BibDesk & Google Scholar

BibDesk.appThere is a lot to like about the BibDesk citation manager. First off, it works with BibTeX (in fact it’s file structure is BibTeX). There have been a lot of reviews, most of them positive of course… what’s not to like about open-source native cocoa applications that “do the right thing”? I wanted to post here, just in case readers haven’t seen it or heard about it, but also to highlight one of the coolest new features in the latest version: automagic citation retrieval from the web.I use Google Scholar quite a bit, for one, I like the Google attitude toward user interfaces. But beyond that, I like that it just works, and it gives a link to BibTeX and your local library (both features can be set in the preferences). So when I noticed that BibDesk can view Google scholar results and automatically parse the BibTeX links, I was hooked. See the following screenshot for a demo:bibdesk google scholarOpen a Google Scholar search in BibDesk, and in the pane right below it are all the BibTeX links with easy iTunes-style “import” buttons right there ready to populate your BibTeX database. Writing articles in LaTeX has never been an easy process, but I find that between BibDesk and BibTeX, it’s much improved. Now I just need a system to keep my printed papers sorted and organized…


3 thoughts on “BibDesk & Google Scholar

  1. Pingback: Alexander Refsum Jensenius » Google Scholar imports in Bibdesk

    • Now I just need a system to keep my printed papers sorted and organized…

      – you can used BibDesk to store your papers as well. Open the entry pane for the particular citation you are interested in storing and then just drag a pdf copy of that document to the right-hand side of the pane. The document will be moved to whatever the default directory BibDesk uses (you can change this in prefs) and you can read it anytime in the future by simply clicking on the image of the pdf.

      • Sure thing, that’s one of my favorite features. Unfortunately, that doesn’t do anything for the mounds of paper surrounding my desk. Even though I am organized virtually, I am rather disorganized physically 🙂

        I have toyed with the idea of tagging bibdesk entries with a folder number or key of some sort to let me know where I stashed the printout (just to avoid using extra paper). The problem is that my physical printouts are usually “organized” by project (paper writing, grant application, or random idea) with no regard to a firm category that is reflected in bibdesk. I think the ultimate solution is to create a keyword for each of my projects and then tag the article with that keyword. I’m going to give that a shot this summer and see how it goes.

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