Tools to manipulate BibTeX bibliographies?

Hey collective UChicago Grad intelligence

I am looking for recommendations on tools that people doing research use to manipulate their bibliography databases. Yesterday, for sharing a bibliography of relevant papers with a collaborator, I ended up using for manipulating my .bib file, that seemed okay but pretty clunky for a software I would want to use on a frequent basis. Furthermore, the HTML export feature just didn’t work and I had to force quit the application each time I tried.

Any suggestions on other tools that you may have come to like over the years?

I use Bibdesk. It’s reasonably okay. But I’ve found myself just manually editing the .bib file through a text editor more and more.

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Wow, thanks! BibDesk seems so much more usable. Too bad that it is macOS only, however.

I use JabRef when I have to, but most often I just open up the .bib file in my LaTeX editor and copy the reference from MathSciNet’s MR lookup because the citations are very high quality. I’m not sure how they hold up for fields that aren’t math/theoretical CS…

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I just edit .bib files in a text editor

Perhaps relevant: the library now provides institutional access to Zotero:

@jchanen1 recommends using ZotFile and Better BibTeX for Zotero extensions.

In addition I just found out about:

FindIt! with Zotero

The use case here is if you have the citation but not the paper. Simply select the citation whose text you want to find and press the green arrow on the UI bar; Zotero will then find the text in UChicago’s library

You can setup Zotero to use the Library’s FindIt! service to locate full text of articles.
Step by step:

  1. Open up the Zotero software and go to Zotero Preferences
  2. Select Advanced
  3. Under OpenURL, select Custom. Paste this URL into the box:
    Find It!
  4. You can now use the Library Lookup tool to locate full text articles. This should automatically include the proxy server.
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