We are looking for a solution to manage our literature (citations and corresponding PDFs) in our workgroup (~15 persons). Everybody should have read-write access, so a solution having a shared library would be the best for us.

Which workflows do other groups use for a common literature management? We've checked out EndNote, Reference Manager and Mendeley so far, but are not happy with the "workgroup" options these softwares provide.

3 Answers 3


I'll go with group-level Wiki on that one. Give every member of the group read-write access (or IP-based write access), and have maintain lists of references (and attached PDF files) by topic and sub-topic. If you want to include some notes on a paper, create a new page for that paper, and put your notes there. People can add their own notes to the same paper later, by editing the page.

Search capabilities will be important, so choose you Wiki software so it has decent search support. Or export all the PDF files of papers as a read-only network drive, thus allowing for full-text search of the whole database through client's OS (which is what I do myself).

For examples of wikis run by research groups, see for example professor Hero or SklogWiki (on which papers are ordered by topic).


If you run your own server, then there are some open source, web-based reference management tools like refbase, Aigaion or WIKINDX which seem to me most suitable for your purpose:

  • You can share a reference library plus file attachments (and quotations in the case of WIKINDX) and
  • all have import/export functions for RIS and BibTeX, so that all users can upload their own references and download the collective library independent of their reference manager of choice.

Swiss Academic Software (I work for them) has a solution called "Citavi for DBServer" where the data is saved in a MS SQL server. The software "Citavi" is installed on the client computers to access the data. You can set different rights (Project manager, author, reader).

It is also possible to install the SQL Server on Windows Azure, allowing cross-organizational collaboration in a private cloud.

Caveat: Citavi is Windows-only (but a platform-agnostic web version is being developped at the moment).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .