[#20022] Using bar code scanners and scanning pens

There are two kinds of scanners that can be useful when reading:
  • Bar code scanners to quickly add books by ISBN number
  • Scanning pens to copy short text passages as text
See also Using a Smartphone with Citavi.

Bar Code Scanners

Bar code scanners are an elegant solution to many problems:

  • You always wanted to catalog your private library in Citavi, but you never found the time.
  • You stumble across interesting books at the bookstore, but you can't buy everything. How do you remember it?
  • You always check the new acquisitions shelf at the specialty library and find books you should look at, but the scraps of paper in your pocket always seem to go missing.
Using a Bar Code Scanner
  • Take a book and find the ISBN bar code, which is usually on an inside flap or the back of the jacket. Most books from the mid-1970s and later have an ISBN bar code.
  • With a portable scanner, aim at the barcode. When the scanner recognizes the bar code, it will beep.
  • Scan in all the books.
  • Connect the scanner to your computer. Open Citavi and on the Reference menu, click Batch import ISBN numbers.
  • Citavi will read the scanner memory and search for the ISBN numbers in the selected catalogs, then import the references. (If Citavi can't find the reference, you can simply select different catalogs.)

Supported Bar Code Scanners

Motorola Symbol CS1504
The Symbol CS1504 scanner from Motorola is small enough to go on your keychain. It has an internal memory that can hold about 150 ISBN numbers. It connects to your computer over a USB or RS-232 connection, and uses 4 button cells. 
Operating systems: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista.
Please note: This scanner will not be supported in Citavi 6

Opticon OPN-2001
The Opticon OPN-2001 scanner also fits on a keychain. Its internal memory can hold over 5000 ISBN numbers. Because of this, it is more expensive than the Symbol CS1504. It connects to your computer over USB, which also charges the integrated Li-Ion rechargeable battery. 
Operating systems: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista.
Please note: This scanner will not be supported in Citavi 6

Panmobil SmartScanndy
The SmartScanndy is a little bigger than the Symbol CS1504, but it's a bit sturdier.  Its large 2MB internal memory can hold about one hundred thousand ISBN numbers. It connects to your computer over a USB or RS-232 connection. It uses either three AAA batteries or a Li-Ion rechargeable battery. 
​Please note: This scanner will not be supported in Citavi 6

Panmobil Scanndy Basic
The Scanndy Basic is the largest and most expensive of the scanners. It, too, has 2MB of internal memory. It connects to your computer over a USB or RS-232 connection. It uses a Li-Ion rechargeable batter that is charged in a separate charger. 
Operating systems: Windows Vista.
​Please note: This scanner will not be supported in Citavi 6

Corded scanners
Corded scanners are inexpensive and pretend to be a keyboard typing in the numbers, so there's no driver to install. Since they do not have an internal memory, they must be connected while scanning.

Scanning Pens

If you can touch-type without errors, then you can probably do without a scanning pen. But if you need to copy lots of text from printed sources into Citavi, and you're not the best typist, a scanning pen might be for you.

You run a scanning pen across a line of text, like a highlighter. The scanner recognizes the text and inserts it into Citavi, just as though you had typed it. For example, into an abstract or quotation. With clean originals in ordinary type faces, the text recognition is quite accurate, but you'll always want to proofread it to make sure.

Since scanning pens aren't cheap, they only make sense if you scan a lot.

C-Pen (3.5)
This scanner connects over Bluetooth or USB. The Bluetooth connection can be used with mobile android devices.
IrisPen Express (Version 6)
We tried the IrisPen Express scanner and found it to work well with Citavi. This model connects to your computer over USB, and it works fine with a notebook computer in a library. You must install the included OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to allow direct text entry into Citavi.

IrisPen Executive (Version 6)
Same as the IrisPen Express, but with the added ability to scan ISBN bar codes.



Dictation Software
Windows 7 and Windows Vista include eminently usable dictation software. Like most dictation software, it must first be trained to your voice. Of course, this requires you to have a quiet place to dictate, where you won't bother others.

Digital Cameras
Recent Optical Character Recognition software can recognize text from digital photos. The disadvantage is that this can be rather time-consuming. (Of course, you can always add a photo of text as an image in Citavi.)

Flatbed Scanners
Using a flatbed scanner to scan in quotations is time consuming and rarely worth the effort. But flatbed scanners are very inexpensive.

Document Scanners
If you scan in a lot of printed documents, a document scanner may be worthwhile. They are very fast, and generally scan entire stacks of papers (front and back!) to searchable PDFs, which you can then use with the Picker for Adobe Acrobat/Adobe Reader or by importing the PDFs directly to Citavi. The disadvantage is that they are very expensive.