Dear all, I need to store bibliographic information for a large number of articles (not all of which come from academic publishing, it’s quite a mixed bag). Many threads in this forum discuss item naming for databases with scientific articles, with most going for a “first author, year, publisher, keywords” scheme, e.g. this one.
I’ll need to store more flexible information, and would like to retain it with the article. I was thinking about using custom metadata (accessible through Preferences → Data).
First, would you say this is a smart and future-proof way of storing this information?
Then, I would like to use this information in other places. It is very nicely available as placeholder items in the custom wiki page template (Preferences → WikiLinks), but could I use these fields to have my documents be automatically renamed by a common naming schema? Or would you perhaps say that such a schema would be too rigid, since I’d have the information available in the metadata anyway?
Custom metadata is indeed a possibility, its major advantages are that it can be used by placeholders (e.g. by smart rules or batch processing to rename items) and for very precise searches or smart groups/rules. But its disadvantage is that it’s limited to DEVONthink.
Other possibilities can be e.g. found in Data > New from Template > Education. In case of sheets the information can be viewed/edited as tables or as forms. Like custom metadata the columns of sheets can be typed and the user interface of form views and the custom metadata inspector is very similar.
I would at least investigate using reference manager software, and cross-linking to DTP using Indexing or something similar. I’m partial to Bookends which is very Mac-supportive, and has at least some support in DT. See for example Integration of DTP3 with Bookends Of course there are many (dozens) of other reference manager programs. (Please: don’t use EndNote! It’s a nightmare for Mac and has been for 20 years.)
Of course the value of ref. software depends on what you are going to do. But they are smart about things like locating articles online, finding related articles., and of course creating formatted bibliographies for export. And they “understand” many categories of information without you having to write any special scripts.
Thanks for both your replies – after a bit of evaluation, I decided to remain with DEVONthink’s custom metadata for now since I’ll need information normal reference manager software can’t easily handle (permissions to use documents under certain circumstances etc). It’s nicely accessible in all places I would have expected so far, thanks to the development team for that!