How to Combine Citavi and Evernote

 I have been using Citavi for reference management since 2006 and I still believe that it is fantastic (although version 3 caused some serious drawbacks in my workflow and I sometimes even have thoughts about downgrading back to version 2.5, but this is  not the subject of this post). Since 2011, I am also a huge fan of Evernote and I am trying to put as much of the information that I might be looking for at some point into Evernote so that I find it without even thinking about where I might have stored it. In addition, Evernote’s Google Search integration for Chrome even lets me find information I already have when I’m looking for it on the net. A logical consequence of this is that I would like to combine the strengths of managing my literature and quotations/excerpts with Citavi with Evernote, which is great but will never replace a proper reference management program.

I have asked the Citavi folks to integrate a feature that allows you to upload content from citavi directly into Evernote using the Evernote API or perhaps this ommand line interface (I’m not a programmer). Unfortunately, they say that they have to prioritize other features and they might be right from the perspective of developing their product.

So I figured out a way to get all my stuff from Citavi into Evernote anyway: the trick is to basically print your whole database into an HTML file, open it in a browser, and use Evernote clipper to copy that file as a note into Evernote. Here is how you could do this (see difficulties further below):

1. Select  File | Save Project Bibliography | Annotated project bibliography (“Liste mit zusätzlichen Angaben” in German). The bibliography is created based on the current selection except if none is selected. So if you want all titles to be included, make sure you have no titles currently selected)

2. Select whatever information you want to be included from the list. Above all, you should select “Quotations”, because these are the most important bits of information that you want in Evernote, right?

3. Save your bibliography as Web Page (*.html)

If you have a large database, this can take a while. So be patient. Your Citavi hasn’t crashed. (To give you an idea, my ~3000 references took about 3 minutes to save.)

4. Open saved file in browser and clip to Evernote like you would do with any webpage.

Now this is what I have done so far. The problem is: it doesn’t work if you have a lot of records in Citavi. Or to be more precise: if  the resulting HTML file contains more than 5242880 Unicode characters. This is an additional limit to Evernote notes which they have unfortunately not advertized because “because the vast majority of our users never hit this limit when creating a single note” (EN support). I discuss this issue in more detail in a separate post.

So I am currently trying to find a way around this. Simply speaking, I have to divide my huge database into several smaller bibliographies. I guess, what I will do is to select titles in Citavi depending on the date they were last updated and the create Bibliographies for each year or six months or so and upload them as separate notes into Evernote (Citavi always saves the bibliography for the current selection or – if there is no selection – for the whole project).

What about the free floating thoughts in Citavi?

The method describe above can  only export information associated to titles. Free floating thoughts will not be saved in the HTML file(s). If you want to have also your Citavi thoughts in Evernote, you need to export them seperately by going to the Knowledge Module and select File | Print compilation | Print with options. You can also use “save compilation” instead, but going through “print” gives you a print preview where you can check if things are the way you want them. Once you see that preview, just go to File | Export to a new file and you can save as HTML file instead of actually printing.

Let me know if this is working for you or if you have any improvements to suggest.



Citavi 3.1 supports biblatex and teamwork – now released

Just a quick note to say that an important Citavi update has been released. The version number is now 3.1. Among the long awaited improvements are support for biblatex and teamwork. Teamwork means that projects saved on a network (and I assume this needs to be LAN) can be worked on by multiple people at the same time. Note, however, that the normal Citavi Pro license only supports read-access to team projects. In order to be able to edit a shared project, you need to upgrade to a Team license.

Citavi 3 released

We’ve long been waiting for this moment: Swiss Academic Software has released a major update for Citavi, probably the best reference management software in the world.

For any non-german speaker, the most important innovation of this release (version 3.0) is that Citavi is now bilingual: with two simple mouse clicks, you can change the GUI language from German to English or vice versa.

Another rather hidden improvement is the possibility to install Citavi on a USB stick and carry it wherever you want.

I will not describe the other (intriguing!) new features since they are neatly listed here [well sorry, it seems that the english version of the site is not yet up and running, but you can nevertheless download the free version here, it will also run in English.] and explained on video here.

Cite original year using biblatex

Just a brief note for those who want to include the original year of publication in a citation when using biblatex (e.g. “Weber (1922/1978)” instead of “Weber (1978)”) .

If you are using one of the author-year styles (or author-year-icomp-tt) and biblatex version 0.8 you could easliy do this by including the following in your biblatex.cfg file:

\iffieldundef{origyear}{}{\printfield{origyear}\addslash}%   <--- added

\iffieldundef{origyear}{}{\printfield{origyear}\addslash}%   <--- added

But things have changed with biblatex 0.9 so that this no longer works. It took me a while to figure out why and so I publish my solution here since I could not find it anywhere on the net.

The reason is that the macros which print the year (in the citation and in the bibliography) have changed. So the additional line that inserts the original year (see above) has to be inserted into two different macros:

\iffieldundef{origyear}{}{\printfield{origyear}\addslash}%   <--- added

\iffieldundef{origyear}{}{\printfield{origyear}\addslash}%  <--- added

Just add this into your biblatex.cfg file and look at the results. – If the original year still doesn’t show up, then you probably have to update your bib-file: the field origyear is no longer supported by biblatex (though it is still used internally). It is now called origdate (see release notes).  So what you have to do is simply replace all instances of “origyear” by “origdate”. Now it should work fine!

P.S. If you want to sort the titles in the bibliography according to the original year rather than the year of the used edition, just add sortyear = {1922} to each entry in your bib-file which has an origdate entry (of course “1922” stands for whatever the original year is).