Citation managers

Hi All,

I’m writing a nonfiction book and need to incorporate footnotes. I used Zotero for my dissertation, but I can’t seem to 1) get the connector to add it to Scrivener, and 2) even if I did, it seems Zotero does not work as seamlessly with Scrivener as it does with Word.

Do you nonfiction writers find that one citation manager works better with Scrivener? If not, do you compile to Word and insert cites from Zotero? I could do that, but I prefer to do this painstaking part as I go instead of retrofitting the citations, if that makes sense. I’m willing to try another citation manager like Endnote if it works better with Scrivener than Zotero.

Bookends is, IMHO, the best citation manager on any OS or platform. Luckily for macOS users, that plaform is ours. First developend in 1984!!! It is still going strong with some of the most active developers I know. Jon & Serge develop macOS and iOS version that work seamlessly together. I often add references to my database when attending academic talks, and these are synced to my desktop when I need to write. Bookends has the most powerful database engine, allowing complex changes to thousands of refs. Recently it added CSL support, expanding its bibliography styles from the hundreds to > 10,000.

Bookends works perfectly with Scrivener for a range of workflows:

  1. Temporary citations which Bookends then renders to a bibliography in Word or as an RTF file.
  2. Pandoc-flavoured temporary citations that can be converted automagically to ODT/DOCX/PDF/HTML/EPUB/ICML or a zillion other formats.
  3. LaTeX temporary citations that also link to a synced BIB file for automated bibliographies using TeX.

Like Scrivener, Bookends is best-in-class for what it does, and both apps works wonderfully together. Quite a few other Scrivener users on this forum will sing its praises besides me…


I forgot, but I did try to make a how-to for different reference managers for Scrivener here:

You can compare the workflow among the different tools. My preferred order of software is Bookends > JabRef > Zotero > Endnote. But if you get Endnote for free from a University subscription for example, then it may make sense to use that for example…


Thank you for this! I will check it out.