[Tex/LaTex] How to manage reference efficiently? refworks or jabref or anything else


When I do research, I often write papers in LaTeX (in most cases) and Microsoft Word. My question is how to manage hundreds or even thousands of papers efficiently and effectively? I know several possible solutions:

  1. Use Endnote. This solution is specially suitable for Microsoft Word. If you use Word, Endnote is No. 1 option. However, it is not good for LaTeX. Because I use LaTeX most of the time, I don't use it.

  2. Use a .bib file manager, such as Jabref. This solution is good for LaTeX users. I use this method so far. The problem is that most of these software tools, including Jabref, are not very mature and not very user-friendly.

  3. Use Refworks. Refworks is a great tool based on the cloud and server. However, it is only good for "managing" references, but the most common scenario is inserting and managing reference during writing paper. Thus, Refworks is not useful if you write paper in LaTeX or Word. By the way, Refworks also offers a Microsoft Word plug-in but it is not stable compared to Endnote. Refworks also supports exporting in BibTeX format but we need to insert reference and manage them during our research life. Exporting is not a good option.

According to my experience, so far the bib tool (such as jabref) is the best option.

Does anyone have any better ideas?

Best Answer

I would have to recommend you give Mendeley a try. It's free, runs on Win/Linux/Mac. You can use both MS Word/OpenOffice and also generate bibtex files from your library quite easily. It seems to be a two-in-one fit solution for your question. Quick edit: FYI I'm a Community Liaison at Mendeley and also PhD candidate in Bioinformatics.

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