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Bookends Reviews

06 April 2021

Reference management and bibliography software.

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Meitnik
Meitnik
Apr 5 2021
13.5.3
4.0
Apr 5 2021
4.0
Version: 13.5.3
Wow, finally "Set the font and font size for PDF comments in Preferences" Am legally blind so this is much valued fix.
Maddogiam66
Maddogiam66
May 27 2019
13.2.3
4.0
May 27 2019
4.0
Version: 13.2.3
Great app. Use it with my Word docs and works flawlessly. Been around forever.
lawmom
lawmom
Oct 13 2018
13.1.3
4.5
Oct 13 2018
4.5
Version: 13.1.3
Nice program!
Tedg
Tedg
Jun 26 2018
13.1
5.0
Jun 26 2018
5.0
Version: 13.1
Been using for many years, usually with Nisus, but sometimes Word and Mellel. It has never let me down. I've tried others and nothing else works as well. Constantly updated. Support is fantastic.
Nontroppo
Nontroppo
Jan 29 2018
13.0.5
5.0
Jan 29 2018
5.0
Version: 13.0.5
Microsoft released a major rewrite of Word, which broke compatibility with Endnote and Bookends. Bookends had a workaround available to users in hours, and has been updated (V13.0.5, and a backport for V12 users too!) now to fix this . Endnote? Forces users to run beta software and no ETA when an official fix will come. This just gives you a flavour of the difference in support you will receive with both pieces of software (apart from the fact Bookends is far more powerful than Endnote, and far cheaper).
chancellor
chancellor
Dec 1 2017
13.0.0
4.5
Dec 1 2017
4.5
Version: 13.0.0
Bookends may not be the prettiest software out there but it does the job done. The support is outstanding with the main developer being super-responsive. The community is booming on the forums with a lot of people writing scripts or filters for the others. Bookends has a VERY comprehensive format editor/generator. The manual is something like 450 pages long. The software is also very stable despite being a new major release (as of 01.12.2017, v13.0). I also find Bookends support in almost any third-party software (where applicable) which is a nice surprise as well. The only thing I miss there is the ability to insert a citation without fully switching to BK. Something like Magic Citations in Papers (from which I switched to BK, hence I might be spoiled). This and the somewhat old-looking interface are the reasons I cut half the star.
ealvarez-1
ealvarez-1
Nov 22 2017
13.0.0
5.0
Nov 22 2017
5.0
Version: 13.0.0
I'm using Bookends for more than 10 years. Since then, the developper has stayed focused on its software with regular updates and the support is just great. Clearly one of my best choice of software.
Dellu
Dellu
Nov 21 2017
13.0.0
5.0
Nov 21 2017
5.0
Version: 13.0.0
Best reference manager ever.

I have tried all of them. I like Zotero. I also use BibDesk and Jabref for my latex references. I have been user of Sente for many years. I have also used Papers for a while. But, Bookends stands as the richest and most reliable of all. I love the Global tools that help me to manipulate my references.
The automatic data extraction has gone from DOI to Justor and recently even to iSBN. You don't have to go and search for reference data from Google Scholar. It magically picks the data from the PDF and autfills it.
Cassady
Cassady
Nov 18 2017
13.0.0
5.0
Nov 18 2017
5.0
Version: 13.0.0
Well, probably the best supported, and as a result, flexible, reference managers on the Mac just received a significant update. I purchased it immediately, with a fair amount of relief. Relief since Bookends is easily the most frequently updated applications of all my Mac apps, and I had been wanting to pay again, as appreciation for all the work that is put in to both the Mac (and iOS companion) application. If you are looking for a reference manager, across iOS and macOS, look no further. The others might be bigger, but how many of them frequently pose a question in their forums asking how many would support a user-request change, and then implement that change within weeks, if not days? Bookends has been in existence since the very early days - and it shows, in a mature and powerful app that often is an example of "way more than what you expect under the hood"!
GranadoMJ
GranadoMJ
Nov 12 2017
13.0.0
0.0
Nov 12 2017
0.0
Version: 13.0.0
Actually I like what I see from this new version (13.0) thus far. I've always had a license for Bookends, but ended up gravitating towards Papers (so many years ago till the 2nd version started crashing), followed by Sente (till it stopped receiving regular updates a couple of years ago), and now Mendeley. However, now that people using Macs are having problems with Mendeley on HIgh Sierra (with no official support for 10.12 or 10.13), I've begun revisiting Bookends. I always had problems with how Bookends managed and viewed PDFs, which is where Sente and Mendeley excelled (full screen, tabbed views, easy to read, simple and straightforward UI, etc).

This new version of Bookends (along with its reputation of always being updated with stellar support) has me hopeful. I don't have a license for this new version, but I'm going to spend the better part of the next 30 days or so experimenting with it to see how it goes. In the end, I'm not so sure if there really is any viable alternatives on the Mac right now (and don't talk to me about Endnote). Unless Mendeley gets updated or Readcube finally puts it together, I'm going to seriously look at Bookends and I like what I see thus far. We'll see after a month or so.
Nontroppo
Nontroppo
Nov 12 2017
13.0.0
5.0
Nov 12 2017
5.0
Version: 13.0.0
Bookends is overall the best reference manager for macOS. The major advantage lies in the fact its database engine is the most flexible/accessible, allowing powerful group editing of the reference data. Bookends has been continuously developed for the Mac since 1984, and still receives regular updates. In V13 there have been major improvements to the way you can view and annotate PDFs. For example, there is a sticky tab bar for multiple reference PDFs so you can quickly add several PDFs then switch between them effortlessly, while being able to view the annotations note stream (metadata about your PDF annotations are automagically extracted into the main database for you). Full screen is now contextual, if you are editing reference lists, it opens into the reference list, if you have a PDF panel open, it opens into the PDF. The automated Pubmed search has been improved, and it greatly enhances the speed at which we can scan through new potentially interesting references. There are many more interesting features and Bookends really offers the best mix of detailed reference management, search interface, PDF handling, flexible bibliography generation and more.
bdikkat
bdikkat
Nov 12 2017
13.0.0
0.0
Nov 12 2017
0.0
Version: 13.0.0
Might as well be a subscription now, because that's what these regular price hikes amount to. Or perhaps you could see it as a dilute form of extortion: if you want a 64-bit app (i.e., if you want to keep running the software into 2018), then cough up $40 (*evil laugh*). Not sure it's a wise move, as it may persuade some to just pirate the thing (which is not recommended, unless you want alien custard pouring out of your Mac at some point). So what's new? Well the dev finally worked out how to allow you to actually view PDFs. Whoopee. There's also some stuff like "New AppleEvent for getting the name and paths of attachments".. Really? Is he rambling in code? It's good, but it's not gold dust (except for the developer maybe). Sigh. Oh well, in for a penny...
Deibel
Deibel
Feb 3 2017
12.7.8
5.0
Feb 3 2017
5.0
Version: 12.7.8
Best publication database out there, I am impressed by both programme and support. Very stable and functional. I like the new iCloud Sync to Bookends for iOS, giving me access to all metadata and pdfs on the go: awesome.

I also know Mendeley (ok, but ugly and Elsevier), Papers (own V1, 2 and 3, and while V1 was ok, just a bit buggy, I would not recommend the newer versions), Jabref (Non-native but reliable) and Bibdesk (native, free, I like it, but BE has the powerful sync which is difficult to beat).

Bookends: highly recommended.
ES.knight
ES.knight
Dec 28 2016
12.7.7
5.0
Dec 28 2016
5.0
Version: 12.7.7
Awesome tool for writhing thesis, I was wondering how Bookends would work with my MS Word '16. So, the app surpassed all my expectations. It works great perfectly storing all my books references.
cmezes
cmezes
Oct 10 2016
12.7.5
5.0
Oct 10 2016
5.0
Version: 12.7.5
I used Mellel (writing) and Bookends (reference management) to write my PhD thesis. Both applications were very reliable over the years. The developer of Bookends was very responsive when I had questions or discovered small bugs. Of course I still use Bookends (mostly when researching and writing papers) and I think it is a very valuable tool for researchers.
Ervins Strauhmanis
Ervins Strauhmanis
Aug 10 2016
12.7.4
5.0
Aug 10 2016
5.0
Version: 12.7.4
As owner of EndNote X5 and X6, and its ex-user, I find Bookends to be more straightforward and user friendly. People at Sonny Software are friendly and responsive too. Highly recommended for any earnest writer—whether you are writing a blog, a research paper, or a book. And it costs less than EndNote too!
michelphilips5771
michelphilips5771
Jun 14 2016
12.7.1
4.0
Jun 14 2016
4.0
Version: 12.7.1
Bookends really helps me a lot! It is very brilliant and easy to use. I just spend little time to learn this app and now i can use it very skillful.
Alvin-H
Alvin-H
Jun 11 2016
12.7.1
5.0
Jun 11 2016
5.0
Version: 12.7.1
i love this app, even looks scary on first run, after learn a bit, i can handle it, so i just concentrate to what i what to write not how to write and find reference. i've try the others but found this one is better than what i ever try, trust me download the trial, learn how to use it, the next day you'll enjoy it
Sherman-Wilcox
Sherman-Wilcox
Apr 25 2016
12.7
5.0
Apr 25 2016
5.0
Version: 12.7
I've tried all of them. Don't do that. Buy Bookends, use Bookends. Your writing and your brain will appreciate it. Great app, incredibly excellent tech support.
Luoto
Luoto
Dec 19 2015
12.6.3
5.0
Dec 19 2015
5.0
Version: 12.6.3
Incredibly useful and powerful software. Will I ever learn it all as it is just so giving. Support is amazing; even when it feels one is asking dumb questions. Probably one of the best support experiences to date with software.
fukurokujo
fukurokujo
Nov 9 2015
12.6.1
1.0
Nov 9 2015
1.0
Version: 12.6.1
worse than using bibdesk etc. by hand
Causeypike
Causeypike
Feb 17 2015
12.5.1
5.0
Feb 17 2015
5.0
Version: 12.5.1
It's a huge pleasure to review Bookends 12. It is an excellent update to a brilliant program. I have extensively used/tried Endnote, Papers (Papers2, Papers3), Sente, Mendeley and others over the years. I have a large database of >11,000 references, many with PDFs linked. I've therefore needed a flexible, speedy and absolutely robust database system for references, with easy importing and handling, and easy bibliography generation. Bookends scores massively in all these areas. It is very fast, and lean on resources. It is bombproof, and crashproof (EndNote in my experience has always been dogged by crashes and awkwardness). Compared to Papers3 it is lightning fast on searches, finding references quickly and easily. It integrates well with word processors (though the Papers system of citing into any document is clever). I like the flexible built-in browser, the new clip-to-bookends bookmarklet for when I forget to use the built-in browser, and the great PDF handling. It was always nice to display PDFs in the main window of bookends, and now being able to click on the 'paperclip' in the main ref window and launch straight into Preview or Adobe Reader is even better. I also love the ease of customising reference styles. If I'm making a new output style for a grant or paper, it's easy and intuitive. Trying to do the editing for Papers2 and Papers3 took ages, lots of fiddling, and generally a bit of extra swearing. Bookends: quick, easy, obvious. Genius. Above all else, it has Jon. The best support ever, the most responsive designer, and the most courteous service. This really is the outstanding reference manager for Macs. It's been around a while, and others have tried to beat it, but in my experience none come close for speed, reliability, and overall performance. Version 12 has the added advantage of being simpler in layout and look, and a pleasure to use.
Carmelopap
Carmelopap
Feb 17 2015
12.5.1
5.0
Feb 17 2015
5.0
Version: 12.5.1
Bookends is the best.
Shiny22
Shiny22
Jan 4 2014
12.0.7
4.5
Jan 4 2014
4.5
Version: 12.0.7
Been using Bookends for more than a year now and still sometimes feel that I'm really only scratching the surface - it's the powerful an app. It does the basics very well. Input your sources and you can cite while you write, then scan the document at the end and produce in-text properly constructed citations and a bibliography. That alone makes it worth the price. It also has extensive notes, key wording, ratings and other categorisation tools and it links into other apps like DevonThink. I manage Citations on Bookends and data in DTP. If I had to nitpick: I'd like to be able to choose what fields appear in what tab - for instance, have the ISBN on the main tab of the inspector rather than as additional info - and I've not found a way to do this. That Inspector pane is not the prettiest either. There: a couple of nits, picked. There is a learning curve, and it take take a while to get the hang of some of it, but well worth the effort. That's true of all citation managers. That said, a robust citation manager that does exactly what it says on the tin, with extraordinary support (issues resolved within hours in my case) and well worth the money. By comparison I've used Sente, End Note, Zotero at different times but keep coming back to BE.
ChrisM9317
ChrisM9317
Oct 12 2013
12.0.5
3.5
Oct 12 2013
3.5
Version: 12.0.5
Always wanted this.
Sherman-Wilcox
Sherman-Wilcox
Sep 29 2013
12.0.5
5.0
Sep 29 2013
5.0
Version: 12.0.5
Bookends is the best. I've tried them all -- Papers, Sente, Endnote. All have nice features (well, it's hard to say that about Endnote). But Bookends has it all: power features, reliability, exceptional customer support, and a long history of continued development and refinement. It may not be the prettiest of the bunch (but Jon is constantly improving that as well, as in this latest update), but this class of application is one where function is more important than style.
Mar6473
Mar6473
Jul 4 2013
12.0.1
3.0
Jul 4 2013
3.0
Version: 12.0.1
I don't get it. Bookends is so unpleasant to look at. It seems useful, but if I'm going to use a reference manager with such an unsightly UI, I'd just use Endnote. I guess there should be a category to rate the aesthetics of an application. Bookends is functional, but has not even been updated Retina displays. I bought version 10, and now I'm using Sente. It's too bad. Some developers need to hire a designer to help them out a bit. I acknowledge that it has great support too, but people use Macs because they're functional AND visually pleasing.
pprofpopp
pprofpopp
Jun 18 2013
12.0.0
5.0
Jun 18 2013
5.0
Version: 12.0.0
A definite 5 stars. BE11 is one of my most used and best loved software progs and I have just bought BE12. Really looking forward to it. And HUGE praise for Jon at Sonny who must provide the best software support on the planet. Reference manager no-brainer. If you are still using Endnote etc, run while you still can :-) OK bit much maybe :-) but Bookends is the Biz!
Androse
Androse
Jan 12 2013
11.3.5
5.0
Jan 12 2013
5.0
Version: 11.3.5
The best bibliography/reference manager... and it keeps getting better. The best support on the planet. I have a database with over 25,000 references and Bookends handles it with ease. If you are in the market for a bibliography/reference manager look no further.
spacejockey
spacejockey
Sep 8 2012
11.3.2
5.0
Sep 8 2012
5.0
Version: 11.3.2
I use Bookends together with Mellel for my dissertation and the integration of both apps is very good. My favorite feature: Live Bibliography. Bookends support is very good and fast.
Tedg
Tedg
Aug 21 2012
11.3.1
5.0
Aug 21 2012
5.0
Version: 11.3.1
I've tried them all. This is just the very best in features and usability. But I need to mention the very best aspect of this software, and that is the support. Chances are that you will use this the way I do, for mission critical professional work. If something goes wrong, you just cannot diddle. Sonny Software responded quickly when I got into trouble. They didn't even get upset that a good part of the problem was me. You need someone like this covering you. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
Markus-Winter
Markus-Winter
Aug 13 2012
11.3.1
5.0
Aug 13 2012
5.0
Version: 11.3.1
I just started a new project (BRAF V600E mutation in cancer) and did a literature search in BookEnds. There were a few little problems which sometimes the author literally fixed within minutes and provided me with a new build - I'm amazed that he managed to stay calm as I must have driven him bonkers with all my requests for improvements or changes (I sometimes send 5 mails within 10 minutes) and I can be quite argumentative ;-) The absolute killer feature for me is the "import pdf from internet (if available)". Out of 3337 citations in my library 1084 now have a pdf of the article attached without me needing to do anything - and if I can figure out how to use the library subscription to access the PDFs on ScienceDirect etc then Bookends should be able to get many more for me without the need for my involvement. I still haven't used all the features - not by a long shot - but usability and support alone make this a 5 star app!
pprofpopp
pprofpopp
Aug 3 2012
11.3.1
5.0
Aug 3 2012
5.0
Version: 11.3.1
After 30 years in the Endnote wilderness I moved to Bookends for my macs. What a joy! So intuitive, so easy but with plenty of 'complexity' and deeper features that are there when I need them. Easy to synch across my iMac, air and iPad too using sugarsync or dropbox. But the 5 stars apply particularly for the outstandingly fast and helpful user support from Jon at sonny software. As a brand new user, no question has been too 'obvious' and nothing has been too much trouble. If only all software and support was like this. LOVE IT!!!
OsloX
OsloX
May 19 2012
11.2.9
5.0
May 19 2012
5.0
Version: 11.2.9
Great app and essential academic writing tool. Though a lower price setting would mean more people can use this. @devs: please consider this.
André-Salval
André-Salval
Apr 9 2012
11.2.7
5.0
Apr 9 2012
5.0
Version: 11.2.7
I changed the way I manage my bibliography on Mac with this program. You can store your scientific articles, with attached pdf easily and quickly. No more renaming of pdf, you can even retrieve name and every info of a paper simply by searching from the web. It's also useful when you are writing a scientific paper, in building rapidly the references. 5 stars.
prLab
prLab
Feb 16 2012
11.2.6
0.0
Feb 16 2012
0.0
Version: 11.2.6
Sente is $35.
Ollie1972
Ollie1972
Jan 15 2012
11.2.4
4.0
Jan 15 2012
4.0
Version: 11.2.4
Nice. Works as advertised.
Haliomaster
Haliomaster
Jan 8 2012
11.2.3
5.0
Jan 8 2012
5.0
Version: 11.2.3
This is a great app but why is it so expensive? I would certainly buy a license when it was half priced.
Hervé1
Hervé1
Dec 20 2011
11.2.2
4.5
Dec 20 2011
4.5
Version: 11.2.2
It is so great that I switched from EndNote I had been using for more that 15 years. All the features you need for bibliography management. Nice an powerful. Great job!!!!!
Robeesvk
Robeesvk
Dec 17 2011
11.2.1
0.0
Dec 17 2011
0.0
Version: 11.2.1
I am a very satisfied user of Bookends On Tap...been following Bookends development for quite a while, interface is little bit unpolished (compared to Sente 6.5 preview), but Jon's approach and iPhone app beat it... one thing I am quite worried about, I had previous version during my time at university, now I think about buying my own, as I have more Macs, buying on Mac App Store seems like easy solution...but...Sandboxing...one does not have to be a developer to know it will be quite a challenge to keep Bookends there with similar functionality...and 80 Euros is some amount of money I hope Jon will find some sort of solution (he is currently the only one offering his product there, Sente and Papers teams are not interested)
the7thcity
the7thcity
Nov 19 2011
11.2
4.0
Nov 19 2011
4.0
Version: 11.2
I had a little trouble at first because of the marvelous capabilities of this program. But those difficulties were taken care of by simple emails to the support staff who helped me at all times of the day. I really like how you can search for items. This factor has allowed me to do a lot of research in a short time. The real savior is the bibliography that the footnotes create. If you are a student who types a lot of papers this is a must have.
Jxj24
Jxj24
Oct 28 2011
11.2
5.0
Oct 28 2011
5.0
Version: 11.2
Bookends is so good that I actually switched to it from EndNote even though I was in the middle of a huge project. I was able to complete the switch in less than two hours, including converting my existing reference database and creating the citation style I needed. (It would be nice if I could have found a way to import my existing custom citation styles, or if I could locate an online repository of them.)
Vkubalkova
Vkubalkova
Oct 8 2011
11.1.7
0.0
Oct 8 2011
0.0
Version: 11.1.7
I have had major problems when we changed to the Lion. I bought it for the second time with a bundle and it works but I hate the idea that yu have to buy a think twice
plainprogrammer
plainprogrammer
Oct 3 2011
11.1.7
4.0
Oct 3 2011
4.0
Version: 11.1.7
Bookends is a great product, it is an essential part of my academic writing, especially as I have begun work on my Master's Thesis and am looking beyond that to my eventual PhD dissertation. No other tool is more helpful in keep all your sources under control and easily useable in your writing process. It's only downside is that it's interface feels clunky and inefficient at times.
Joulemark
Joulemark
Sep 11 2011
11.1.7
4.0
Sep 11 2011
4.0
Version: 11.1.7
I can't find ~/Library/Application Support/Bookends/Tutorial Files/Tutorial Import 1 Am I the idiot?
sbrenner
sbrenner
Sep 1 2011
11.1.7
3.0
Sep 1 2011
3.0
Version: 11.1.7
I can't make my mind between Sente, EndNote, Bookends, and Mendeley. The primary thing I want to use it for is storing .pdf journal articles I collect so that I can find them later on. Can anyone give me a somewhat unbiased opinion as to which imports .pdf's and parse the title, author etc.? Most of my articles are going to be social sciences from Jstor, no PubMed at all. Thanks, Scott
anonymous-dingo-5566
anonymous-dingo-5566
Aug 11 2011
11.1.6
5.0
Aug 11 2011
5.0
Version: 11.1.6
I have to give my highest recommendation to this company. The developer, Jon, is excellent. He's patient and answers all questions. He's goes the extra distance to help you out. The product functions great. It's efficient and works with many word processors, including Pages. Another key point is that educational discounts are available. As a student who has needed to purchases hundreds of dollars worth of programs in this last year, every bit of savings helps. Thanks for a great product and excellent customer service.
Peternsteinmetz
Peternsteinmetz
Mar 17 2011
11.1.3
5.0
Mar 17 2011
5.0
Version: 11.1.3
I recently tried many of the reference managers for the Mac, including Sente, Papers. I ended up staying with Bookends, principally because it has the best combination of features with keywords, groups, attached documents, etc. The program has many features that aren't clearly documented in the user manual, though they are often obvious enough to try, like dragging a keyword from the keyword list onto a group of selected references to add them to those references. Recent improvements in finding and downloading articles from the pubmed web search make that aspect a snap. And as I've noted before, the support by the developer is great.
Tharpold
Tharpold
Jan 30 2011
11.1.2
4.0
Jan 30 2011
4.0
Version: 11.1.2
A splendid, invaluable app for anyone who needs this kind of thing. (And, as I insist to my students, every high school, university, grad student, and instructor or researcher needs this kind of thing :-) ) More capable and reliable than its competition, and Jon's support is exemplary. I've been using bibliographic database apps, of my own crafting or commercially-sold, for nearly 25 years. I've tried all of the competing apps for Mac OS -- Bookends is perhaps in need of a UI facelift and a few features could use some tweaking. But: I spend a good bit of my professional life in Bookends. I couldn't do my job without it.
Peternsteinmetz
Peternsteinmetz
Mar 21 2010
11.0.2
5.0
Mar 21 2010
5.0
Version: 11.0.2
Developer support continues to be great. Helped me out of a bind in grant rush deadline, even though the trouble ended up being something very funky with my system install.