I’ve decided I need to start using a reference manager utility. My old system of keeping a text file full of BibTeX entries in a folder with pdf’s, with an extra “file:” field for the file name of the document is a little crude, and starting to break down as I get large piles of documents for some topics.
Because my PSY562 class this semester is largely using readings from HFES journals, I’m going to use the pile it generates as a testbed to find something I can use generally.
My requirements for a reference manager include:
* Accepts and Emits BibTeX Citations
* Capable of linking citations to files
* Storage format which is (roughly) human readable
* Easily transported database
* Works on Linux
* Limited dependencies (I’d prefer to avoid Java or Qt)
* Works without network connection
The most widely used solution, EndNote, fulfills very few of the above (plus, interoperability dickishness, but fortunately there are lots of projects to make reference managers floating around the ‘net that seem promising. Unfortunately, most of the promising ones are dead. The best of the actively-developed bunch seems to be Referencer. Referencer is a C++/gtkmm app (so it plays nice with my XFCE4 environment), with a Python plug-in system (Should I ever choose to use it), reasonably limited ties to the various non-GTK gnome libraries, and stores it’s records in XML. It looks remarkably close to what I want, and has some features I didn’t know I wanted (preview icons, tags) that are pretty useful. I think it’s going to be a keeper, but would love to hear what other people are using.