Issue 10166 - Reference/bibliography management is sorely lacking
Summary: Reference/bibliography management is sorely lacking
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: code (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.0.2
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 12 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2002-12-17 13:50 UTC by praedor
Modified: 2017-05-20 11:29 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Issue Type: FEATURE
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description praedor 2002-12-17 13:50:14 UTC
I am a scientist.  My bread and butter are scientific papers and grant 
proposals.  To do this writing absolutely requires proper attribution, full 
references.  Openoffice/staroffice are of limited use to me and any 
scientist/academic/researcher because it lacks something that Word and 
Wordperfect have: reference management capability.  Granted, the 
wordprocessors themselves do not contain this ability, but they do provide the 
handles necessary for superb applications like EndNote to use to handle the 
heavy lifting.  The ONLY wordprocessor in the linux world that can do this is 
Lyx, or if you are particularly masochistic, straight LaTex with bibtex.   
  I cannot emphasize this enough.  The lack of the ability to insert 
references and generate reference pages for publication of professional 
scientific (or other research) papers renders Openoffice all but useless to 
academics, students and professors/techs alike.  I only use Openoffice for 
minor tasks (letter writing or generation of curriculum vitae) and some 
presentations.  If I want to write a scientific paper or proposal, I use Lyx.  
ALL my colleagues use Word or Wordperfect on the PC or Mac because of the 
availability of EndNote. 
  The other day I gave an Impress presentation to some colleagues.  They were 
intrigued by my use of linux for general purpose and, in particular, my use of 
Openoffice. They asked me questions about its usability, commented on its 
similarity to what they are familiar with on Windows or the Mac vis a vis 
Office, and asked me about my thoughts on it.  These were potential adoptors.  
I ultimately had to tell them that the fact that neither Openoffice nor its 
sibling Staroffice can in any way properly manage references.  Not itself and 
not through a third party app.  Thus, I had to advise them against the 
application because it simply is not suited for scientific writing in any way.   
  This is a shame and ultimately unnecessary.  Openoffice and Staroffice COULD 
handle this critical function, either by providing handles or pipes the way 
Lyx, Word, and Wordperfect do (allowing the use of third party apps like 
pybliographic and Endnote respectively) or it could gain this function 
directly.  The suite does have a bibliography function though it is ultimately 
useless.  This function could/should be revamped, perhaps adopt bibtex as its 
native reference management method?  Either build a pybliographic/EndNote 
capability into Openoffice directly or provide the pipes/handles so that third 
party developers could easily support Openoffice/Staroffice with their 
Comment 1 h.ilter 2002-12-18 11:34:26 UTC
Reassigned to ES
Comment 2 eric.savary 2002-12-19 10:40:06 UTC
Please evaluate
Comment 3 eric.savary 2003-04-16 15:33:44 UTC
Set to "NEW"
Comment 4 udippel 2003-09-15 04:16:11 UTC
Do we have a vote for OpenOffice issues ??
I have been searching the whole documentation for the last two hours
because I simply couldn't *believe* that this wouldn't exist ! I would
have set a bet on OpenOffice to have one ! Shame !

I tried so many ways around; at least you cracks at OpenOffice could
possibly identify a work-around !?

I couldn't even change the format of those End-numbers. They just come
superscript, you select what you like. 
Give us at least some incremental, auto-numbering like [1], please !
Comment 5 rblackeagle 2003-09-16 05:02:35 UTC
Please be polite.  The developers are doing a great deal and
bibliography, even if crucial for a large class of users, still is not
nearly as important for the new user as some other issues.  However,
it has been listed as "New" and not "Unconfirmed."

Having said that, I would surely like it if it could be assigned to
someone.  I have to create bibliographies by hand and add them.  The
bibiliography feature of OOo is close to useless for many publisher's
style sheets.  There DOES need to be some kind of bibliography
management program.
Comment 6 udippel 2003-09-16 15:30:19 UTC
My excuses if I wasn't. Tend trying to be perfectionist, and would
like everyone else to be same.

Thanks for your agreement. I was just writing a paper, with 26
References only. Publisher requires specific format and I had to
insert another reference, just after [1]. I said to myself that I
won't possibly search and increment [2] to [3], [3] to [4], etc, until
[26] is incremented into [27]. This should be done automatically, like
in Numbering and Bullets, when you insert a new number after 1. (Maybe
this makes it a bit clearer, what is required) Plus, the format must
be user defined, just as in Numbering and Bullets. And a link must
exist between that number and that same number on the References page.
Many publishers expect citations like [Miller, 1998] or similar. Also
then, this "Miller, 1998" needs to show up as a link on the References

Otherwise, sorry, hopeless for scientific publications.

So far I only found the superscript-numbers (no way to change the
format) referring to either foot- or endnote. I was already finding
myself experimenting with another section, with a *huge* footnote area
containing all references as endnotes, but when I didn't find a way to
change the format of those simple, superscript numbers, I gave up.

So far I impressed (pun !) my colleagues and students pretty much with
Open Office, but now I'm glad I haven't been too successful in my

Please, please, add this feature, vote for it (I did already !), so
that we can recommend Open Office in academia. Don't underestimate the
multiplication factor ! - Thanks !
Comment 7 hakova 2005-09-19 01:45:15 UTC
I agree that there must be a plug-in for Writer to work with Endnote and/or 
Reference Manager. Unfortunately, the above-mentioned software are not open 
source, nor they have linux versions; therefore the task is a little bit more 
complicated than building the plug-in. I realize the difficulty/impracticality 
to incorporate any reference management software/utility to the Open Office 
suite. However, any reference management utility embedded in Writer that is 
shorter than one with internet database (such as PubMed, Genome, etc.) search 
tools would not attract scientific community to the Open Office suite.  I would 
personally rather use Crossover Office instead, to produce scientific papers.
Comment 8 bettina.haberer 2007-09-26 16:01:02 UTC
Hi Mathias, I have changed the current owner to your owner. Please take the
ownership of these enhancements.
Comment 9 praedor 2007-09-26 16:23:49 UTC
While it would be very nice to have this functionality built-in, for now I 
have found Bibus.  Bibus, though somewhat of a pain to setup, works much like 
EndNote with MS Word.  It will use citation styles and generate the reference 
list/bibliography at the end of the document as with EndNote.  Bibus CAN be 
somewhat temperamental to get running but once running works rather well.
Comment 10 karasu 2009-01-31 21:24:09 UTC
I strongly recommend Zotero for this:

Zotero is an open-source citation manager that runs in Firefox and supports a
bunch of proprietary formats. It offers OOo Writer integration that currently
relies on an unsupported Basic plugin and has proven to be less than entirely
robust, but I've been using it for months more or less happily. There is more
robust OOo Writer integration in the works using a Python plugin that should be
released shortly.
Comment 11 Marcus 2017-05-20 11:29:57 UTC
Reset assigne to the default "".