Footnote Question

I am new to Scrivener, and have thus far only used it for preparing my lectures.
I would like to use it to write a journal article. It is a bit hard for me to tell what if any bibliography programs Scrivener works well with.
Could you please direct me to any bibliography programs that work easily with Scrivener?
Thanks in advance.

Bookends, Endnote, and Sente are from what I hear the best in terms of ease of use, Papers is also pretty good. There are others as well, such as Zotero, and BibDesk, which are less easy to integrate but free. If you poke around in the usage boards you’ll find some pretty lengthy discussions on the various available options. A lot of it comes down to taste. The main ingredients that will help you out in Scrivener is if the software can generate placeholders that you put into your text in Scrivener, and then later use the bib software to scan an RTF and turn them into a style bibliography.

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

I really like the structure of Scrivener, and I think that academics would benefit massively from its use.
It is a real shame that there is not a bibliography program already built in…

Having done a search, I will go with Bookends, I think.
Any suggestions what I should be mindful of?


It is indeed a shame that we don’t have the resources, manpower or riches of Microsoft. :slight_smile:

We have been meaning to put together a video on using Bookends, Endnote and Sente with Scrivener - we’ll get there in the end. In the meantime there’s nothing really to be mindful of, but I would recommend testing things out with a test project and a compiled RTF file to get the hang of things.

All the best,

I have been using Scrivener to write academic papers for a little over a year, including one large review article. I have used Sente in that time, and find it integrates very well. You can drag and drop or use a command-key sequence to put citation tags in the text, copy/paste, etc. I have a relatively small reference collection, so I usually type the tags.

One of the advantages of Sente over the others is its integration of note-taking tools. I use that to take quotes from articles, comments, etc. I then export those for import to Scrivener, which I then display as note cards in the alternate editor pane while I write in the main pane. I wrote a script to export the notes (see the link in my signature below), and it works pretty well.

Scrivener exports to RTF, then you scan the RTF in Sente, or open the RTF with Pages or Word and scan the file directly.

Regarding having bibliography programs built into Scrivener, I am a fan of the idea that not every program needs everything packed into it. I like Scrivener for its writing tools. I like word processors for prettying up the Scrivener output, and I like Sente because it handles citations and my PDF library very well. They each do things well; if you tried to bundle them all together, you’d get one program that doesn’t do each thing well.

Completely agree with Dana on pretty much everything. And thanks for pointing to the script. I will try it out. Few years ago I tried both Bookends and Sente and thought that Sente was superior. I don’t know how Bookends developed in these years, but definitely Sente is a good reference manager, it organizes your library, you can do database searches within the program, has its own browser and note-taking tools, an iPad version that can sync with your desktop library. Hard to see how it can be beaten by other similar programs. But there is also a personal taste issue, of course.

thank you for all your comments and help. I have purchased a version of scrivener and bookends. my hope is that this will be a good setup for revising my dissertation to make a book out of it.

if you ever do have a video on reference use, that would be a wonderful help. all the other videos have been a great aid.

i love the program thus far and look forward to becoming a more expert user.

all best wishes, joel

Regarding Zotero, which has been mentioned in passing: Zotero now has a standalone version, which I’ve just installed and am fooling around with. It’s free, has brilliant web import capabilities and is being developed vigorously.

However, I can find no way of cutting and pasting citation data into Scrivener. Anyone got a clue here?



Last I heard, Zotero wasn’t doing the citation placeholder + RTF scanning thing very well with the standalone version. I’d definitely verify that is working now before getting too settled in as that will otherwise make things difficult for you down the road. That was a while ago though; perhaps half a year, so hopefully it is fixed now.

I’m not familiar with Zotero, but you are looking for something that copies a plain-text code that you can paste into your document (typically not inside of a footnote—it’ll handle whether or not it should be a footnote based on your style settings).