Using a Mac to do your academic work? Here’s a brief tutorial on how to optimize your day-to-day dealings with academic citations, by integrating Bibdesk, Textmate, Quicksilver and Scholar. Below, you’ll find instructions on how to set up all these neat little tricks.
Quicksilver Web Search. After you download Quicksilver (free) and open the preferences window, go to Plug-ins > All Plug-ins, and check the box next to “Web Search Module.” Restart Quicksilver. Go to Catalog, click the “+” at the bottom-left, and select “Web Search List.” A new pane should appear (if not, click the little i), in which you can add any number of web-search shortcuts by clicking the other “+” appearing above “Source Options” on the new pane. Just go to any search box (such as Google Scholar) and search for “***“, and copy resulting page’s URL. Paste it in the web-search shortcut you just created in Quicksilver under “URL.” Under “Name,” write something useful like “GoogleScholar.” Finally, rescan your catalog by clicking the circular-arrow in the bottom right. That’s it! To search for stuff, just invoke Quicksilver, hit “.” (period) to enter text, hit Tab, start typing “Find with”, hit Tab again, and start typing “GoogleScholar.”
Even more useful — if you want to use a secure remote access service (like VPN) to search for articles from home, just log into VPN before going searching for “***” in Google Scholar. When you first search for something, you’ll have to enter your username and password. But in every search after that, you’ll have your regular access to secure articles.
Bibtex Records on Google Scholar. You won’t see these unless you actually set them up. Log into your Google account, go to Google Scholar, and click the “Scholar Preferences” link next to the search box. Click the dial that says, “Show links to import citations” and select “BibTex” from the drop-down menu. Now you’ll see that useful BibTex link below all your search results.
Bibdesk. You can download this beautiful little app for free from Sourceforge. If you copy a bibtex citation record to the clipboard, you can add it automatically to Bibdesk by typing Command-Option-L.
Textmate Drop-down Menu. Make sure you’ve installed Textmate (trial available from Macromates) and Bidesk. To set up that neat little drop-down menu in Textmate, first download and unzip the “Completion.zip” package (available here). Second, double-click each of the .tmComand files. Next, copy the binary file “BibDeskTMCompletions” somewhere convenient, like a folder called “bin” in your home directory. Finally, open Textmate and go to Bundles > Bundle Editor > Show Bundle Editor. Click the newly-added bundle, “Build Cite With BibDesk.” Find the line that begins “CMD = ‘”$HOME”…,” and set it to the path of your binary file. If you chose the “bin” folder in your home directory, just change this line to the following:
CMD = ‘”$HOME”/bin/BibDeskTMCompletions
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