Years ago I began using EndNote. I had visions of organizational glory—cataloging my personal library, organizing research logs, and effortlessly populating research reports with perfectly formatted citations. Then along came Evidence Explained. Not only did it supersede the Chicago Manual of Style for genealogical work, but established new citation styles for which no bibliography software currently provided formats. I was somewhat chastened, but undeterred, and still enamored of organizational glory.

From EndNote, I moved on to Bookends—more features, less expensive. Its format definition language is more flexible than EndNote’s. But I had no spare time to develop an entirely new one for Evidence Explained. Someone probably will someday and genealogists will undoubtedly benefit. Until then, however, bibliography software—whether EndNote, Bookends, ProCite, et all—is not yet up to the task. And I am reluctant to spend more money to experiment with the latest and greatest solution.

But a few weeks ago I discovered another bibliography manager, Zotero. It runs in the Firefox browser as a plug-in. Not only is it intelligently designed and easy to use, but the price is right—free. My search may be over. I am happily cataloging my library. Try it. You’ll like it. Evidence Explained formats can wait.

Copyright © 2010 Donald W. Moore. All rights reserved

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