@nrb inserting citations with the bibliography metadata inserted into the document, as well as a formatted reference, is course precisely what you can do right now: you can update the record simply by replacing the citation at a certain spot. Manuscripts does duplicate detection and merges the bibliography data so that all references matching the one you replaced get updated. More broadly, our functionality goes quite a lot further than done before in the sense that we have a full bibliography database inside the app and Manuscripts (not the external citation tool) handles the bibliography formatting.
This is important for many reasons:
- We use the internal reference database to create different representations of the bibliography data: e.g. biblatex representation of the bibliography data for LaTeX based exports (or indeed we allow also formatting references using CSL into a LaTeX document – a first as far as we know).
- Not everyone working on the manuscript needs to use the same reference manager: you can import reference files and collaborate amongst a group of users with a choice of reference management tools.
- The document is a clean, self contained record: it does not need an external tool to format itself, and you cannot end up in a state where the "field codes" containing the references are lost from the document (which can mean that you get left with a mixture of formatted and un-formatted references).
What I was referring to is bulk updating to and from specifically Papers: it is not necessarily exact science as Papers does not include the necessary information in the data it sends over: a stable, globally unique identifier for the record in the Papers database. For instance the citation key it posts can in some instances change (when the reference becomes semantically different to what it was before, after an edit). I guess I've gone a bit into an implementation detail here: it certainly can be approached in ways that do not require this absolutely certain global identification but the feature certainly becomes better for all parties if Papers were adapted to include the identifier. So, if you would like to see this kind of functionality, it's best to request for the global identifier for the record to be posted by Papers (Citations) and that is done best via email@example.com.
CEO & Co-founder of Manuscripts.app Ltd