One big disappointment I have is managing references in Mac. In windows, there are some programs, and Endnote seems to work fine with Word. Also, Mendeley released the new version integrated with word. But, in Mac, there are several problems using Endnote. My word (2004) crashed all the time… specially when I was writing accented characters (á, é, í, ó, ú)… and I am a Chilean guy, and I have to write my thesis, research projects, etc, in spanish.
So, I started to evaluate the options… also online options. These are my thoughts about them:
1. Connotea. It seemed fine to me…but, the problem, as well as many other web-based reference manager tools, is: integration with word. Some developers think that making an “export to word” option will be fine… but I guess these guys never used endnote and they don’t appreciate the “cite while you writing” feature. With just an export option, you have to select, make extensive copy and paste, bla bla bla. But Connotea works well. I didn’t have any problems importing a library created with Papers. And that’s something I cannot say about:
2. 2collab. The biggest disappointment. I couldn’t import any library… either created with Papers, or Endnote, or Connotea, or CiteUlike… It is just useless.
3. CiteUlike. The same as Connotea applies to this app. Also, the interface is very ugly.
And that’s about online tools. I wanted to try Sente, but I am not willing to try som trial-version, to fall in love with it and then to have to spent more than 80 USD. No. I want free applications. I already purchased Papers. There must be an option to use papers and word, at least with a “third-party”.
4. Mendeley: another BIG disappointment. Two things really bothered me.
a) Metadata annotation. I opened my “papers” folder with mendeley… waiting… hours… (while mendeley updated my online library…). And then, voilá! 800 papers… But wait! Just 200, or less, had the right metadata information. The only way to have the 800 papers with the correct metadata, was importing a library from endnote, and all this is to avoid having endnote working because it crashes my word.
b) Absolute no integration with word in the Mac version.
Well… after days surfing the web, I remembered Zotero. I tried Zotero, and bum! Finally the masterpiece missing in my pipeline to work with references in Word.
So, after this long introduction, I will describe:
My definitive Guide to Manage References in Mac
– Software needed: Papers, Zotero, Word.
Step 1: Exporting a RIS library from Papers. You can select a collection, or specific papers… but I recommend to export all your papers. You have to go to File, Export, RIS File.
Export your library as RIS file using Papers.
Step 2: Download Zotero add-on for Firefox, and the Plugin for Word. Follow instructions to install them.
Step 3: You can import several file types into Zotero, to create a libary. For example, a Endnote library. If you have Mendeley (and with God’s help, you have all the metadata as you wish), you can also work with it. But most of the Mac users I know, work with Papers. You have to go to the Actions palette, and press in “Import”.
I apologize… my softwares are in spanish. But you can get the idea
Step 4. Inside Word, insert citations using the button “Zotero Insert citations” in Zoreto toolbar. Once you finished, you can create your bibliography list pressing the “Zotero insert Bibliography” button. And that’s it.
You can see the Zotero toolbar. And Word run as usually.
That’s it! You have your new system to manage references in Word. I have to do some notes, nonetheless:
– I have Word 2004. I don’t know if this would work with word 2008.
– Also, Zotero works in Firefox. I don’t know if you can use it in another web browser.
– I did not tested this using libraries created with other softwares as Mendeley or even Endnote.
But, it has some advantages:
– Currently, Mendeley does not support viewing pdf files. You have to open acrobat or another reader.. also endnote. But, with Papers, you can view your pdfs as you are working, exporting your selections, getting the right metadata with the fetching tool, printing, searching papers… all in one program! And also, Papers is cheap, compared with similar softwares.
– Also, about Zotero… you ALWAYS have Firefox opened, or not? So, you really don’t have to open a second software. I recommend opening a new window in Firefox, to work with Zotero.
– Finally, Zotero is free. You don’t have to purchase an expensive program.
I hope this can help you. I spent several hours trying to get with something like this. And a disclaimer: I am not part of any Company, or Business… I am just a PhD student trying to make my life (and now yours) easier.
New note added on proof: I had to update Firefox, which I hate… every new version, Firefox gets more heavy, memory-consuming and problematic. Zotero beta release seems to work only with Firefox 3.X version. So, I installed the Zotero version, and the Word plugin that I found in the forums, and I tried creating a new library, and I had problems with special characters (á, ó, ñ, ü, etc). So, I wrote a message in the forum. But, by now, I managed to create a RIS file with endnote, and it worked fine.