Any good alternative to End Note as bibliography tool - how do they work?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by macgrl, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. macgrl, Oct 3, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011

    macgrl macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2008
    My University uses End Note and I have had a look at buying it for my mac but it is £160 / $250. Seems a lot for me. Are there any other ones that someone can recommend. I am doing a PHD and so it needs to be fairly sophisticated.

    I am doing a PHD in Law so there will be lots of jounal and case citations as well as references to books etc.

    All if there are any good writing software out there that would help I am happy for suggestions.

    Am I rigtht in thinking that End Note etc just hold references and are not for writing? How to these bibliographic tools work, how do they help?

    Many thanks

  2. asdfx3 macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2010
    I'm doing a PhD in bio and use Zotero. I don't know if it will fit your needs, but give it a try, it's free.
  3. robertcloud, Oct 3, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011

    robertcloud macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2011
    I've tried nearly all of the bibliography tools. Mendeley is free and very good for basic uses and especially collaboration among teams, in fact I'm actually a Mendeley advisor, but I've recently switched to Sente, which is hands down the best I've worked with. I'm just starting my PhD this semester, so I bought the undergraduate edition for $35, which limits you to 250 references per library(but you can have as many libraries as you want). You can upgrade later for a price of about $60.

    It syncs your notes across all your computers brilliantly. It has the best iPad app out of all the bibliographic managers which is also synced.

    Another alternative is papers, but I find Sente much better.

    Sente has a built in browser, which directs you to hundreds of sites where you can get your references. You just tap on the button next to the reference and it imports it into your library, with 99% accuracy for bibliographic fields. If there is a PDF you can attach the pdf to the reference.

    For existing pdfs on your computer they are easy to import and it scans for accurate bibliographic information.

    More than that, Sente is excellent for taking notes and making annotations to your pdfs. These notes sync across all your computers instantaneously.

    The only downside to Sente is that searching within PDF text is not available. To get this functionality I use an applescript to import my Sente references and notes to DevonThink which has incredible searching and intellegent suggestions.

    edit: You can freely try Sente for 30 days to make up your mind

    It integrates well with mellel, word, scrivener, and virtually anything else.

    I'm not associated with Sente in any way, I just like their product
  4. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    I useBookends and find it does everything I need. Super helpful developer who is constantly on the forums. Never a glitch with it. Works well all major word processors (Nisus, Mellel, Word, etc.).
  5. Mudah2an macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2011
    Papers 2

    Last Year, I tested Sente, Bookends, Papers, Zotero and Mendeley.

    Bookends seemed the most commonly used, although after testing I preferred Papers and Sente. I liked their autocomplete the meta data for PDFs better than Bookends and found mendeley to be under resourced and lacking in integration with other programs (world processors). I didn't like the web-based nature of Zotero for the same reason. When Papers 2 came out I settled on it. The interface is great, I can integrate it well into my workflow, annotating with Skim and it runs "Manuscript" which is in the background and easily integrates into my workflow with my writing program (Scrivener) or anything else. There is a decent comparison of these and others on the Reference Manager Page on Wikipedia.
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  7. nastebu macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008
    To be clear, citations software like Endnote, Sente, etc. are very different from word processing software. As you guess, you don't use them for writing. Citations software acts as a kind of database where you can keep track of the bibliographic information for the sources that you use in your writing. Basically, you write in a word processor, and then use the citations software when it comes time to create the list of references.

    If you have to write a dissertation as part of your degree, you absolutely need to get some kind of citation software. It will save you time in the long run.

    What do you mean that your university uses Endnote? That might mean that the university has a license to an online version, and you can use that online version for free.

    If you buy a copy of Endnote for yourself (or any of the other applications mentioned) it will work with most major research libraries, so that you shouldn't have to type in most sources. It will search for you and automatically download the citation information for books or articles.

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