Staying Organised with CiteULike and BibDesk

I recently started using CiteULike to keep track of papers I read. For those not familiar with it, it deems itself to be “a free online service to organise your academic papers”. In contrast to my offline bibliography organising tool, BibDesk, a service like this has at least three main advantages:

Like Yaroslav, who also uses CiteULike as part of his larger strategy for staying organised, I have started using the Notes field for entries to keep track of important theorems, equations and cross-references of papers that I go over more than once.

Of course, once you’ve collected a bunch of papers you can also export your bibliography as BibTeX or RIS so your can include citations in your papers. This is especially convenient with BibDesk. All I do is open a “New External File Group” in BibDesk and point it to the URL for my CiteULike account: BibDesk keeps track of which external entries have or haven’t been imported into your offline BibTeX file making it easy to quickly build a conference specific bibliography.

I find this BibDesk and CiteULike combination the best of both worlds as it reduces the amount of data entry I need to do while still making it easy to push citations to TextMate or LyX when I’m writing.

Mark Reid February 7, 2008 Canberra, Australia
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