An article published in Nature this week focuses on the pluses and minuses of eight tools all competing in the reference-management market: colwiz, EndNote, F1000Workspace, Mendeley, Papers, ReadCube, RefME and Zotero (see ‘Reference-management software’ or download this Excel spreadsheet for a fuller comparison of the software ). Some excel at streamlining the process of browsing and building literature libraries, whereas others focus on creating bibliographies, aiding collaboration through the use of shared workspaces or recommending papers.
The article also invites you to vote on your favourite reference management software, and to see how readers have so far voted.
The article concludes: “Perhaps the best reason for using a reference manager is the technology’s ability to provide a form of searchable memory. Imagine, says Boyd Steere, a senior research scientist at pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, Indiana, a desk piled high with printed papers: Post-it notes hanging out, writing in the margins, doodles, notations, arrows and more. Today’s PDF-filled, digital folders are in many ways no easier to navigate. With a digital reference manager, however, buried knowledge is just a keyword search away.”