HOW DO I DO IT?
In the survey on the previous
page we made a comparison between the most relevant academic
reference programs for Macs and PC, looking at which of them was more
useful in the various stages of researching and writing a
paper. But if we are to commit to a system, it would be useful to know
a bit more about how each of them work. Thus, we shall on
this supplementary page delve a bit further into details that I have
been able to ferret out after some trial rounds with these
Searching for references
The two programs that use a list form to
search online catalogues, Papers
and EndNote, aim at quite different types of sources, and Papers almost
looks like it wants to be a supplement to EndNote rather than an
alternative. Thus, for our purposes it is only Google Scholar and JStor
that is of interest in Papers. It can also search in Project Muse, but
the current version has a bug that blocks the display of individual
hits there. The rest of its available sources is of little or no
interest to us (bar perhaps Scopus, which my university does not
subscribe to). Still, access to Google Scholar as well as JStor is so important that Papers becomes a very useful research tool.
The problem is only that you get too many
hits in Google Scholar if you ask for a general topic. Papers will
inform you of how many (thousand) hits Google has found, and presents
the first 30-40 to you in a list. Then you can import more, thirty at a
time, and since Google does prioritize its hits, you will generally get
the most useful first. (The hits you get in Papers are not the same as
those you get on the Google web page; Papers only picks up article
references, not books, and it also uses a different sort order that
seems to prioritize better than Google's web). It will however be
useful to refine your search by adding terms that a relevant article
should contain, so the result becomes a bit more manageable. JStor has
the same limitation, but does not give quite as many
thousand hits as Google.
Notice, however (this goes for all
programs) that you cannot trust the data from Google Scholar blindly. In particular, it sometimes gives the wrong year
for journals, and other data you need may be missing. This is probably
due to how the data was acquired by Google - it is after all
very eclectic - but do check if the data you get from them looks reasonable and complete.
have both ways of searching, "list" and "web". It is only in
Sente that this division feels complete. In its web search, you get a
regular browser window, and you can of course visit any website in it.
But it is only when Sente has the routines required to recognize the
metadata (author's name, title, etc.) that you will see the red dot
icon that allows you to pull the data into your reference "library".
You can then also import all references on a web page in one operation.
Sente comes with a number of suggestions for supported web sites, but
you can also check out others to see if the red dot appears. Sometimes
• What I call "list mode" here, which is most common for library catalogues (and thus for book titles,
not articles), is technically called "Z39.50". This is a format that
many libraries provide and EndNote, Sente and BookEnds use to import the relevant data. You might
believe this means that if one program supports a Z39 catalogue, they
all do. That is clearly not the case. There are a number of barriers,
not least passwords but also local "dialects", that the
program has to adapt for each library. Thus, EndNote does not seem to grant us
access to the WorldCat library (which is run by the American
inter-library organization OCLC), because it asks for a password that
is not generally available. Your university may or may not have a local
connection setup that solves this. The same is the case for many of
EndNote's 4,000 library connections, they turn out to be
unavailable unless you have a special local setup. EndNote, Sente and
BookEnds give you the opportunity to create your own Z39 connections if
you get the necessary information from the library in question, but you
can in no way assume that these will work.
BookEnds also lets you
search e.g. Amazon and Google Scholar in list mode. You can also search
in a separate web browser window, but it is only from Google Scholar,
WorldCat and Library of Congress that you can acquire metadata from web
pages (the window shows a small green icon if it can import data).
Thus, the web browser is here clearly of less value than in Sente, but
in Z39 list mode, the two are fairly equivalent.
Notice that BookEnds also has a free
version, Reference Miner,
which contains a small selection of the BookEnds search sites (Amazon,
Google Scholar and LC). It also has a web browser window. But it can only
search and display the found hits, you cannot store them or do anything
else with them. It is thus difficult to see what this program does that
Safari does not do equally well, except maybe getting a MARC record from LC.
• Papers and
Sente retain the results of any search you have made even after
you have quit the program and restarted (until you delete them). The others do not, but BookEnds can store the
search queries so that you can make an updated search (Sente also allows
you to automatically update a previous search).
Papers allows you to update searches in different ways, it makes
e.g. a list of the authors and journals in your bibliography and
automatically looks up new articles for each (mainly
from JStor, which of course generally has a three/five-year delay. Also
Papers does not always distinguish between authors with similar
- In Sente, you can quickly create a reference for a book from its ISBN
number, the relevant data is collected from an online source and added
to your bibliography.
- Sente and Zotero can create a reference from an open web page,
storing its content as a web archive (for Zotero of course only in
Firefox, in Sente as well dragging the url worked for me only from Firefox and TextEdit).
and Mendeley lack any search
functions of their own, as they are based on searches you make in your
regular web browser (Firefox in Zotero). In Mendely, this means that
you "bookmark" the page that lists the hits, this will let you
choose which items to import if Mendely understands the web page. In
Zotero, the toolbar shows an icon for single item pages or for lists
(which lets you pick out items on the page). Sometimes, Zotero does not
understand a page with multiple hits, but will let you import the data
from a individual entry's web page. In Zotero, you can also set your
local campus library as your "home", then a click on a title in your
bibliography will take you to that item in your library's catalogue (if
it has the book!) so you can check it out or order a loan, even when
the reference originally was gathered from a different source.
It is a matter of taste whether you prefer
list mode or web searches. In list mode, like in Papers, your searches have the same format whichever source you go to and you can quickly switch between them. In web mode, the search form depends on each web page, but you can
access special functions that only that library's web page has.
• Some library catalogues also have an
option called "Export", "Export to Citation Manager" or "Export to EndNote" on their web
pages. Then any references you have selected on the web page will be
stored as a text file on your computer, and all programs here - not
just EndNote - can import data from these files (which are in the "RIS"
format). WorldCat and JStor have such a function; of the
sources of particular interest to us, also Historical
Abstracts, ProQuest and Web
of Knowledge, as well as several journal publishers' home pages.
- Notice in particular ebrary,
which none of the programs can import data from directly. You can
however import a reference, with its link to the full text, via the
button "[export to] Endnote".
You may have to look around a bit for this
function, in WorldCat you can store individual references each to a
file. For multiple hits, it is more useful to log in (for free),
establish a "list" in WordCat with the references you want to extract,
and then export them from the list's "citation view". Check here
for a survey of how you do this export
thing in different catalogues. If the library gives you a choice
between export formats, always choose EndNote, no matter which program
you actually use, as this is the format all programs understand. In the program, choose Import from
EndNote or from "RefMan / RIS". In some programs (Papers) you may have
to change the downloaded file's extension to .txt or .ris for the
program to understand it.
Reading articles in full text
Some online databases contain the full text of the articles
in web format rather than as PDFs, thus JStor, Hein, and others. All
programs (except EndNote, which is not relevant for this section) will
display such a web page when you have located it in JStor (in BookEnds,
JStor does not return replies directly, but you can access JStor
through Google Scholar). But many sites prefer to provide the full text
as a PDF that you can either read in your browser or download. How do
our programs handle this?
Papers will automatically
download the PDF and link it to the reference in your bibliography. If
you can't be bothered to actually store it, Papers can switch you over
to Safari where you can read the PDF without having to save it to your
hard disk. BookEnds can also
read PDFs online without downloading them, but it is as mentioned only
Google Scholar of their browser sites that has full text. Sente
isn't quite up to par either, in theory you get the choice between
downloading and reading the PDF directly, but there is a bug in the
current version that blocks inline reading.
• If you imported the reference to your bibliography without its PDF or full text but this is accessible from the source, then Papers
will still link you up directly when you click on the reference. In
BookEnds and Sente this depends on whether the reference contains a document identifier or DOI. This is a numeric code that identifies every journal article in a central database. If your reference has such a DOI, then Sente will also find and download the PDF and link it to the item. BookEnds
requires a further step, it will send you to Safari where you can
either read the PDF directly or download it. If you do download the
PDF, BookEnds can then import it in a separate operation, and you can
link it manually to the relevant reference (there is a menu "Get PDF
from Internet", but it does not work). Without a DOI, neither Sente or
BookEnds is able to locate a PDF from an existing reference, you have
to carry out a new search and see if you can find the PDF, linking it
manually to or replacing the original reference.
EndNote also has a
function called "Full Text". But it can only search in Muse and Web of
Science of the mildly relevant databases, and Full Text did not respond
to anything in either of those, so EndNote is of little or no help in
this type of endeavour. It does have a bibliography field for URLs, clicking on one will send you to Safari. Mendeley cannot show the full text of references unless you have already downloaded the PDF. Zotero will take you to where you got the reference from, and Firefox takes over from there; PDF files are read in Acrobat.
What if you got the reference from another bibliography somewhere
without any links to anything, but suspect that the article is actually
available in JStor or elsewhere? In Papers
you can then choose "Search in Google", and the program will try to
find the title in Google Scholar. If the title is found (and mostly it
is), then the Google link is stored with the reference and you can
access the full text from there if it is available. (If you want, you
can easily copy the full text link to the reference, so you do not have
to go through Google next time.) In this case, it is just the address
to the full text that is stored on your disk, but the effect is almost
the same as if the article is on your hard drive, a click on the
reference in your list will bring up the text of the article (if, of
course, you are still online and have access to your campus e-journals;
if you are going offline, download the PDFs you need before you leave).
Sente and BookEnds, the other two relevant programs, the case is as
above: If your older references do not have DOIs, then you must make a
fresh new search for each item, download the PDF and link them manually
to or replace the original reference item.
has a very useful function none of others have. This comes in very
handy in a situation like this, when we have various existing
bibliographies lying around on our computer from various older projects
and want to bring them into our new reference program: How do the
programs communicate amongst themselves?
Case study: Transforming a title list to an electronic library
A real-life example can illustrate this. I have for twenty years been a sworn
addict to Filemaker as my database program, including for academic
purposes, and have created numerous Filemaker bases for projects I have been
working on. Thus, I have in a current project set up a Filemaker base
with some two thousand titles, books as well as journal articles, which
I have collected from various sources, some from WorldCat, some from
Index Islamicus, some from old databases of my own from previous
related projects: All types for formats and information structures,
which I have hammered into shape manually with fields for author, title, journal etc.
found that about 250 of the articles were from journals that we have
online on our campus. I wanted to create an electronic fulltext
library of these articles so that clicking on a title in the list
brought up the article. But I did not want to search up all those 250
items again, rather I would find a way to automatically attach online
texts to the list I already had in Filemaker. But, of
all of these old titles lacked any of the required links to the full
Unfortunately, none of the programs communicate diretly with
Filemaker. The closest you get is to create a sort of "tagged text
file" from Filemaker and import this into the reference program, so
that author, title, etc. is entered into its proper place. BookEnds
is probably the most convenient here, as you can create your own import
format in it, but it is likely that you could also do this without too
much hassle at least in Papers, Sente and Zotero. Anyway, I had already
done this part, since I had started working with EndNote before and
moved my Filemaker base into EndNote. This did require some tearing of
the hair, but I had made it work. But since EndNote does not give
access to full text, as mentioned, this was not the answer. Happily,
EndNote is the kind of common denominator for these programs, all of
them can read records exported from EndNote (mostly as xml files), and
most can export data in the same format, so we can with some ease send
bibliographies between these programs.
This is where the useful function of BookEnds comes in. I imported the 250 article references into BookEnds, and chose Get DOI
from a menu. The program then took title by title and searched in the
central DOI register for a match (without any intervention from me). I
was quite surprised by the result, given the heteroclitic origin of my
references: A DOI match was found for two thirds of my titles in a matter of seconds. As I had
found Papers to be the most
promising program to actually read text, I exported the references
again from BookEnds as EndNote xml, now with DOIs added, and imported
them into Papers. The text of the 165 items that had got a DOI were then
immediately available with a click on the title. For the rest, I could
do a Search Google and create the link for them in Papers. Success.
xml (the EndNote type, unfortunately there are many xml dialects), the
most generelly used file format is "RefMan" or RIS. Zotero can
import only this, all the others also handle it. EndNote is again the
most flexible program, it can import records in about 100 different
file types, while Sente can use about ten and Papers a bit fewer file
Import of existing PDFs
Above, then, we had a title in our bibliography and wanted to download
a PDF for this title. But what about the opposite type of import, when
you have some or a lot of PDFs on you hard disk, without any specific
system or data to them, and want to get these into the bibliography you
are creating? If you already have the corresponding item in your
bibliography, then it is generally easy to link a local PDF to it by
drag-and-drop onto the item or choose it in a menu, as we mentioned
above for freshly imported PDFs. But what about when you have just the
PDF, and the title does not exist in your program's bibliography? Even if you
can see the author and title in the PDF, you would rather not have to
type all this into your reference program by hand, certainly if you
have dozens and dozens of such PDFs. Can the program take care of this,
introduce PDFs into its system, with fully finished structured
mentioned that it "depends on the PDF" how easy this is. Again, it is
the DOI that is the key: A PDF may have this ID number hidden in the
file, and if you have a reference with a matching DOI then all programs
will link them directly. If it cannot find a matching DOI in your
library, it will download the relevant information from Google Scholar
and create a new item in your library with the PDF attached to it.
But if the PDF does not have such a hidden DOI identifier - and my
experience is that only about one in ten do - then all programs will
try to locate the correct reference in Google Scholar, with your help:
Most often, you can select a bit of text inside the PDF, a few words of
the title or the author's name, and drag this to the Search field of
the program (Sente: "Search with selection"). Normally you will get a
number of possible hits in Google (they all use Google Scholar, a few
also PubMed, which you can turn off for our purposes); you click on the
one that matches your PDF and the metadata is imported and linked to
the PDF. In this list of potentials, Sente will only present you with
the journal title, not the article title, so you have to remember this
to match correctly, and in Papers the correct title is most often a bit
down the list of possibles, but it works. If Google does not give any
correct hit, Sente forces you to write the data in manually, the others
let you import the PDF "anonymously" so you can import the reference
from another source and link them manually.
– BookEnds can also search the
other way, you can select a reference in your bibliography and BookEnds
will scour your hard disk to see if it finds a matching PDF, using
Spotlight. This actually works quite well.
made some haphazard tests with old PDFs I had lying around to see how
many the programs could match up in this way. The result was in fact
quite good. Papers, BookEnds and Sente took ten out of ten (in Sente I
had to edit the text I dragged from the PDF a bit), Zotero got six out
of then, but there making a new search for the reference and linking
them was quite fast. Mendeley did not fare quite as well, only two out
of ten gave the correct result, the others had either missing or
- Mendeley lets you set up a "watch folder" on your hard drive (e.g.
the Download folder of your web browser), and new PDFs put there will
be automatically imported to Mendeley.
- In EndNote you can also link
a downloaded PDF manually to a reference. It can be read in Acrobat,
EndNote has no further help in handling PDFs.
Organizing your references
your collection of titles passes beyond the dozens stage and starts
climbing beyond a thousand, sorting, searching and organizing them
becomes more important. EndNote, BookEnds and Sente
allows you to have several parallel "library" files, while Papers,
Zotero and Mendeley put all references into one place. But it may
anyway be useful to have all your references in one large file and
rather sort them into various projects according to need (you will e.g.
often use the same titles in different projects. Although these
programs are technically a type of database managers, none of them are
relational or can access other files).
• All programs let you established groups ("collections") of selected references, BookEnds, Sente, Papers and EndNote also dynamic "smart groups" based on specific criteria you set up (similiar to those in Mail and Address Book).
Some also create automatic groups of the authors in your bibliography
(Papers, Sente, BookEnds, Mendeley); journals (Papers, BookEnds) or
EndNote does not go much beyond the groups,
except that you can add your own keywords in the field for this, in
addition to those that the source library put there. All the other
programs allow you to write free-form notes and comments on the items,
and all have some more flexible ways of structuring them, although the vary greatly in how much. In Papers you may just "flag" a reference and give it a "star" rating. Mendeley and Zotero let you add one or more "tags" that you define, so that you can find e.g. just those entries tagged "Kenya" and "economy". Sente and BookEnds
are in a different class here. BookEnds has up to 16 user-defined
fields you can adapt to your needs, Sente has an apparently unlimited
number (but does not allow searching in these).
Both have tags, rating, as well as other means of marking your
references (colour coding!). This does not make them anywhere near full
database programs such as Filemaker, but you should be able to use
these functions to structure your reference library.
All programs let you search and sort the references, of course.
BookEnds is clearly the most powerful here, you can search in each
field or generally, and you can make advanced searches in sql/regex
(grep) if you know these. The other programs let you search either
generally or in a few specified fields such as author, title, keywords,
tags/notes (in Zotero you can specify any field). Papers, BookEnds, Mendeley and Zotero can also search text inside the attached PDF files, Sente does this through the Mac's Spotlight search. • Papers lets you sort the found references by author, title, year
and rating, the others according to any field. All programs handle
Unicode (diacritics, Arabic text) reasonably well, but Sente and Zotero distinguish between
diacritic and non-diacritic characters in searching (it is better not
Integration with word processors
All programs will work with Microsoft Word. As
for other word processors, it varies a bit more. Some are fully
integrated like in Word, in others you have to go through some
intermediary stages. There is also a difference between support for
Microsoft Word 2004 and 2008. Let us look at them in turn. (Here, I
will only discuss Mac versions of the programs, integration may be
different under Windows.)
EndNote creates a new sub-menu under "Tools" both in Word 2004 and 2008, and in Pages 09
where you can find and insert a reference from your EndNote library
without leaving Word. You can create the bibliography in the paper as
you type, or when you have finished. Word will display the reference in its
finished format, but it is still linked to EndNote, so that you can
dynamically change the reference format, re-sort the bibliography, and so on
If you use other word processors than Word or Pages (such as Nisus,
Mellel, etc.), you copy the reference from the EndNote library and
paste into its place in the paper. This inserts a temporary code in the text. When your paper is finished and you want to format the references, you open it in EndNote, which then scans
the file and formats the references and bibliography in the format you
have chosen. EndNote can read OpenOffice files in its native format,
for others, you have to save the manuscript in RTF format (which is what
Nisus uses as standard anyway).
BookEnds creates a separate menu or toolbar in Word 2004, while
it in Word 2008 adds a similar menu to the AppleScript menu in Word,
which sends to you BookEnds. In NisusWriter it also has a separate menu, while it in Mellel
sends the reference to Mellel's "citation" palette, where it enters
Mellel's way of handling references. A number of other programs support
"Apple Events", in these you may select "Enter citation" in BookEnds,
which sends it directly to the word processor. Or you can copy and
paste. BookEnds will in all cases insert temporary codes with scan of
the finished paper.
Sente works in Word 2004
as EndNote, inserting formatted references through a separate menu. In
Word 2008 (only .docx files), Nisus and Pages, Sente uses the same
"scan" method as BookEnds, you choose the reference in Sente and send
to the word processor by drag-and-drop, copy-paste or a keyboard
command, and you can set different behaviours (temporary citation,
fixed format, etc.) for each of these. The final paper is then scanned.
In Mellel you can search Sente through the Mellel citation palette. You
can also enter the code manually, e.g. by using find and replace
through your paper, so you do not have to jump back and forth between
windows when references are repeated (this seems to work in all
programs, including EndNote).
Zotero uses an
AppleScript menu and toolbar both in Word 2004 and 2008, and inserts
formatted references, which can be reformatted later. It also has a
toolbar in OpenOffice. You can also drag-and-drop formatted references to any word processor, and create the bibliography manually from Zotero.
Mendeley claims to
integrate with Word 2008 through AppleScript, but this did not work for
me. The command appeared in Word 2008, but the quote was sent to Word
2004 which could not accept it! Possibly a minor AppleScript bug, but
not "out of the box" at least for me. Mendeley is also said to support
All programs also have functions for how to enter the page numbers into
a citation; in EndNote you write it into an EndNote dialogue window, in
the others you use a code in the temporary reference (such as
"@234-239") or similar.
All programs lets you copy individual items in finished format (of your
choice) or by drag-and-drop so you can insert it anywhere as regular
text, but these will then not be linked to the program, thus you cannot
then use the program to change their formatting or generate a
bibliography for the paper.
Word processor integration
= temporary citations, finished paper is scanned. In other programs via RTF files and copy/paste and scan.
is more marginal to this discussion, and also says clearly that this is not their main aim. But you can export single or multiple references to Word 2008's "Citations Manager" menu. From there, you can use Word's very limited formatting alternatives (only four different reference formats. You can also drag references from Papers into other windows, but then you only get a rudimentary Harvard format (Smith 2005) which isn't really much point, or an abbreviated
text format which you cannot choose and which does not include the
first name / initial of the author.) This is not very flexible, so the real option is to use Papers together with one of the other programs like EndNote or BookEnds (there is a "Export to BookEnds" menu for this purpose).
spurred the creation of these programs was the natural scientists' need
to format the same manuscript according to many different journal's
reference formats, (Smith
2005:234) for some, (Smith 2005, p. 234) or Smith, Black Holes Today,
234 for others. Therefore the programs are all quite flexible in the
choice, and change, of reference formatting systems. There is no major
difference between the programs in how you choose this, it is always in
an easily accessible menu.
But using them means also that the program
has control over how the references appear in our paper. Thus the user
should check through the available formats and see if she finds
something that suits her preference, or that of the journal she wants
to submit to. To be prefectly honest, most journals in our field are
pretty accommodating and expect to do much of this work themselves,
since humanists are normally not so terribly good at taking direction
in how to submit manuscripts. Still, some journals are more strict, so
we should have the choice, and of course having to save them the
trouble of editing footnotes may make them more friendly.
In your own publications, master and ph.d.
theses, you have greater control over how you want to format things. If
you have a specific style you like but cannot find in the provided
options, you can in most programs fiddle with those that get close and
adapt it to your own liking, thus EndNote, BookEnds, Sente, Zotero. The first three use separate dialogue box where you can see different reference types (journal articles, books, conference paper etc.) each with their own rules,
which you can change or create a new style from scratch, either by
changing an example entry or a code. It may be fairly extensive,
EndNote can have more than 50 different types, and there may be a dozen
or more variables to set for each. You should certainly have the manual
in front of you, and also consider all possible cases, what if there is
no editor in an entry? what if there is a city but not publisher? Once
the format is set, it has to conform to all your entries, whether data
is there or not.
BookEnds and Sente are not as expansive as
EndNote (but in Sente I had trouble getting changes to "stick", it may
have been my fault or a bug). Zotero is more demanding, changing a
format there requires programming in xml. They do provide
documentation, and some changes are not all that difficult, but it is
certainly a bit more daunting than the others. The advantage is however
that the result is a separate file that both Sente and Mendeley can
read (a .csl file), so you can import your format to all three
programs. (Sente imports, but does not export its formats. As far as I
can see, there is no way to share a user-created reference format made
in Sente with another Sente user.) EndNote and BookEnds also store
their formats as separate files.
Other bibliography programs
There are also some small and free straightforward bibliography programs, with or without online search options. They can be used to keep track of your references, but do not cover the full process such as the six discussed above aim to, so would not normally replace those.
BibDesk is a free Mac program aimed at an advanced text formatting system called "TeX" (LaTeX, BibTeX), but it can also be used as a stand-alone bibliographic database program. It has a few built-in list search options, only Library of Congress is of any interest to us, but also a web search option. Of our key web sources, BibTex can only draw metadata from Google Scholar and WorldCat. You can organize the titles in groups and smart groups. But you must in reality install the TeX engine on your Mac to get the titles out of the database and into the word processor, otherwise you will only get a full, unformatted, form for each title.
JabRef (PC, Mac, Linux) is an even more basic free program which is also focused on TeX. It can search JStor from among our relevant sources (in list mode), and has smart groups etc. References can be exported as xml or html files (that is, as a full form per title, you can also program your own export option) or as an OpenOffice spreadsheet.
Reference Tracker is a very simple Mac program, both how you use it and in what it does: You can look up books by title or ISBN, in both cases, data is pulled from Amazon (which does not give place of publication or editor of edited books, so you must add those manually), or you can type in new references of various types in a quite straightforward form view. (It also imports structured text or BibTex files, and web pages). You can group references, and a group can be exported to a Word or text file as a bibliography in Harvard format (only). That's it, no further frills, functions or alternatives. $45, students $30.
Windows does also, of course, have many reference programs. But there
does not seem to be many that cover the complete process from source
hunting to formatted paper like those above, and those that are close
seem to be fully focused on medicine (PubMed searches). However, most
available programs are little more than simple database managers that
specialize in formatting titles you have entered manually in different
journal formats (thus e.g. EazyPaper,
$30 and Citations, $99).
In addition to those already discussed that also work in Windows, EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley,
there seem to be three Windows-only programs that are more or less of
the same type. Perhaps the most interesting is Swiss, and currently
only available in German, Citavi.
It searches many sources in list mode, apart from WorldCat and SOAS
also JStor and Historical Abstracts among those we singled out (but not
Google Scholar). It integrates with Word and OpenOffice. It lacks
full text or PDF display, but a reference imported from JStor will
display a URL link to the article in JStor. The normal version costs
€77, but there is a free version limited to 100 titles.
Quite similar, but at leart partly with English menus, is the German Bibliographix,
which also has a limited free version (full version at €49, the free
version reminds you of this constantly). It seems to have a bit fewer
sources to search from and is mostly aimed at libraries. It does
however have web searches to Google Scholar, HighWire and
Ingenta journals (but not JStor) and can import references from these
with a few clicks on each entry, not quite as smooth as Zotero. PDFs
downloaded to your hard disk can be linked to the reference (and read
in Acrobat). The program integrates with Word, WordPerfect, OpenOffice
and rtf. Both of these programs also aim to aid "editing ideas" during
your research work.
The third relevant program is Biblioscape.
It is a bit heavier ($140, academic $99), but does cover all
the various stages of the process, more or less. It can search in list
and web mode, has a wide selection of Z39 sources, while web imports
are mainly from those sites that support a "Direct Export" or Save to
BibTex option. You can download and display PDFs in the program, and
organize the references in various ways. It may in many ways be
comparable to BookEnds, good support for library catalogues, more
rudimentary for journals. It
formats bibliographies in Word, WordPerfect and rtf. There is a demo of
the full program, while a separate free version, BiblioExpress, lacks both online search and full text support and is primarily a database manager.
(Note that EndNote has
recently appeared in a version X4 for Windows only, not tested here.
The release notes claim better support for PDFs. The same firm also
sells a different program, Reference Manager, which seems to do much the same as EndNote, costs the same, but is generally more cumbersome to use.)
I am not able to make a recommendation just from briefly
looking at these programs. Zotero certainly looks good in comparison,
the Windows-only programs seem to fall short on e-journals and fulltext
both in search and display. It may be that the best bet up from Zotero
is the more expensive Biblioscape, but users may check out the demo- or
free versions of each and see if they make the
On-line reference programs
addition to those six we have discussed in detail, there are also many
web-based reference systems which thus work both for Windows and Macs.
Most of these work mainly as web storage sites; you establish an account
and can then save references to this site. Many of them are basically
social media, the idea being that these reference lists should be made
available to the public or to friends, although they may also be
personal (cf. also WorldCat which has the same "share a list" option
over titles you have found).
One such web-based system is used at a number of American campuses and may be of some interest, RefWorks. It
can search in many sources and store metadata from web pages. Many
catalogues also have a "RefWorks" export option alongside EndNote. It
integrates with Word and rtf files. In many (most?) cases, a university
will take out a campus-wide subscription to RefWorks so students can
use it for free, if not, you can get an individual account for $100.
Only the site licence allows you to store full text attachments to your
reference. It is thus a bit more expensive than others at the same
level, but appears to be a solid option.
However, most of the other web-based solutions seem to be
directed at the natural sciences and can only search sources relevant
to them, and/or are Unix solutions that require technical competence
most of us lack. They do not seem to be terribly relevant for academics
in our field, as far as I can glean from their web pages (thus Connotea, I
Bebop/BibTex, RefDB, Wikindx, etc.). If someone has experience to the contrary, it would be useful to know. There is a list over different such systems in Wikipeda.