Cite References

I cannot figure out how to cite my references for an APA thesis. I have all of my citations in a Word file currently. Can someone help me cite my resources in the paragraph text without typing in the name of the author and year each time? I know there has to be a better way.

Most of my resources are PDF files that I have uploaded as Resources in Scrivener.

I feel like this is a very simple task that shouldn’t be this hard to figure out.

:open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

If you are writing a thesis, then presumably you have at least dozens, and probably hundreds, of references. If so, then my strong advice is to install a reference manager. The easiest to use (well, of the ones I am familiar with) is Papers, the most powerful is EndNote. There are others, Mendeley, Bibtex, Zotero being the most well known (and, I think, all three are free), but I am no longer familiar enough with them to comment in detail.

The first thing is to check if your university/college has a site licence for a reference manager. If so, you may be eligible for a free, or substantially cheaper, copy. One of the reasons I use EndNote, apart from it’s massive flexibility, is that my university has a licence for all staff and students. Free and powerful is a good combination for software.

Papers does cost, but their student discount is substantial and, although US $50 can seem a lot as a student, it more than pays for itself in a very short time. I actually used it in addition to EndNote because it was so much easier. Unless you use an obscure referencing system or need to tweak power setting, Papers can now do most of what EndNote can. Note that both Papers and EndNote will work with Scrivener (and Word, and Pages): I believe that both Zotero and Mendeley struggle with Scrivener, although I don’t have first hand knowledge.

The benefit of a dedicated reference and citation app is that you insert the citation, it does the formatting when you are done (preferably after you have compiled to Word). I forget how many hundreds of references I used in my thesis, but preparing the reference list only took a few minutes at the end. And yes, I wrote in APA style.

Papers would be my first choice, I enjoy using it. EndNote is good for power users who like to tinker.

Confession: I was a power user and tweaked EndNote’s settings to correct some minor inaccuracies in the way it presented some obscure types of references. If you are into that sort of thing, EndNote is the one, but if you are happy with the out-of-the-box settings (most people are) then Papers is much easier to learn and use. I have no hesitation in recommending Papers.

Finally, if you really want to manually manage all of your references through all the drafts of your thesis, then… …I can’t help much. Just thinking about it gives me a headache and makes my hands shake.


as a Mac User I would suggest Bookends - customer service is second to none - except scrivener of course. I would avoid Papers version 3 as it is a retrograde step from version 2 and why I stopped using it.

Bookends also handles inside and outside parenthetical citations properly e.g (Smith & Jones, 1980) and Smith and Jones (1980). Endnote also does this but I never liked Endnote as it was too invasive and could corrupt files.

Ah, I forgot Bookends. :blush:
I haven’t upgraded to Papers 3 yet (they don’t allow partial syncing to iOS devices, and I don’t have enough room on my iPad for my entire literature database) so will bow to TimofCanberra’s knowledge.

I will stand up for EndNote however. Although I don’t particularly like the app, as long as you don’t use it’s Cite-While-You-Write (CWYW) feature in Word it is stable. On the plus side, you can’t use CWYW in Scrivener, so you’re safe. :slight_smile:

Of the problems I have heard about EndNote, the details usually involved Word, almost always when the thesis was written from scratch in one big Word document (which is begging for trouble even without EndNote). Because I wrote in Scrivener, and wouldn’t use CWYW if you paid me, I had absolutely no issues with EndNote - it worked perfectly. If it is offered for free by your university, then it is worth using because of all the technical and practical support that will be available. However, if it is not provided, then absolutely, definitely, investigate Bookends & Papers (and perhaps even the others) to see if they suit you.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have never been able to figure out how to make inside and outside parenthetical citations work in Bookends. So, as TimofCanberra mentioned it so non-chalantly, I would be extremeley grateful for a hint of how to do it…

Cheers :smiley:

Hi Rondo…

to cite outside parentheses in Bookends it is simply a mater of using the citation modifier dialog box and choosing the special handling drop down and selecting “Author in front”. If you want to do it manually just place the caret ^ at the front of the citation.

Hey Tim,

Thanks so much! :smiley: