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I want to resolve two issues: keep track of my (e)books and be able to insert and manager citations or references with Scrivener.

I would like to see what would you recommend for this.

I found and interesting tread on but for the moment it does not contain enough feedback for making a decision.

Please suggest answers only if you successfully used the product(s) for some time.

If you have different alternatives it would be good idea to add them as separated answers.

So far I identified:

Main features I am looking for:

  • ability to manage ebooks (or alt least PDF ebooks)
  • ability to get books information by using one or more online services
  • ability to build a bibliography listing
  • manage cites
  • integration with Scrivener (to insert a reference or a cite)
  • (optional) possibility to copy/share books to iPad and read them from there.
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Here is wiki style spreadsheet where I started to compile the information… – sorin Jul 4 '11 at 18:20

You should definitely look at Papers. The new version (Papers 2) was released a few weeks ago, and while not completely rock stable, I really can't live without it !

It has pretty much all the features you asked. You can manage books (and ebooks), each entry in the "database" is linked to one or more files (.pdf most of the time).

In addition in Papers 2 the citation process has been completely updated, you should have a look at their website about that.

There also a version for iOS and synchronization between your devices is apparently very easy.

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Papers2 looks great but I was not able to identify a way of adding cites with notes and page numbers. At least in Bookends this is supported. In addition I find quite awkward that their support forum is not very active and is tightly moderated - I have a bad feeling about this. – sorin May 3 '11 at 19:41

The combination of Scrivener and BibDesk made me switch from Linux to the Mac some years ago.

-- Your ebooks can be managed through it, even auto-filed with a name generated from the info you enter

-- I get book information from the research libraries I use, using their Z39.50 interface (only a handful of libraries do not use that), but other sources like Google Scholar also work. It can share data files with Zotero, so you can also integrate Amazon data and much more.

-- Bibliography listing: Works great once you figured it out. There is a learning curve, but it got better recently.

-- manage cites, integration with Scrivener: is why I use it.

-- sharing with iPad: would mean to share the book with iTunes. Tricky, as iTunes is very, very jealous for an application. Best option is to drag the file alias from BibDesk to the "Automatically add to iTunes" folder (I myself have a shortcut for that one in the Finder sidebar anyway); not a "Press this button" solution within the app, but your request is not what BibDesk is about.

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