Fedora & Academia/Research: Referencing/bibliography management software on Fedora?


I am currently looking for a good referencing management software (or more generally: referencing management possibility) to be used on Fedora.

The first thing I have in mind is always Zotero (I used it before but in a setting/environment that is no longer eligible). Yet, Zotero is not in the repos and the way I have to install it is everything but a good practice: no dedicated testing, no auto updates, just copy the executable, etc. I was thinking on creating a container to have the zotero-related stuff and related software in an isolated environment (including a Firefox with the Zotero add-on, which seems to not be contained in Firefox’s repo for unknown reasons), but before doing something that is itself time-intensive to setup and automate, I thought it makes sense to ask:

How do other researchers manage their bibliography / references on their Fedora? What software do you use? How do you integrate it in your Fedora? (Do we maybe have something in our repositories?)

Thanks :slight_smile:

I know one of my family members (science researcher) uses toolsets around LaTeX. BibTeX or BibLaTeX (.bib file) are recommended for bibliographies if you use LaTeX for writing for journals or scientific papers.

For reference management, you could search them in Fedora package repo and evaluate BibDesk, EndNote, JabRef, Mendeley, or RefWorks yourself as I’m not users of those reference managers. Good luck. I found JabRef and Mendeley in Flathub.

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Do you use TeX/LaTeX/ConTeXt/BiBTeX? Best Linux Reference Manager Software include Zotero.

I have used bibtex-compatible reference managers KBibTeX and JabRef, but not since retiring 5 years ago. I moved to biber and biblatex for UTF8 text support but many tools (and publishers) didn’t support UTF8 for LaTeX submissions, and insisted on MS Word.

Available Packages
Name         : kbibtex
Version      : 0.10.0
Release      : 3.fc39
Architecture : x86_64
Size         : 3.7 M
Source       : kbibtex-0.10.0-3.fc39.src.rpm
Repository   : fedora
Summary      : A BibTeX editor for KDE
URL          : https://userbase.kde.org/KBibTeX
License      : GPLv2+
Description  : The program KBibTeX is a bibliography editor for KDE. Its main purpose is to
             : provide a user-friendly interface to BibTeX files.

I don’t see a Fedora package for jabref, but it is on flathub.

Before retiring, I worked with many different groups, each using different reference managers, so often needed to import/export entries. The bibtex format is widely supported, but often needed manual fixups when importing and exporting to other systems. Even when journals offered bibtex format references, they often had issues with non-English names, etc.

One annoyance was that reference managers provided by distros were configured to use the distro TeX packages, so needed reconfiguration to work with CTAN TeX Live on distros that had outdated TeX Live packages.

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I didn’t know that one! I just check it out and it seems to fit my needs, and the packages seem to be kept updated in Fedora.

Flatpaks currently don’t work reliably in SELinux confined environments. Also, unfortunately, all biblio management packages I found there (including Zotero) have been already marked for directly or indirectly containing security or stability issues. Sadly a common issue with flatpaks. That’s the two reasons why I unfortunately cannot rely on flatpaks/flathub.

However, I think kbibtex can be the solution for me. The .bib format also offers many possibilities to be converted to other formats by other tools available here in order to mitigate the different needs of publishers and such, at least a little. When it comes to MS Word submissions, well, there is no elegant way to get it done anyway imho :frowning: For now, it looks like everything I have/need is available in .bib. Let’s see how it develops with that :slight_smile:

Thanks both of you for your suggestions!!!