Using Word2007/2003 to make a bibliography
May 15, 2008 12:01 AM   Subscribe

Word 2007 vs. 2003: It's complicated to go back-and-forth! Help me write my dissertation, please!

So, I'm a grad student working tirelessly on my dissertation. At home I work with Word 2007 and at the university I'm using 2003. I just started using the citation mechanism in 2007, inputted a few books, and really started to get the hang of this as a useful too. However, as you probably know, when I switch to 2003 (I have the converter installed), all those citations are converted to static text.

Is there any way around this?
If not, what free software do you reccomend for standardizing citations and keeping them in a database?

Sure do appreciate any thoughts...
Thanks a lot!
posted by mateuslee to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've heard good things about RefWorks. My university offers it free to its students; maybe your place does, too?
posted by phunniemee at 12:21 AM on May 15, 2008

Maybe this page will be helpful, too?

There's also BibTex, which may or may not accomplish what you want.
posted by phunniemee at 12:25 AM on May 15, 2008

But wait! There's more!

(OK, I'm done now.)
posted by phunniemee at 12:30 AM on May 15, 2008

There are other software packages, but Endnote is the standard. You might have access to academic licensing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:36 AM on May 15, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks Phunniemee, the first link requires login info and the second seems a bit too complicated for me... though the third link seems great... I'll check it out now. Thanks!
posted by mateuslee at 12:39 AM on May 15, 2008

Response by poster: Actually, none of those worked out...
posted by mateuslee at 1:00 AM on May 15, 2008

This keeps coming up here. Zotero is your best bet. I've been through a few reference managers. Zotero is one I'll be sticking with for a while because it's a rare example of really good software. Yes, it does have word integration.

Endnote is user-unfriendly, dreadful, bad software. Most people I know that use it hate it but are unwilling to move to something else because they've been conditioned to accept the pain it inflicts. Yeah, an overstatement, but not by much.
posted by singingfish at 1:38 AM on May 15, 2008

Strangely Sente isn't on the Wiki comparison lists. It's OSX only, but fantastically good, and doesn't require Firefox, unlike Zotero.
posted by roofus at 2:13 AM on May 15, 2008

Seconding BibTex as a generally useful thing; seconding NOT using EndNote. I use JabRef as my interface to BibTex, since I like its usefulness as a reference database manager. I hear it can be integrated into Word plus or minus a little complication, though I haven't tried this myself.

This is only indirectly related, and you may know better already, but this bears repeating because the failure mode is so awful: back this thing up. I can't tell you how many times I've seen "Lost laptop - contained only copy of thesis - reward" posters on campus, and Word can and will eat your documents if you show any signs of weakness. Keep one copy on a laptop, one on a desktop, one on your friend's desktop, one on an external drive, one on your campus network file system of choice, one in a sealed vault underground, and one on the moon.
posted by DoubleMark at 5:43 AM on May 15, 2008

Theses are written in latex, not word. There is a reason for this, and it largely revolves around quality of output and avoiding the pain you are about to inflict upon yourself. I am forced to use Word at work (engineering job) and it is 10x more pain than latex ever was... particularly the "oh yeah, it crashes if you have too many formulae; no we can't fix it" thing.

Tools like LyX make the whole latex thing much much easier than it used to be, i.e. you don't actually have to know all the latex markup codes (though they're not hard - about on par with learning html). And obviously one uses BibTeX with it for managing references.
posted by polyglot at 5:53 AM on May 15, 2008

I'm a fan of Zotero, but have you considered just investing in a laptop? You could keep your dissertation in one place (and one application) that way. It would also be handy for working on your dissertation at other locations (the library, in the field, at the bar!).
posted by wheat at 6:05 AM on May 15, 2008

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