Does anyone have experiences to share with Bookends?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jojoba, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I've used Sente as my primary reference manager for a while and was planning to stay put with that, but I'm finding myself increasingly tempted by Bookends. Is there anyone here that has experiences to share with Bookends?
    Is it a stable software?
    Easy to use?
    Rich features?
    How does it compare to Papers and Sente?
  2. valiar macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2006
    Washington, DC
    I use Bookends since version 7. It is my main bibliography management software. I switched from Endnote, and never looked back (though newer versions of Endnote are said to be better).

    Bookends never crashed on me, and always worked as advertised. It has very flexible options for formatting your references, and a lot of built-in formats. You can also create your own, of course. The built-in PubMed search tool works very well and saves a lot of time, too.

    Of the negatives, it has nothing like EndNote's cite while you write. This means that your Word files will be littered by full-text reference placeholders in curly braces, like, say, "{Goldman 2003}". When you are done writing, you will tell Bookends to "scan" the document, which is when the references will be converted to their final form. This mode of operation can be a minor inconvenience if you are trying to format a paper so that it fits within journal's guidelines. However, Bookends is way more stable than Endnote has ever been, and new versions of Word are usually supported right away. With Endnote, you will wait for the next version, sometimes for a few months.

    I also own Papers. It is not really comparable to Bookends. Papers shines for reading papers and for doing lit search. There are plugins for most every academic search engine, with a notable (and expected) exception of SciFinder. Papers is not nearly as nice as Bookends for formatting bibliographies. On the other hand, I would not use Bookends for reading and collecting PDFs. That would just be painful.

    Papers and Bookends integrate nicely when you have both installed. You can export references from Papers to Bookends.

    I have no experience with Sente, unfortunately. But I love Bookends.
  3. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Thanks a lot for this.

    Based on what you are writing, and having tried out the trial version a bit yesterday, I think I am going to stick with Sente. I use Sente (and was looking to Bookends) primarily for the purpose of collecting and managing PDFs, and annotating them (Bookends for iPad seems to work well in conjunction with iAnnotate). However, as you say, importing references and PDFs to Bookends is not very smooth, compared to Papers and Sente. I've also tried Papers in the past, but switched to Sente, primarily for the improved sync functions and the ability to organise my papers around hierarchical tags.

    For cite while you write functionality, I'm still sticking to EndNote at this point. It's a clunky program, but the only thing that so far has provided me with the reliability I need. I never have issues with formatting and stuff shows up the way it should do - Papers and Sente doesn't manage to do that for me. I don't mind the unforamatted references and having to scan the document later to create the bibliography, but I just don't want to spend time fiddling with references that don't show up right.

    I'll probably keep watching Bookends from the sidelines, though...

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