Citation Managers

January 13, 2016

[Tammy Denning]

I've had this hallway/coffee conversation with a few of you before, but which citation manager do you use, and why is it awesome (or less terrible than the alternatives)?

[Eric Eide]

Is BibTeX + git an answer? 'cause that what I use.

[Tammy Denning]

That's an answer!

That's about what I use, but I know that some others (Vivek and Suresh?) have some fancier management software. I've tried a few - EndNote and BibDesk and JabRef at various points? - but didn't particularly take off with any of them.

[Sean McKenna]

I utilize Mendeley, mainly since I want to store simple notes and highlight PDFs and syncs over cloud to mobile apps. Doesn't work the best with BibTex, but better than no support at all.

[Michael Ballantyne]

I recently got started using Papers 3, more for cataloguing papers I want to read and syncing them to my iPad than for citation management proper. Sync support without having to go through a cloud was a plus. Haven't tested its BibTex output much yet.

[John Moeller]

Dustin Webb got me on Zotero, which is pretty nice I think. It lets you select all + export Bib, share folders of references, and gives you a nice, consistent bibtex tag style.

[Zvonimir Rakamaric]

I use Zotero as well, but more for maintaining my reading list and tagging papers than anything else. When it comes to bibtex, I am still in medieval times I guess - copy bibtex file from a recent related paper, and then update it with more recent references :). I witnessed/participated in two attempts to switch to a more centralized management, but both failed miserably.

[Vivek Srikumar]

Most reference managers allow some connection to bibtex, attaching annotated pdfs and adding notes and tags.

I have been using Bibdesk for a few years now. It just works, uses a bib file as the backing storage (very convenient for syncing across machines and people) and, when I last checked, was significantly less hideous than jabref (seriously!). Alas, though, mac only.

Lately, I have been hearing good things about zotero.

[Matt Might]

citeulike + wget ⇒ .bib

But, I'm in the process of writing my own collaborative editor for .bib:

[Adam Bargteil]

I try to grab bibtex citations from the acm digital library and delete the last bit of the identifier. I also try to keep bib files consistent wrt identifiers (last_name_of_first_author:year:first_three_letters_of_title) and alphabetized, which is difficult with collaborators.