I’m writing a non-fiction book, which uses information obtained from various other sources. I want these sources listed at the back of the book. Therefore how can I add an incremental number next to each sentence, which refers to each source.

So my document might look like this.
The article reported that for people aged thirty-four to sixty cancer had overtaken heart disease. (1) A recent study estimated by 2015 cancer will be the leading cause of death. (2)

References (at back of book)

  1. Mr C Geiger ‘The Cancer Survivors Club’ by OneWorld Publications.
  2. Mr B Gottlieb ‘Alternative Cures’ by Ballantine Books.
  3. Etc

I’ve tried working with the non-fiction document references, but can’t get it working… Is this the option I should be using?

Any help welcome!

Wouldn’t it be easier to use a reference software for this?

References and citations are one of the weakest areas in Scrivener in my opinion. It screws up my own non-fiction writing, which can be textbooks, papers for journals/conferences, and book reviews for professional magazines.

Who are your publishers and what is their house style? Some use numbered references like you have but it is more common to use a “key” based on author’s family name and year of publication. Harvard, APA, and MLA are three of the common formats that you will see used by publishers but if you are familiar with LaTeX (a format that Scrivener can output in via File > Compile) there are thousands of these styles.

What will you do if The article reported that for people aged thirty-four to sixty cancer had overtaken heart disease. (1) A recent study estimated by 2015 cancer will be the leading cause of death. (2) … has to be changed to The article reported that for people aged thirty-four to sixty cancer had overtaken heart disease. (1) However, it has been noted that people don't like citations outside of the sentence that refers to them. (3) A recent study estimated by 2015 cancer will be the leading cause of death. (2) …

If you have to insert a sentence yourself how will that affect the numbering scheme. It’s for this reason that most publishers go with author names and year. Then collect all the references togetehr in alphabetical order of author name.

As my inserted sentence shows many readers do not like the citation key being outside of the sentence that discusses them.

Publishers have considerably more experience with references and citations that we, as authors, do. Let them tell you what they want and stick to it. If you are self publishing then still follow their advice as readers are used to the established conventions. Your readers will not thank you if you do something bizarre and unexpected.

My own solution is to the references handling problem is to create a folder called References in the Scrivener Binder as part of the Essay or Manuscript top level folder. Each reference is kept in an individual document (using the citation key as its title) and then drag and drop the references from a formal bibliography management program (I use BibDesk). If I mess up I can then use the Edit > Sort Paragraphs feature in Scrivener to keep them in order.

However, when I’m submitting camera ready copy to publishers I File > Compile the project to target MultiMarkDown → to LaTeX and then edit the resultant LaTeX to open the file(s) of my bibliography manager but then I’ve had years of working with LaTeX and bibtex workflows.

… so why not use a proper reference handling software that can work together with Scrivener? Specialized tools for specialized work…

I agree. You can compile your project in Word and then use a reference manager like Sente (which is getting quite buggy recently, I must say)

Thanks for your feedback; so the various reference options in Scrivener don’t / can’t create a reference list, interesting. What reference software do you suggest? In MS Word I can create an automatic index, can I create a reference list (of sorts) using an auto index type option in Scrivener? All ideas sound very manually intensive and open to error. The publisher has its own style, as I sugget, just a small number at the end if the sentence, and a numeric list sorted in the order they are mentioned… I was hoping Scrivener was going to help me, as its a lengthy document, with many chapters.

If that’s your objective, then I see no reason why simple footnotes won’t do the job!

How do footnotes work? Can I have one big footnote at the back if the book?

Can you suggest any? I thought most non-fiction books had a list of references or sources?

Do you have a link for Sente; I can only find a library software with that name, not writing software? Thanks.

You can choose to compile them as endnotes rather than as footnotes, so they’re all together as a list at the end of the book. Section 17 of the user manual (available from the Help menu or the Getting Started category in the New Project window) covers working with footnotes.

I think the proper solution to this problem is to look around for a citation manager, such as Endnote or Zotero - search the forum here for information on how to use these tools with Scrivener … I’ve written two biographies and a host of research papers using scrivener and never had any trouble with references.

I don’t know what you mean by one big footnote at the back of the book:confused:

Anyway, Footnotes/Endnotes work in Scrivener much like they work on other programs. I suggest you to read Chapter 17 Annotations and Footnotes of the manual for a through explanation.

I’d also suggest that, if you haven’t already, go though the Scrivener Tutorial offered when starting the program at least once, so you get an idea of the general working vision of the software as well as some language definitions which may help on the search of solutions to common problems and tips on how to do certain things.

Exactly, which is why—as I said—I use Bibdesk, LaTeX and bibtex. Doesn’t get more specialised tooled than that.

Sente is developed by Third Street Software. You may wan to look into other reference managers too, like Endnote, Zotero, Papers, Bookends (if it still exists)

Zotero is open source but only scans RTF files. Endnote, Sente, Papers, they are all somewhat similar. I used to use Endnote many years ago but it was really buggy. I heard it’s much better now. I switched to Sente and loved it. I must say the recent versions are a bit buggy in Yosemite, but still a decent app

I’ll take a look; thank you!

Sounds perfect; thank you!

I’ll try it, thanks!

Great, thanks for these, I’ll take a look

I use Papers 3 from Mekentosj ( ), which inserts citation codes in the text in Scrivener, and then compile the reference list in any format I want, when the text has been exported elsewhere. The only problem right now is that Office and Yosemite doesn’t really like each other, so I have to compile the reference list in TextEdit or some similar software. But to me that is no problem because when I submit my non-fiction manuscripts to scientific journals the editors don’t really care about the layout. They fix that themselves, the way they want it to be.

However, the thing I really like about Papers isn’t the citations part, but the search, read, annotate capabilities.