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I have found out how to do that manually for each citation:

  1. unlock the bibliography for manual editing
  2. InsertBookmark before each entry

then for each citation InsertHyperlink with the corresponding bookmark as the target.

I'm looking for a way to have it done automatically when I insert citations, so that when I convert my document to PDF, the reader can just click on a reference and the document jumps to the correct bibliography entry.

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Hello Felix,

I will answer your question, but first I want to point out some considerations concerning bibliographical references and academic writing.

In general, keeping track of your bibliographical references is one of the most important elements of academic writing.

Therefore it is essential to use proper tools to ensure that your bibliographical references are manageable, and furthermore being updated automatically as you edit or insert content in your document.

From my own experience, writing my thesis some years ago, I can promise you that you are heading into serious trouble if you do not implement a bibliographical reference manager as early in the writing process as possible. In my case, I had a document, or more correctly a collection of subdocuments, that in total covered 620 pages and more than 900 entries in the bibliographical table. Most of these entries were referenced more than once. I would have gone mad if I should have managed these entries and references manually.

Answer to your question

In my view you have 4 options to choose from. The two first options are platform independent, and will work equally good/bad on Windows, Linux and Mac. Option 3 and 4 are somewhat similar.

My recommendation is option 4. This also is the recommendation of your local university: Universität Potsdam.

1. Using the built-in reference tool in OpenOffice

There is a native bibliographical reference manager in OpenOffice. However, at the present stage the functions of this tool are somewhat limited. Nevertheless, it’s possible to extend the functionality by programming this yourself.

Pros: Free.

Cons: Steep learning curve, time consuming, complicated.

More information: OpenOffice Bibliographic Project Website and Wiki. The information on these pages might be somewhat outdated. Last update of any web content was in November 2008.

2. Using the Scripting Framework in OpenOffice

As an alternative to extending the OOo bibliographical tool, you can write your own scripts/macros in OpenOffice.

Basically, with this solution you only have to record the processes/steps you already know how to do manually.

Pros: Free.

Cons: Recording the individual steps in the processes you describe is not to difficult, but might be time consuming. Programming and verifying a sequence that automatically updates as you edit/insert content, is somewhat challenging and time consuming.

More information: OpenOffice Scripting Framework Wiki -- Last updated: May 2010.

3. Using an external reference manager

There are a number of external reference managers that are compatible with OpenOffice.

The choice of reference manager depends on the OS you are using, and the amount of money you are willing to spend. There are solutions available for Windows, Linux and Mac, ranging from free open source software to proprietary solutions in the region of Euro 110 or more.

Pros: Depending on your choice. Most alternatives include automatic formatting based on templates, hyperlink between in-text references and bibliographical entries, automatic update of bibliography/references as you edit/insert content, built-in search for bibliographical entries and automatic import of selection. Basically, everything you ever wanted.

Cons: None that I know of. For most reference managers, you will need to spend a day or so getting the hang of the user interface.

More information: Comparison of reference management software --

4. Using Endnote

Endnote is the most widely used reference manager for academic writing. I myself used Endnote to manage the bibliography/references in my own thesis.

Your own university offers a free Endnote course, normally a couple of times each semester.

Pros: Everything.

Cons: None.

More information: ZEIK Kurs - Universität Potsdam -- (in German).

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Thanks for the detailed answer. Well, what I'm doing right now is #1. It works for small documents (20 pages, 10 references or so). But as far as I understand, none of your suggestions explains how I actually insert the citations as clickable hyperlinks. – Felix Dombek Oct 24 '11 at 21:02

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