biber, running on Mac OS X Mavericks, and am looking for a better bibliography manager. In a related question Java-based open-source JabRef and Windows-only Citavi were suggested.
My bibliography previously was managed by BibDesk (bundled with MacTeX), because it uses the BibTeX format natively, but I found its support for
biblatex conventions seriously lacking (even with custom TypeInfo). Also its GUI, especially the dialog window for editing entries, feels very much as if no professional interface designer was ever involved in its creation – it’s an ugly key-value form from the nineties.
I switched to Zotero (Standalone) recently, because of the reasons mentioned above and for its browser integration, “magic wand” (automated entry from ISBN, DOI etc., even from snapshot with paid phone app) and cloud synchronization. These are three features I no longer want to miss.
It also is available for other platforms, because it runs on a XUL base being derived from a Firefox extension. That may seem a good thing at first, but there’s a lot lacking that I expect from an OS X application, e.g. fullscreen mode, (standard) keyboard shortcuts and proper text fields. I’m afraid JabRef suffers from similar usability nuisances, but haven’t tried it yet.
Zotero also doesn’t support
crossref of any kind and journal/series abbreviations (i.e.
short… fields) only for some types, which I would both very much like to use.
There are more programs that I have not yet used:
- Mendeley (Desktop) (free) accompanies the web community. Seems to have some issues with
- Sente (free; 30–50 USD) is a native OS X and iOS app and includes a synch account. It is free for up to 100 entries.
- Bookends (50 USD) Support request for
- Papers (60–80 USD, free 30d trial) No mention of
biblatexon entire homepage.
- Endnote (114–250 USD, but site license available) No search result either, incl. knowledge base.
My ideal bibliography manager would also be able to search my local university library using Z39.50 or SRU. (I guess both are supported.) I expect it to be able to use PDFs anywhere on my hard drive, not only in its special hidden folder.