WTF: Reference manager: citation info

Skip this post if you’re an experience (academic) writer. That will save your time. :-). pdf or this post is available at

Ever heard of reference manager? If you’ve heard or used EndNote (a long widely known software owned by Thomson Reuters), then you must know what is reference manager is. Basically it stores your references. No matter what kind of references you have: physical books, microfilms, maps, educational movies, or pdfs, kindles, websites, personal communication etc. It generates an archives of the materials for you. Actually, it saves the citation info of the materials.

What is citation info?

it is a set of metadata that glued to your materials. The citation info is the ID of any references you have. So you won’t mixed them up. Say you have a pdf file containing an article from a journal. If you hit “File”, “Properties” in your pdf viewer, you would see the informations related to the file, like: filename, title, author, year, journal, vol, no, etc. You are looking to the citation info of the pdf file.

Where to get such info?

You might want to read the slide on my other post Open Source Writing. Generally, you can get it from any button or menu called: “cite” or “export citation”.

Is citation info in form of a file?

Yes, it is a file with many kinds of extension:

  • *.bib for BibTeX format
  • *.ris for RIS format
  • *.enl for EndNote format

You can even save the abstract of your chosen paper in the citation info.

Is it important to have citation info?

Yes it is. The first thing is that every papers, assignments, reports that you are working on, must need references at certain level. Your references will add up quickly as time goes by. Next time you check, your list might containing hundreds or maybe thousands of materials (pdfs etc). At that time you would think “I should have stored the citation infos and used reference manager, when I started building this pile”.

Next: Reference manager (2): EndNote?

Citation info from Zotero

About the author

My current focus is how to provide the hydrostratigraphy of volcanic aquifers in Bandung area. The research is based on environmental isotope measurement in groundwater and morphometry. My work consists of hydrochemical measurements. I am using multivariate statistical methods to provides more quantitative foundation for the analysis and more insight into the groundwater behavior, especially its interaction with surface water. I use open source apps like R and Python to do the job. In my spare time, I also have a side project to promote open science in Indonesia's research workflow. One of my current focus is promoting INARxiv, as the first preprint server of Indonesia ( and serving as ORCID and OSF ( ambassador. Research interest: Hydrochemistry, multivariate analysis, and R programming. Blog:, (