Citation Manager Woes - URGENT HELP!

I am a PhD student and am fairly tech savvy but the reason I keep leaving Scrivener is my inability to find a simple straight-forward way to use a citation manager that doesn’t force me to install multiple open-source products and study the process for hours to get it to work. I am amazed that Literature & Latte does not have a simple user-friendly video to integrate a basic citation manager. Am I missing something? I have deadlines people! I need to write, not program.

Please, is there a simple solution for citations in Scrivener?

I’m not sure if you have a citations program and wondering how to use, however if you are looking for a citations manager Bookends by Sonny Software is absolutely worldclass. I’m using it for my PhD. It integrates seamlessly with Scrivener, it has internal search functions to add citations. The support is immediate from the developers.
Hope this helps

I also wrote my PhD thesis using Scrivener and Bookends. It was very straightforward. Both programs have a lot of features, which can make them complex if you try to use them all, but I probably used only a tiny fraction of what they offered and managed to cope.

To summarise a bit crudely, you enter the details of any reference work in Bookends (author, title, date, and so forth) then when you are writing and want to cite a reference you switch to Bookends, copy a “temporary citation” (which typically looks something like {Smith, 1985, #453}) and paste that into your text or footnote, or whatever. When you have finished the thesis you compile to rtf, then scan the resulting file with Bookends, which changes all your temporary citations to the correct format, and compiles the bibliography, which it appends to the file. Not that complicated in my experience, and if I can do it, a chimpanzee can manage it. Probably rather better …

Thank you both for your replies.

I have used Endnotes and now I use Zotero.

I start learning Scrivener, and then get really stuck because the citation managers are not intuitive with it. I end up writing in Word. I LOVE Scrivener to organize my thoughts and would prefer to stay in one program. Maybe Bookends will be the answer for me. I am downloading it now and will give it a shot.

Thanks for your suggestions.

In Scrivener, go to Preferences, General, Citations, and choose Bookends as your Bibliography manager.

In Bookends, go to Preferences, General, and look at the top, where it says “Word processor” – choose Scrivener.

Now you can hit Cmd-Y in Scrivener and it will take you to Bookends. In Bookends, click on the work you wish to cite in the main list. Hit Cmd-Y again, and you will be returned to Scrivener, where the temporary citation will be pasted into the text where the cursor is.

Fairly easy, I find. :smiley:

Thank you. I will spend some time over the holidays and see if this works better than my previous experiences! Your help is greatly appreciated.

If you already have data in Endnote or Zotero that you wish to transfer to Bookends, make sure you read the sections of the Bookends manual (it is a fairly large pdf) that deal with that. It ought to be fairly easy, but it is best not to charge in with all sorts of assumptions about how it ought to work. A little effort spent preparing for importing the data can save you a lot time sorting out mismatches later on. Bookends does have some very powerful tools for working with the data fields that other bibliography managers do not have (regex find and exchange, for example) but you need to know what you are doing, or you can do more harm than good. But once you get used to it, it is a very powerful tool. Moreover, the developer actually replies to questions on the Bookends forums – something that many other developers do not do. He is sometimes a little terse in his responses, but the program is well supported and very frequently updated. And there is an iOS version. :smiley:

The latest version of Bookends also supports “Floating Citations” — while within Scrivener, hit [ctrl][ctrl] and a floating search window appears, search for your ref and paste it directly in without having to switch app. You can also quick look an attached PDF and perform other functions without ever leaving Scrivener…

1 Like