Categorized | Software

Sente 6 a First Class Academic Reference Manager

Updated: Sep 11, 2017

Cite, Organize, Tag, Search, Highlight, Take Notes, Synchronize, and Customize all within one program. Sente 6 does it all and does it well.

Sente 6 - Academic Reference Manager

Organizing hundreds or thousands of references and keeping up-to-date on the latest research is a real challenge. I have wrestled with a number of citation managers (i.e. EndNote) and Sente 6 is the only one that could do everything I needed. Of-course it takes care of all your citation needs but does far more than that and you’ll see what I mean.

Sente 6 - SearchSaved Searches is one of the greatest features in Sente. It keeps you up-to-date on any research topic, journal releases, or new papers by researchers whose work you are interested in. Everyday Sente will check for you if there is anything new and if there is it will be automatically downloaded into your library. All online reference databases supporting Z39.50 and SRU protocols are supported as well as the U.S. Library of Congress, PubMed, and The Web of Knowledge. Features like these have helped me to focus more on the content rather then spending hours on finding what’s new and organizing it.
Even the manual retrieval of references has been made easier. There is an integrated browser that let’s you retrieve references and their PDF files and all it takes is one click. This so called targeted browsing makes it easy to browse websites or search a database (i.e. PsycINFO) and import reference into your Sente library.

PDF Managment
Sente 6 - PDFsYou can import all your existing PDFs and Sente automatically searches for the citation data. It doesn’t always work and in those cases it makes it easy to just copy and past the title and authors from the PDF. And even when you don’t have PDFs for particular citations, for example I added a lot of citation references of books, Sente allowed me to makes it possible to view the Google Books page where many times I could look inside the books and search within them. And as mentioned earlier, highlighting text and adding notes is all implemented within Sente as well.

Sente 6 - OrganizeTag, create collections, folders and saved searches, these are some of the ways you can organize your library. You can also highlight within PDFs and attach notes and Sente will keep track to what page and passage your notes belong to for later reference. This way you can always see both the actual material and what you have noted down. Smart Collections on the other hand are Sente’s equivalent of iTunes’ Smart Playlists. You can specify what keywords, tags, authors, publication dates, journals, or any other type of reference information you would like to be included in your smart collections.

Sente6 SyncSync your entire library and any changes you make across your Desktops computers and Laptops. This way you will never miss a reference or research paper. Even better you can share parts of your library or all of it with collaborators and colleagues. Sharing resources among members of a department, collaborating on projects, or like-minded people is now possible with a few clicks. Enable syncing even if you are only using Sente on one computer because that way you’ll always have a backup of your library stored online, just incase something happens with your computer.

Sente 6 - CitationCiting with Sente 6 will work with Microsoft Word, Pages 09, Mellel, Nisus, and even TextEdit. In addition you can choose from hundreds of available bibliography formats (included APA and MLA) as well as customize and create your own formats.
To see how Sente 6 does all of this you can watch the tutorial videos and familiarize yourself with some of the most important features, also listed in reviews by Gedlynk.

Feature Requests
Sente does almost everything you would need from a reference manager and does it better then anyone else. Still there is always room for improvement and my two main requests are:

  1. Implementation of the new APA 6 bibliography formatting and,
  2. real time search that displays relevant results as I type and the exact positions visibly highlighted both within the reference data and the attached PDFs

Sente 6 costs $129.95 for a regular license and it is sold for a discounted rate of $89.95 to students, faculty, and staff members of academic institutions. There is also an undergraduate edition that limits each library to 250 references and costs only $34.95. Plus each license allows you to install Sente on 3 computers concurrently. I know this is not on the cheap side but Sente is a long term investment that will help you to organize and improve your work flow for years to come. I definitely wish I would have known about it while I was in college!

You can grab the 30 day trial and see for yourself what Sente 6 can do for you. (Keep in mind that it requires OSX 10.5.8 or newer.)

I am curious to know what your favorite reference manager is? And since I’m always on the look out for the best, write a comment below if you have found anything better then Sente 6.


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- who has written 88 posts on Optimal Functioning – positive psychology & physical health.

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