Burning the Midnight Oil

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Moving from EndNote to Mendeley

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After looking around for alternatives to Endnote I found that ,fortunately, there are plenty of options. Maybe the most mature and complete out there are Reference manager, the open source JabRef and the newcomer Mendeley. Refman didn’t impress me at all. The interface could be much better. On the other hand, I was greatly surprised by JabRef, a good piece of free software IMHO. It does the work well, provides a simple color code to help you keep your records detailed and, if you are an MS Office user like myself (sometimes) you can find some really nice utilities (i.e. Bibtex4Word)  to help your writing/citing cycle. The only issue with JabRef: the project has been inactive since 2009.

Frankly, I did not expect too much from Mendeley. At the beginning, it looked to me like a toy application, and surely you do not want to play with your precious references. Just to be fair, I gave it a try. It really blows your mind! Very simplistic. They provide a desktop application that really makes things easier. In less than 10 minutes I had my EndNote library fully working in Mendeley. The drag and drop was a feature I needed desperately. Also, the convenient look-up in the upper corner, helps you speed things up. Plus all the other usual stuff, on-line backup, categories and being able to use multiple formats. On top of that, you get something completely unexpected: Social networking. After setting up your profile on the Web, you can access interest groups and collaborate, share and discuss ideas or simply share the references with the world. I am not completely sure, how social do I want to go with my work, however, is a nice thing to have the option. Other goodies included in Mendeley desktop: Embedded PDF reader, link between the actual file and the reference, and obviously support to embed references in  your MS Word or Latex Documents. If you use other services, such as Zotero or Citeulike the application handles the transition well.

Seems like Thomson  Reuters are finally out of the market of reference management. I still need to test most of the functionalities, but will be using it as my only RM from now on. Happy citations!

Written by cd

May 1, 2011 at 8:02 am

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