Tips for bibliography

Dear all,
Just wanting to share some other processes we found with one of my students, this time with bibliography ! :wink:

I think the dev team may have been ask quite a few time for bibliography support, as it is one of the features I miss the most in Scrivener as a scholar. However if I undertood correctly, it’s up to Zotero, Mendeley and else to develop an add-on, is it not ?

Well, while waiting for this, we’ve come up with two ways of getting this done with current Scrivener ressources :

[size=150]The “all in Scrivener” way[/size]
1 . Export your bibliography from mendeley to a .bib file.
2 . Open the .bib file, open it with a word processor, replace every mention of “@” by “#@”, then save in .rtf
3 . Import and fraction the .rtf in a new folder named, let’s say, “bib references”, using # markers
4 . Rename every document inside the folder according to your citation style, example “(Smith 2011)”
5 . While typing you just have to click, drag, and hit the ALT key before dropping : Scrivener will insert a link to the bib reference you selected, automatically pasting it’s name, say “(Smith 2011)” inside your text.
6 . When reading, you can click the link : it will open in a second editor with Scrivener splitted windows ! If you have been using each doc as a folder for hosting, let’s say, notes, pdf, images from the book, audio or video, you can access them quickly by using shortcuts for displaying the indented docs or by clicking the “display in binder” button :wink:

The best thing about this : it’s completely reversible !
If you want to export your bibliography and update your Mendeley or Zotero, you just have to copy & paste everything in the manuscript, then select them all and compile into .txt format.
When you’re in your bib software, you can click on FIle>Import>BibTeX database and select the .txt file : it’ll come up perfectly !

You will also notice that exporting an annotated reference to a .bib file will result specific labels into your reference lines in the .bib file. If you want to keep that, edit in Scrivener and then update your bib software, you just have to split the document right before the note in Scrivener and then indent the note document in the main reference doc. When you’ll compile them, they’ll keep still in BibTeX way :wink:

You can do anything : as .bib format are no more than text in LaTeX language, you just have to keep this language consistent while splitting and editing documents in Scrivener ! And if you don’t want to bother, you can just compile the main documents without bothering with the indented ones.

[size=150]The Scriv + bib software way[/size]
I erased this part as it was a risky way that could corrupt Scrivener files X-D
It was based on this idea on which I’ve been kindly warned about those risks, read more here :

Alternatively you can check the Digital Researcher’s blog abut two different ways to use Zotero and Scrivener : … scrivener/

That’s it ! :smiley:

Hope it’s of some help,

Best regards

Hi Etienne, thank you for sharing, and sorry if I sound a bit negative, but this seems very convoluted and labour intensive. I don’t exactly understand why you don’t use simple normal temporary citations and an ODF / RTF scan after compiling the Scrivener project?

Scrivener + Temp citations :arrow_right: ODF Compile :arrow_right: Zotero ODF Scan

Why would one need more bibliographic integration for Scrivener? We can manage our references in a reference manager that is specialised for this, and write in an app optimised to writing.

In my case, Pandoc formats everything for multiple outputs without any further worry. Scrivener+Pandoc really makes lots of Academic issues easier: it automagically formats your bibliography straight from the Scrivener compile with front matter metadata specifying the citation style etc.

Scrivener + Pandoc citations :arrow_right: MMD Compile :arrow_right: Auto Pandoc Processing to multiple formats (DOCX, PDF, LaTeX, ODF etc.)

I remember reading a very nice workflow with Scrivener and Zotero which even allowed you to see the “live” bibliography but I think it depends on a macOS specific cite-as-you-write Zotero tweak (and the amazing but sadly macOS only Marked2):

EDIT: actually you can use cite-as-you-write on Windows too: … -you-Write as it
uses a local href link — but no one has yet made a wrapper macro for Windows according to that page, but can’t you use Format > Bibliography > Citations… in Win Scrivener?


I knew about the rtf scan using Xotero but it seemed a little bit tricky as you can’t interact directly between your manuscript and your reference manager this way. You have to compile first and I like to compile directly in the edition format from my text editor.

This is mainly why I came up with this solution of Bib Software --> .bib file --> Scrivener : That way I can interact directly from my script to my references. This is what I lack about Scrivener bibliography integration.

So this solution allows me to choose my references, get only those I need, modify and edit them if necessary, navigate from Scrivener manuscript to references with all indented files, and then u date the main bibliography database by compiling and importing the .bib file again.

I’d have like to get direct access from Scrivener to my .bib file though, but for now I can only open the dedicated software.

Well it certainly is a very creative solution :smiley:

How do you handle an instance where you want to write e.g. “According to Smith (2011) …”?

When Scrivener inputs the link in the texte (Smith 2011) your cursor ends up behind : you just have to go back and edit as suited : in your example, delete “Smith_” in order to leave only “(2011)”.

The Scrivener link will still be operational.

I’m not sure if it’s that much longer to click-drag&drop then erase in Scrivener, compared to click on Zotero’s plugin in Open Office>insert citation>search>enter>modify input format>date only …

It surely is more about how it fits in your workflow :slight_smile:

I find Scrivener already has a lot of sub-windows so I’m not fond of having a split-screen with Scrivener&Zotero or having to ALT-TAB constantly from one to the other.

Thanks :smiley:

Adding a comment on this tip : creating a scrivener link by drag & Alt+drop will insert the linked title but you won’t be able to auto-update it if you change the original title…

So you have to be sure of your bibliography before linking :slight_smile: