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What small database for scientific papers can be recommended?

I just need a small way of handling a list of a few hundred (maybe 300 tops) scientific papers. I have author (often more than one on one paper), title, publication, some publication details (year, number, ...).

I need something I can put it in, and then for example, for an author list all that he has authored or coauthored. Or search for some word in title, and then get all titles containing it. You know, relatively basic stuff (I hope ?).

Also, is this maybe possible in Excel? (I've searched, but I couldn't find a way really to do it).

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@Pinky: some authors don't have any Y chromosomes. –  Peter Mortensen Feb 20 '10 at 0:01
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7 Answers

How about using Mendeley?

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Mendeley Desktop is academic software that indexes and organizes all of your PDF documents and research papers into your own personal digital bibliography. It gathers document details from your PDFs allowing you to effortlessly search, organize and cite. It also looks up PubMed, CrossRef, DOIs and other related document details automatically. Drag and drop functionality makes populating the library quick and easy. The Web Importer allows you to quickly and easily import papers from resources such as Google Scholar, ACM, IEEE and many more at the click of a button.

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I don't think that's what he's looking for ... Mendeley is for handling pdf/doc/... documents which you have. I think he just wants to handle a reference database. –  ldigas Feb 19 '10 at 23:42
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Yes he does. Mendeley exports/searches/shares references as well. No need to actually have the documents, although it helps with the auto-indexing. –  lorenzog Feb 19 '10 at 23:58
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Excel could do this, but it would take quite a bit of finagling to make it work (and probably some scripting and/or pivot tables).

If you are handy with OFfice in general you could fairly easily do this in Access, however, I find Access sometimes overly difficult to get nice looking reports -- although the newer 2007 templates seem to be really decent out of the box.

I would wager that Access will be your best bet in this scenario because it has fairly decent database connectivity drawing tools (makes it really easy to connect the cross-referencing data between your table of papers, authors, etc). You also wont find yourself having to learn SQL this route. And in a database this small, I doubt you'd ever run into problems with Access. Personally I'm not too handy with Access, but our IR department where I work use it for this sort of stuff all the time on our alumni & student contact data.

However, if you are a programmer or don't have Access, you could always use my personal favorite database software even for small projects: PHP/MySQL. It is probably overkill for what you are looking at doing, but you could grab Xampp (which has php, mysql, and phpMyAdmin all bundled into one package). Basically you just load all your data with phpMyAdmin and use php to format your reports.

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Well, if you really want to keep things simple, I'd suggest just bumping everything in a text file, and using a search function.

Vim's ":g/..." could make this relatively easy to manage.

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Actually, Mendeley is the one in this line, but there, importing (new) pdfs into lib is a pain. There is folder watch thing, which is envisaged to do this job, but doesnt work quite often...

There is a sync function, but allowed online storage is meager 500MB in a free account, which is definitely not upto ur demand.

But I must say that its very close to what you want. If in future the software take care of above things, then it'll be the one.

Yes, there are other like Zotero, citeulike etc but are web based...

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We have used EndNote (commercial) for many years. A free alternative is Zotero, but I have no experience using it.

I think you are looking for Reference management software. Wikipedia has a page comparing 27 different programs for this purpose.

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I would second idigas' suggestion of using a plain text file. Put your entry in Bibtex format, and use the search feature of your favourite text editor.

Easy, Simple, cheap, resilient, and you can plug it straight into your Latex documents when you come to it. (Even if you don't need this now, it will make a lot simpler in case you do in the future.)

You can also dig around on the net for a Bibtext file management program, which interface with your references in a nice GUI way. Start here.

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Calibre might be useful to you. Its a bit more robust than what you are asking for, but that might be a good thing. Calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books.

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