What is your favorite bibliography app to use w/Scrivener?

What is your favorite bibliography app to use with Scrivener?

  • Sente
  • Bookends
  • Endnote
  • BibDesk
  • Something else

0 voters

and why? Sente, Bookends, Endnote, or something else?

Just taking an informal poll/survey.

Thanks for participating!


You’re forgetting one option for those of us that use Scrivener as it was programmed for from the start: fiction. And that option is “None” :wink:
So as it is now, I’m unable to make a choice.

Take care

Bookends. Before I needed one, I had a look at Bookends and Sente. I could immediately see my way with Bookends; I couldn’t with Sente. So when finally I wanted a bibliography manager, I got Bookends. No regrets at all.


This is such an OLD topic on the forum; not sure why we need a popularity contest now.

EndNote, btw, which works fine for my needs.

Mange is right: KB created Scrivener to support the writing of NOVELS. Then film writers climbed aboard, then journalists, and lastly the Pee Aitch Dees. The last crowd has begged for footnotes, bibliography, page count, terror abatement, and inspirational praise.

I understand totally, having written a dissertation and supervised hundreds (most never published). Scrivener will only get you part way in brainstorming and drafting. Then you must Compile Draft and export to Word; most likely when you submit that first chapter to your cruel and merciless advisers.

Good luck!

God, none of these bibliographic packages do everything that I need it to do.

a) I need it to keep track of, and manage the storage for all my PDF journal articles.
b) I need automatic citation conversion, bibliographic generation in my word processor of choice, with the proper format. I use in-text Author-Date citations with a Turabian bibliography.
c) I need it to be able to use my university’s ezproxy as well as Z39.50 to search for, and download full text articles from JSTOR, EBSCOhost, UMI, Google Scholar, as well as import the metadata from Z39.50 card catalogs and Google Books.
d) I need full text searching, tagging, and labeling
e) I need to to FEEL like a Mac OS X application, not some janked up Windows port or Java hoochiness.

Sente looks great, except for the whole EZproxy / XML gateway searching business on ©. It’s use of SRU and Z39.50 is half-hearted and doesn’t play nice with EZproxy. In general, it seems very kludgy and awkward.

Papers is nice, but it’s not really bibliographic software, it’s journal article software. So it does (a), (d), and (e) well. It does half of © with EZproxy and XML searching, but not Z39.50 for library catalogs. Since I already had an existing library of PDFs, the “Match” feature was priceless.

EndNote feels like ass, but it does (b) and parts of © pretty well. I still can’t get it to automatically find full-text.

BibDesk doesn’t seem to do any part of © at all.

In the end, I’m stuck using Papers AND EndNote. I use Papers to find and arrange my articles, then I use EndNote to fix up the metadata and do the bibliography. Then I move to Scrivener, dropping important PDFs into my binder for searching and more tagging.

Bookends … Well, it’s ALMOST there. It’s clunky in its own right. It appears to support JSTOR and such, but it doesn’t seem like he’s fully implemented EZproxy capability, so searching only seems to work on campus. It looks to be pretty customizable. I’m considering it if he fixes EZproxy in the next release.

Have you tried emailing the developer of Bookends? support@sonnysoftware.com

Jon Ashwell is pretty responsive to feedback and will incorporate feature requests where he is able.

From his posts in the support forums, it appears he’s working on something for JSTOR and it’s current dependence on IP authentication. I don’t know what his timeframe is on releasing a beta, but my interest is piqued.

Great post. Could you give a little more detail on how you get from papers to Endnote?

Well, when it comes to journal articles, the transition from papers to endnote is painless. Papers makes no bones about being geared directly to journal articles, so much of their metadata features take that to heart. For instance, you won’t find metadata such as Publisher, Location, ISBN, or Editors in Papers. But since I also keep book chapters and newspaper clippings in papers as well, I take all of that extra information that I want to keep and stick it in the Notes metadata spot.

To everything over to EndNote:

The first time, when I want to take everything, I select everything in my Papers library and then select File->Export->EndNote XML Library->Complete Library. From EndNote X2 I select File->Import->EndNote Generated XML.

To export only the latest papers (once I’ve done that initial library export), I keep a running tab of the latest papers by maintaining them in their own Collection, I select those new papers then pick File->Export->EndNote XML Library->Selected Papers Only. Importing in EndNote is the same.

Usually, my PDF attachments are correct in EndNote, referring to the Papers attachment folder. I have seen EndNote’s import omit the attachments in the past, but I don’t recall it being to painful to remedy, by reattaching the PDF manually.

Now that the library is moved over, I double check that the reference type (book, journal, newspaper) is properly selected for each entry in EndNote. I then go through the books and newspapers, updating their metadata fields with the leftovers I had previously stuck in the Notes field.

After that, it’s simply a matter of tuning up my citation/bibliography style to fit my dissertation requirements.

For EndNote, I’ve spent quite a bit of time hacking the connection files in order to eke out some semblance of searching utility. JSTOR searching is a non-starter, even with my university’s EZproxy, hence my use of Papers as the primary. Native EBSCO support is a no-go in Papers, and EZproxy searches aren’t really possible in EndNote, but I’ve scoured the internet and stumbled upon a careless university library that accidently published their EBSCO username and password, allowing me to implement a Z39.50 search connection with EBSCO’s academic database. It’s certainly cheating, and against the rules/law/ethics/whatever, but my library wouldn’t release that information and no one is making native searches particularly easy. Nothing like blaming someone else for my own problems.

It’s not a perfect workflow, far from it. But it works. If Papers would implement comprehensive metadata, basic bibliographic formatting and temporary citations, then I would be so very happy. If/when Bookends gets smart with EZproxy and XML search gateways, I’d be very happy too. Until then, I’ve got this sick turkey with lots of makeup on…

I have used Bookpedia to compile an inventory of over 5,000 books, and it exports readily to Endnote. I also have Papers to track my PDF files. Glad to know they will also export to EndNote. It has improved steadily over the years, and the X1-2 versions are quite Mac-like.


thanks for a very comprehensive reply :slight_smile:



I wait, … now I get it.

Try Zotero, a Firefox plug-in. zotero.org

It has the features you are looking for.


That’s fine … as long as you like or are willing to be committed to using Firefox! Me, I’m an OmniWeb person and couldn’t stand Firefox …

But then Bookends does what I want too.

Working offline is crucial. Now that I’m past the literature review stage, things are working out. I do t have to do as much article searching as before.

Like grgcombs, I’m a Papers + EndNote user.
Papers is great for finding and reading references, and for automating the generation of citation material (it can automatically look up and import citations direct from PubMed and other databases). However, it’s terrible at getting these citations into anything written. It just can’t do it.
EndNote is just awful, but it is great at getting references into written material (at least in Word or, apparently, Pages 09). It is also, if necessary, cross-platform (useful in university).

My workflow:

  • research in Papers, collecting relevant articles into their own collection.
  • draft, then export into final editor of choice (Word for simplicity within the university)
  • export Papers’ references to Endnote
  • import EndNote refs into Word
  • check references, correct if needed (EndNote X APA template was wrong and needed tweaking. Haven’t checked X2 yet)
  • submit :slight_smile:

OK, there’s few more intermediate steps along the way, but that’s the gist of it.

I’m surprised more people here aren’t use Zotero. It is brilliant software in my opinion. And one doesn’t need to be online to use it. And it costs nothing. And it runs on Windows and Linux as well as Mac (which perhaps matters more to me than it will to most people on here).
Well worth a look, anyway.
All the best,

Using Zotero and very fond of it – and since FF 3.6 is nippier than previous versions on the Mac this is even more pleasant. I’m drafting in Scrivener and using Zotero’s RTF-Scan function. The workflow: (a) Writing in Scrivener; citations, if I know them off-hand, are typed in in squirley brackets {James, 1890} or else fished out of Zotero via the quick-copy feature and a defined style. After my text stands I’m (b) exporting the draft as an rtf-file and © run Zotero’s rtf-scan feature on the text. There is generally a bit of ‘resolving’ to do (d, e - y) :wink: The result – including the bibliography generated by Zotero – goes either into NeoOffice, where I then have a text with citations and complete bibliography all from my Zotero library (though the interop via Zotero’s NeoOffice plugin doesn’t work with RTF-scan inserted items); or to Mellel (no plugin) where the citations and bibliography are in text (likewise not live) for finer typography. The RTF–Scan feature in Zotero could (and hopefully will) be more refined but overall the process has been quite workable – sticking to the conventions while typing the citations in Scrivener is crucial otherwise they will not be recognized in the scan. Zotero, besides doing bibliography, has also become an indispensable research-tool for anything web related; it does a lot more stuff which I don’t use.
Best, kithairon

Have a look on Citavi. For the time being it is a Windows program yet. But they are working on a Mac version.
However it works fine inside Parallels or Fusion.

A really great program for not so much money.