[Problem Solved] Connecting Scrivener with Reference Manager


I have to write a scientific paper, mainly using references from JSTOR.
So I bought Scrivener 2.2 via App Store and now I’m pretty much stuck at connecting some kind
of reference managing software to my scrivener.

What I tried so far:

  • Tell scrivener which one I’m using (Bibdesk) by choosing the .app in the options menu.
  • Put some references into bibdesk bibliography. (located in the subfolder “bib” where my scrivener file sits)
  • Drag and drop references into my scrivener file.

This results in something like this: \cite{Romme:2003fk}

I understand, that the part in the brackets is the cite-key to identify the citation.

But now, when I complile the file as PDF, it just gives me exactly this in text-form as a result,
but what I kind of expect is, to see some kind of footnote and reference to it in the text.

I want to use chicago manual of style by the way.

Can you guys help me out please? My question might look dumb, but I already watched several tutorials on how to set everything up, but I could only find tutorials for older scrivener versions which don’t work at all.

Thank you very much!
Best, JK

I’ve never used Bibdesk, so I don’t know exactly how it works, but with most other managers of this kind (Endnote, Sente, Bookends) you need to compile as rtf, then scan the rtf file from within the bibliographic manager so that it can replace the temporary citations (the ones inside the curly braces) with properly formatted citations according to the style you have chosen in the bib manager. It should also create a bibliography in the correct format and append that to the end of the rtf file.

Cheers, Martin.

Thanks for the reply! I tossed bibdesk and downloaded the endnote x5 trial, which I found the exact same tutorial for, as you described.

Problem is though: Any of the programs, either scrivener or endnote, messes up the formatting in the RTF-File. I also played with various options and set them back to default in the end. But no success.

Endnote replaces everything properly, but when I open the file in Word in the end, it’s all plain text and no working reference list etc. In addition to that, the formatting is all messed up. :frowning:
(for example the indent of paragraphs etc.)

Has anyone else experienced that?

Thanks a lot guys!

I haven’t used Endnote for several years, so I can’t really comment on the latest version. I’ve used Bookends quite happily to format citations and a bibliography in an rtf file that was compiled from Scrivener (about 80,000 words of text and many pages of bibliography). So Bookends definitely works. The latest version of Sente looks very good, but I’ve never used it to scan an rtf file. I would suggest trying them both. There is quite a good forum for Sente, if you run into problems.

Cheers, Martin.

If you are using Word, then skip the middle step (using EndNote to scan the RTF). Here is what I do (using Scrivener, Word and EndNote):

  • Within Scrivener, drag and drop (or copy & paste) your references from EndNote.
  • From Scrivener, compile your project to RTF.
  • Open the RTF in Word, save as a Word document (either .doc or .docx).
  • From the EndNote menu in Word (a submenu of Word’s Tools menu) select Format bibliography. This will create your Reference list and correctly format the citations according to the bibliography style you set up in EndNote.
  • Check that all your references are correct. At this stage, you may find that many of your references were entered incorrectly into EndNote.
  • Finish by formatting your document. I recommend creating Styles for the various parts of your document and applying them as needed. e.g., I have style for Chapter headings, different heading levels within each chapter, main text, block quote text, references, etc.

Ha, thanks! That did the trick!

Cool. 8)
Glad it worked for you.

I wonder if it would be possible for a CWYW (Cite Whilst You Write) function to be added to Scrivener, similar to what Word has. That is the one thing I really will miss from word.

Have a look at this thread which mentions CWYW.


Don’t hold your breath.