Jump to content


Photo

Reference Management Software


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Robb Brunansky

Robb Brunansky

    Platinum

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 715 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glendale, AZ
  • Accordance Version:11.x

Posted 28 May 2008 - 11:19 AM

I am looking into reference management software, and the two products that seem most full-featured for the Mac are Sente and Bookends. Has anyone used these much? How do they compare? What would you buy, and why? Thanks for any discussion!
Soli Deo Gloria,
Robb Brunansky

#2 danzac

danzac

    Gold

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Acadia Divinity College
  • Interests:NT, historical Jesus, DSS, NT Backgrounds

Posted 28 May 2008 - 11:43 AM

I am looking into reference management software, and the two products that seem most full-featured for the Mac are Sente and Bookends. Has anyone used these much? How do they compare? What would you buy, and why? Thanks for any discussion!



Rob, you can read my review of Bookends on the SBL forum here: http://www.sbl-site....x?ArticleId=468
Bookends has gotten even better since then, as I reviewed v.8 and it is now into version 10.

Both programs have their strengths and weaknesses. Both work good with Word. Sente works better with Pages and BE does, and Bookends works slightly better than Sente does with Mellel, but that will be rectified at some point by the Mellel developers.

I have no doubt that I will actually end up in Sente eventually, but it will take a good effort for me to get all my Bookends stuff into Sente. I like Sente's UI better, its note-taking ability is nicer, and its new links feature and start-with-the-PDF feature make it in my opinion the better choice than Bookends now, despite some shortcomings. I also like its organization in the left column better.

However, Bookends is cheaper and it is still a solid program that is stable and fast— I think it will always be a bit faster than Sente, (eg. Bookends does "live" searches in the list view). Its global changes ability is also better than Sente, as is its importing ability.

Both can handle complex formatting. I created the SBL formats for Bookends, and Sente's developers have asked me to create SBL formats for them as well which I'm in the midst of doing.

I don't know much about developing, but I can just "feel" when I am in a cutting-edge cocoa-based program. Sente is that, while Bookends is carbon-based. Sente also seems to have 3 or 4 developers while BE is one person.

Hope this helps.

#3 Chris

Chris

    Member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 10 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Worcestershire, UK

Posted 30 May 2008 - 03:33 PM

I've been using Bookends for a couple of years now, relying on it for my thesis bibliography. However, I have just bought Sente as I find it to be far easier to use and I can get at the advanced features easily. Both programs are similar in ability, so I would check both of them out. I must say, though, that I am very impressed by Sente!

#4 Rick Bennett

Rick Bennett

    Platinum

  • Accordance
  • 1,877 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tampa Bay, FL
  • Interests: gadgets, coffee, running and cycling, Rays baseball
  • Accordance Version:10.x

Posted 30 May 2008 - 04:43 PM

I am looking into reference management software, and the two products that seem most full-featured for the Mac are Sente and Bookends. Has anyone used these much? How do they compare? What would you buy, and why? Thanks for any discussion!


I've been using Endnote for 2 years, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. However, I did meet someone last year that is writing a major commentary and is using Word + Endnote and he said it works fine for him. As of now it is a necessary evil, as is Word, which I can't wait to get rid of. However, Mellel just isn't quite there yet for me. So, when I switch it will have to be one that works with Word (which both Bookends and Sente do), so it's a toss up. Just now that I've been looking at Sente's site it looks nice.

Rick Bennett
Director of Content Development
iOS Working Group


#5 danzac

danzac

    Gold

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Acadia Divinity College
  • Interests:NT, historical Jesus, DSS, NT Backgrounds

Posted 31 May 2008 - 05:17 AM

What's "not there" about Mellel?

The limitation of Endnote, as far as I can tell, is that you are stuck with Word. Sente and Bookends both support Mellel, Nisus, Word, and Pages.

I'd have to say that if you are starting from scratch, go with Sente.

And a PS, in case you haven't heard of it, check out Skim as well (a PDF reader with awesome note-taking abilities).

#6 Rick Bennett

Rick Bennett

    Platinum

  • Accordance
  • 1,877 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tampa Bay, FL
  • Interests: gadgets, coffee, running and cycling, Rays baseball
  • Accordance Version:10.x

Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:57 AM

re: Mellel, there's just a few small items that I wish it handled better. One is the footnote continuation separator, i.e. when a footnote extends to a second page, the following page should have a footnote separator that extends across the page. It's not an everyday occurrence that I have long footnotes, but it does occur. Also, the way Mellel handles images isn't ideal. The text doesn't wrap around images, just above and below. Hopefully these are addressed in future revisions. Other than that I love it. It runs so much smoother; the outline feature is great and doesn't act all dodgy like Word does; of course RTL Hebrew. One thing I do like about Word, which I haven't taken the time to see if Mellel does have is the autocorrect feature. There are several words that I constantly misspell and it's nice to have them automatically corrected as I type.

This summer now that I don't have any paper deadlines or classes I'll make the switch, thanks for the Sente rec.

Thanks a lot for pointing me to Skim, that's exactly what I've been looking for! :)

Rick Bennett
Director of Content Development
iOS Working Group


#7 Robb Brunansky

Robb Brunansky

    Platinum

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 715 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glendale, AZ
  • Accordance Version:11.x

Posted 05 June 2008 - 08:16 PM

This discussion has been very interesting and helpful. It seems like Sente cannot create multiple new references automatically from an online source like Bookends can. Or am I missing something? The help for Sente does not seem very helpful in showing how to use the online tools for generating new book references for my library. Also, it seems the sources for getting information from an ISBN are more complete from Bookends. These are some of my initial observations. Am I missing something, or is this the experience of most users?

Another question: What is the number one reason you have purchased a reference manager?

Edited by Robb Brunansky, 05 June 2008 - 08:17 PM.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Robb Brunansky

#8 R. Mansfield

R. Mansfield

    Platinum

  • Accordance
  • 1,195 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kentucky
  • Accordance Version:11.x

Posted 05 June 2008 - 09:21 PM

I'd still be interested to hear about the capabilities in Word 2008's new referencing abilities. I'm using Mellel and Bookends for my dissertation and have nothing extra to write in Word to test it out. But I'm very curious to know how capable it is.

Rick Mansfield

Technology Evangelist

Accordance Bible Software

 

 

Gear for running Accordance:

OS X

2012 15" MacBook Pro (retina) - 2.7 Ghz Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 750 GB SSD, Yosemite

Windows

2014 15.6" Acer R7-572 - 1.6 Ghz Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB mSATA, 1 TB HDD, Windows 8.1

2013 8" Dell Venue 8 Pro - 1.33 Ghz Atom, 2 GB RAM, 64 GB eMMC, Windows 8.1

iOS

2014 iPhone 6 Plus, 128 GB, Verizon

2013 iPad Air, 128 GB, Verizon

 


#9 danzac

danzac

    Gold

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Acadia Divinity College
  • Interests:NT, historical Jesus, DSS, NT Backgrounds

Posted 11 June 2008 - 07:53 AM

This discussion has been very interesting and helpful. It seems like Sente cannot create multiple new references automatically from an online source like Bookends can. Or am I missing something? The help for Sente does not seem very helpful in showing how to use the online tools for generating new book references for my library. Also, it seems the sources for getting information from an ISBN are more complete from Bookends. These are some of my initial observations. Am I missing something, or is this the experience of most users?

Another question: What is the number one reason you have purchased a reference manager?


1) Your question about multiple references, do you mean importing multiple references, like in endnote or RIS format? Sente can do that fine, though Bookends importing is still better than Sente (something i keep mentioning to the developers). Perhaps I am misunderstanding your question though.

2) You are right about the Sente help file— they don't seem to keep it up to date with the program itself.

3) in regards to adding refs via isbn, what information was missing from Sente? I just noticed it is missing the LOC call #, I'm going to email the developer about it right now. But was there any other information you noticed was missing?

4) I think you have seen some of the weaknesses of Sente for sure. As I said, they both have strengths and weaknesses. I'm pretty blown away by the autolinks feature of Sente, which is why it is high on my list.

5) As to why I use it. Initially when I started using a ref manager, it was all about the fact that it would format my footnotes and bibliography. In seminary/college, there was nothing worse than finishing a paper, only to sit for another few hours to properly format your footnotes and bibliography (my teachers were sticklers for that stuff). Having used it now for a while, I would add to that important reason the organizational abilities— being able to take notes, keep abstracts with the citation, organize the myriads of PDF's easily. It just makes writing and researching so much easier.

Danny

#10 J A Miller

J A Miller

    Member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Accordance Version:8.x

Posted 15 June 2008 - 10:47 PM

Rob, you can read my review of Bookends on the SBL forum here: http://www.sbl-site....x?ArticleId=468
Bookends has gotten even better since then, as I reviewed v.8 and it is now into version 10.

Both programs have their strengths and weaknesses. Both work good with Word. Sente works better with Pages and BE does, and Bookends works slightly better than Sente does with Mellel, but that will be rectified at some point by the Mellel developers.

I have no doubt that I will actually end up in Sente eventually, but it will take a good effort for me to get all my Bookends stuff into Sente. I like Sente's UI better, its note-taking ability is nicer, and its new links feature and start-with-the-PDF feature make it in my opinion the better choice than Bookends now, despite some shortcomings. I also like its organization in the left column better.

However, Bookends is cheaper and it is still a solid program that is stable and fast— I think it will always be a bit faster than Sente, (eg. Bookends does "live" searches in the list view). Its global changes ability is also better than Sente, as is its importing ability.

Both can handle complex formatting. I created the SBL formats for Bookends, and Sente's developers have asked me to create SBL formats for them as well which I'm in the midst of doing.

I don't know much about developing, but I can just "feel" when I am in a cutting-edge cocoa-based program. Sente is that, while Bookends is carbon-based. Sente also seems to have 3 or 4 developers while BE is one person.

Hope this helps.



Would you consider a more in-depth review of strengths and weaknesses of BE and Sente? I am switching to Mac soon and must choose one or the other to complete my thesis. I am planning to use Mellel because of its RTL and then export to RTF (for Word 2007) or PDF to send to my advisor. I have read the entire thread and both of your reviews of BE, but I feel like I am grasping at straws because I don't even understand half of the features you mention, much less know if I will need them. I guess I need to spend more time on this.

Also, to everyone, how much do you use online databases/files/PDFs for theological research? Perhaps I just don't have adequate access to these resources, but they have not been that critical yet. Most of my research has been read in printed form (much through ILL).

To add to this, I am having difficulty finding a comprehensible and comprehensively organized list of features for each program on their websites. Even a list of features for each would be helpful to me.

Edited by J A Miller, 15 June 2008 - 11:02 PM.


#11 danzac

danzac

    Gold

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Acadia Divinity College
  • Interests:NT, historical Jesus, DSS, NT Backgrounds

Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:22 PM

JA,
It sounds like you are just getting to know bib.management software, so the first thing I would do is download one, or both, of the demo's and play around with him so you can get to know what they do and how they work. Both of them are good products, I just personally like Sente a little better now. At the core, they are doing the same things for you. Organizing your citations, keeping your PDF's and notes on the citations organized, working with a word processor to create your footnotes and bibliography.

If you are just getting into Mac, make sure you get to know Mellel as well. Learn to use auto-titles, crossrefs, font variations, and paragraph and character styles. All of that will really help with the whole writing process.

One last thing, it sounds like you are in the same boat as me in that you need to have your advisor give you feedback. I would suggest using a.nnotate.com. You can upload PDFs and invite people to make notations on the PDF online. This will save you the hassle of converting to RTF.

Hope this all helps a bit

#12 Bryan

Bryan

    Member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Greenville, SC
  • Accordance Version:10.x

Posted 25 June 2008 - 12:47 PM

Thank you for the comments, danzac. Your review of Bookends and Mellel was one of the major factors in my decision to switch from Linux to Mac.

Now that I am a confirmed user of Mellel, I would be interested in hearing how exactly Sente is not as integrated as Bookends. Are there extra steps involved in inserting references or generating the bib? I have a license for Bookends (I bought the combo deal) but I haven't put many entries into it yet. I'm about to start the writing stage of a new book, so now is the time to decide.

Thanks again!
Bryan Bibb
Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible
Furman University
Greenville, SC

#13 J A Miller

J A Miller

    Member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Accordance Version:8.x

Posted 03 September 2008 - 08:22 PM

JA,
It sounds like you are just getting to know bib.management software, so the first thing I would do is download one, or both, of the demo's and play around with him so you can get to know what they do and how they work. Both of them are good products, I just personally like Sente a little better now. At the core, they are doing the same things for you. Organizing your citations, keeping your PDF's and notes on the citations organized, working with a word processor to create your footnotes and bibliography.

If you are just getting into Mac, make sure you get to know Mellel as well. Learn to use auto-titles, crossrefs, font variations, and paragraph and character styles. All of that will really help with the whole writing process.

One last thing, it sounds like you are in the same boat as me in that you need to have your advisor give you feedback. I would suggest using a.nnotate.com. You can upload PDFs and invite people to make notations on the PDF online. This will save you the hassle of converting to RTF.

Hope this all helps a bit


Thanks for the tips and reference to a.nnotate.com.

#14 Sean R.

Sean R.

    Gold

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 289 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Russellville, TN
  • Accordance Version:10.x

Posted 03 September 2008 - 10:04 PM

MacUpdatePromo is currently running a special that includes both Mellel and Bookends (along with several other programs) for only $49.99.

http://macupdatepromo.com/
Sean Reed

#15 danzac

danzac

    Gold

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Acadia Divinity College
  • Interests:NT, historical Jesus, DSS, NT Backgrounds

Posted 12 December 2008 - 09:38 AM

Thank you for the comments, danzac. Your review of Bookends and Mellel was one of the major factors in my decision to switch from Linux to Mac.

Now that I am a confirmed user of Mellel, I would be interested in hearing how exactly Sente is not as integrated as Bookends. Are there extra steps involved in inserting references or generating the bib? I have a license for Bookends (I bought the combo deal) but I haven't put many entries into it yet. I'm about to start the writing stage of a new book, so now is the time to decide.

Thanks again!


Another successful evangelistic effort! Thanks, I'm so glad I could help

#16 Kit

Kit

    Silver

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 117 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Hebrew, Greek, Textual Criticism, Church History, OT, NT, Dead Sea Scrolls, Ancient history
  • Accordance Version:11.x

Posted 07 November 2009 - 12:11 PM

Both can handle complex formatting. I created the SBL formats for Bookends, and Sente's developers have asked me to create SBL formats for them as well which I'm in the midst of doing.

Hi Danz,
Just wondering if you have finished the SBL format for Sente. Thanks for your effort.

#17 danzac

danzac

    Gold

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 275 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Acadia Divinity College
  • Interests:NT, historical Jesus, DSS, NT Backgrounds

Posted 01 December 2009 - 01:50 PM

Thank you for the comments, danzac. Your review of Bookends and Mellel was one of the major factors in my decision to switch from Linux to Mac.

Now that I am a confirmed user of Mellel, I would be interested in hearing how exactly Sente is not as integrated as Bookends. Are there extra steps involved in inserting references or generating the bib? I have a license for Bookends (I bought the combo deal) but I haven't put many entries into it yet. I'm about to start the writing stage of a new book, so now is the time to decide.

Thanks again!


Sorry for the major delay in getting back to you :-)

Actually BE is better integrated with Mellel— the verify citations, scan and unscan abilities as well. But they both essentially do the same thing. I have come to like Sente's UI a lot better, as well as its notetaking abilities and now with Sente 6 its syncing abilities.

I'm still holding out and bothering the developers to update their journal lists to import all my SBL abbrevs, and to make Sente scriptable to better work with Devonthink pro.

Hi Danz,
Just wondering if you have finished the SBL format for Sente. Thanks for your effort.


Kind of got it done. It would need some tweaking. Once Sente updates its journal glossary I will completely move to Sente, which will force me to correct the SBL format and perfect it :-)

#18 Stefan Green

Stefan Green

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Örebro, Sweden
  • Accordance Version:10.x

Posted 18 January 2012 - 03:52 PM

Kind of got it done. It would need some tweaking. Once Sente updates its journal glossary I will completely move to Sente, which will force me to correct the SBL format and perfect it :-)


Hello Danzac

Do you have any update on SBL format for Sente? I have noticed that SBL in-citation in Sente 6.5x does not follow the SBL format. Can you give me an explanation?

Thank you!

Edited by Stefan Green, 18 January 2012 - 03:52 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users