question for academics/authors about reference management - Mendeley vs Papers

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jojoba, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I've been using Endote for years, but it's been driving my head in for the past couple of days so I'm looking into Mendeley versus Papers. Here are my key concerns

    - I want good cite while you write functionality, with user friendly options for inserting and editing references.

    - Ideally, I'd like something that would allow me to cite while I write in Scrivener, and where refs would be transferred as I export to Word (I work in a Windows environment so will have to share written work with colleagues/ do co-authoring via Microsoft Word)

    At the moment, Mendeley appeals to me because of the cross platform functionality, while Papers looks appealing because it allows for cite while you write in Scrivener (but it's expensive).

    I don't care much about pdf management facilities or annotation opportunities. I already have a good system which syncs across my devices with DropBox for organising my pdfs, and I use iAnnotate on my iPad for all my pdf reading and annotation. This system works very well for me and I don't see any need to change it, so I'm mainly concerned with functions related to referencing papers as I write.

    So, my questions are:
    - what are people's experiences with these two apps in terms of cite while you write functionalities, and
    - do others have good tips for working across platforms with regard to reference management/ citation

    I've found EndNote a bit hopeless for the working across platforms bit, which is why I'd like to make a switch. It was fine as long as I did nearly all my writing on the same Windows computer, but that's not really working for me anymore, particularly when I'm travelling.

    Any input greatly appreciated.
  2. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    So, I'm trying to use Mendeley right now to format a paper and it's being a real pain in the butt. It's adding first names here and there and generally being buggy. Inserting references really is MUCH easier than EndNote, though, if they had just showed up correctly. I'm also getting weird stuff in the bibliography at the end.


    So I'm going to try Papers next.
  3. seedidea macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
  4. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Thanks, seedidea. If Papers doesn't work out for me, I'll check it out. So far it's looking good. Easy to insert references as I write (although it annoys me that the author name is hardly visible in the search results), the formatting looks solid, and so far the Scrivener to Word conversion did not do any damage to my references. I really like the document management set up, too. But it's still early days so I haven't concluded yet.
  5. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Have you looked at Zotero (

    I don't know about Scrivener but it does cite-as-you-write in Word and Libre/Open/NeoOffice.

    Unique selling point: its free.
  6. MadMitch89 macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Papers2. Use it cite and as a database. Recommended.
  7. jojoba thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    No, I haven't looked at Zotero yet, but it's on my list of options to work my way through. I got a discount on Papers2 so right now I'm going to work with that for a couple of weeks to see what that can do for me. Just the ease with which you can insert and edit references and the fact that it seems easier than EN to work across platforms seems worth it to me so far. I'm crossing my fingers that I won't have to look beyond this.

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