I’ve realized that the bibliography tools out there suck. I’m sure there’s a market for a well-designed reference manager that can handle a large database, store attachments, has a pleasant UI (that doesn’t look like it was designed in the early 90s) and integrates with popular word processors.

As is, I’m drowning under a sea of links, pages, research papers and industry studies. Finding everything is a real mess right now :(


  1. The_Voice - January 15, 2007 @ 18:26

    Use LaTeX!!!! It’s got nicely done references (not so much bibliography) and you can throw all your references in there, but it will only list what you explicitly reference.

  2. Allen George - January 15, 2007 @ 18:42


    LaTex is simply typesetting and I’d have to use BibTex as the reference format.

    I’m actually more concerned about finding a good reference manager.

  3. Douglas - January 16, 2007 @ 09:31

    If you use a Mac there’s a wonderful program called BibDesk that does a really good job of managing BibTeX databases. There’s a similar Java program which would run on Windows called JabRef, but I haven’t used it.

  4. The_Voice - January 16, 2007 @ 16:54

    Yeah, BibTex would be what you would have to use inside of LaTeX.

    A reference manager… why does that sound like some sorta class / struct / something or other?

  5. Paul Teehan - January 18, 2007 @ 02:10

    Hey Allen,
    Don’t know what made me wander over here for the first time in quite a while, but hi :)
    You definitely definitely need to check out Jabref. It’s free and open source and easy to use. Platform independant too since it’s java-based. I just started using it and it has changed my life. I have gone from feeling frustrated and drowned to feeling in control again in only a week.

    I’ve heard EndNote is good and it seems to be fully featured, but it’s proprietary. There’s also RefWorks – many schools have a site license of this – but I don’t think it can store attachments.

  6. Allen George - January 18, 2007 @ 04:55


    Unfortunately I don’t use a Mac, but I took a look at BibDesk and it looks pretty nice. I remember taking a look at JabRef back in the day, but stopped using it for a reason I can no longer remember…



    No…not a class, struct or some such. Unless you’re talking about the fact that lots of classes in code tend to be named ***Manager.

  7. Allen George - January 22, 2007 @ 15:35

    Thanks guys – I’ve checked out JabRef and I’m using it now (for the second time I suppose).

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