DEVONthink as a reference / citation manager?

Multiple people I’ve shown DEVONthink to, who work in either scientific research or medicine, have been amazed at DEVONthink’s ability to archive and search PDF articles. (I now have >1,500 PDF medical and science articles in my DTPro database.)

The single most common question I get is: can DEVONthink be used as a citation manager, kind of like EndNote, for helping to generate bibliographies?

I know that DEVONthink not meant “just” to be a citation manager, but have you ever thought of a way that DEVONthink could handle some citation management? Links to the Pubmed citation database? Cooperate with EndNote? DEVONthink would be even more incredible than it already is with these functions.

Thanks for the suggestions. Maybe one could add this functionality to DEVONthink Pro using AppleScript?



I think that with a combination of the forms function and an applescript, it may be very possible, though I don’t know applescript myself.

I am very interested in this possibility as well.
I need to locate an application very soon for this purpose and was looking at Bookends and DTPro.

In a thread that mentioned DEVONthink as well (at Mac OS X Hints,

I haven’t tried it myself, but it was commented on fairly positively.

I still think that I’d prefer to use DEVONthink, if it could be tweaked to be more useful for citation management.

As soon as tables/forms will be completely implemented and functional, it should be possible to use them for simple citation management. In addition, one of the next DT Pro builds (or v1.9.x) will include another import plugin so that it will be possible to import .bibtex files as tables/forms.

By the way - the possibility to create cross/Wiki links to citations should be very useful then too.

One thing I’d love to be able to do is have comments / notes regarding PDF papers (or other uneditable documents, like Quicktime movies) in my library.

There IS the comments box under Show Inf, but it would be nice to be able to format the comments (like an RTF) for more flexibility.

I’ve come up with your idea for using cross / Wiki links, but have been avoiding them because:

  1. reduce clutter in the library (double the number of documents), and
  2. no easy way to “link” the PDF back to the RTF comments document

Do you think there might be any way to have PDF (and other) documents in DEVONthink have permanently associated RTF-editable field?

Maybe comments will use rich text in a future release but not in v1.9.

I spent the better part of the morning trying to get Librarian up and running. I couldn’t get it to see the mysql database.

I think bibdesk or bookends is much simpler though I’d much prefer a solution involving DTPro.