[OS X TeX] Bibliography management

Simon Spiegel simon at simifilm.ch
Sun Dec 28 20:18:46 CET 2014

> On 28.12.2014, at 19:54, George Gratzer <gratzer at me.com> wrote:
> I realize many use BibTeX. I was wondering how many moved past it.

As others have said: Your question isn't really clear.

If you mean 'BibTeX the program', then the answer is 'biber'. As long as you're not forced to use traditional BibTeX styles (which, AFAIK, are still used by some (many?) journals), the biber/biblatex combo is so much better than BibTeX proper, it's not even funny. It is in many ways to most powerful bibliographic solution available on any platform and offers many features other tools don't even dream of.

If you man 'BibTeX the data format' and, in extension, solutions for managing your bibliographic data, then the answer is different. BibDesk is still the best GUI for BibTeX on the Mac. Unfortunately, its developers are not much into biber/biblatex and therefore its support for this combo isn't as good as it could be. BibDesk works with biblatex/biber, but many of the more advanced features are not supported (as an avid user of both BibDesk and biber, my dream would be a BiberDesk which would support all of biber's features out of the box).

Looking beyond BibTeX, there are now a bunch of tools which use the Citation Style Language (CSL). CSL is a very powerful open standard which is, among others, supported by Papers, Zotero and Mendeley (the latter two are free). While not as powerful as biblatex/biber, it is quite versatile, has a lot of traction among developers, offers a lot of ready-made styles and is supported by many WYSIYWG-apps. Unfortunately, there is no LaTeX implementation of CSL, although this could definitely be done. This means that people who want to use Zotero et al. together with LaTeX will end up exporting BibTeX.



Simon Spiegel
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