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 :(


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  • 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.

  • Hmm…

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Doug:

    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.