site. Answers have a date on them, and can be edited (or new answers posted) if things change drastically.
    – F'x
    Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 12:03
  • @F'x true that the problem of "too localized" depends on the question. However, I dont see how this question differs from a shopping question, also program features can change very rapidly. Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 12:09

4 Answers 4


From a short comparison of the features listed on the website here is list of Mendeley features that ReadCube doesnt have:

  • In-text citation insertion and formation: Mendeley has Word and other plugins, ReadCube only exports to Endnote and "your favorite citation software"
  • Sharing and collaboration features
  • ReadCube is only a desktop app (no web app), and it doesn't work on Linux
  • Mendeley has an open API to query its huge database

On the other hand:

  • ReadCube is used as the online reader for a few publishers: Nature, Frontiers and Wiley.
  • ReadCube suggests personalized article recommendations (dont know if they're good, though)
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    Mendeley also suggests article recommendations based on my library via email. For me they are quite relevant, albeit a bit old.
    – Jasper
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 9:51

Note that when getting articles via Readcube from the journals that support it, you don't actually get a copy of the article. It seems Readcube is one way big publishers are trying to "contain" their copyrighted articles and prevent readers from having a true copy. This article explains some of that:



So I'm a ReadCube user who was a Mendeley user -

ReadCube does have a citation tool for Word and their apps make articles interactive - things like references, authors, figures are clickable - which is pretty neat. Their recommendations are pretty good too if you have enough in your library - otherwise the results can be pretty generic. I guess that makes sense.

I personally prefer it to Mendeley - though I do miss Mendeley's web access part of it. ReadCube has a much better interface. It's like what you'd expect for mainstream tools - intuitive, slick, streamlined. I find the other tools in comparison "science functional" - they work - but look cludgy.


As of now, one feature that has kept me in Mendeley is that, unlike ReadCube, Mendeley can can keep a bibtex file with all your library references. This file is updated automatically. Readcube requires manual export of selected references.

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