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Amsrefs is a package for preparing bibliographic lists. If, like me, you use bibtex then you may find this post informative. If you enter your bibliographic items into the tex file manually, \emph-asizing titles and consulting Chicago Manual of Style to check whether the publisher should appear before or after the publication year then please have mercy on your co-authors and start eating with fork and knife. You spill typos all over the place.

So I have tried using amsrefs recently. Pro: Bibliographic items are entered in the tex file using a command similar to \bibitem, no need to keep a separate bib file and running  bibtex. This is more convenient, especially if your folders are as messy as mine. Cons: Bibliographic items are not sorted, they  appear in the pdf in the same order they appear in the tex file. Worse, all the entries in your bibliographic list appear in the pdf document, even those you don’t cite in the main text. The referee will search for their name, find the paper in the list of references, then search for the citation and get pissed when it’s not there: apparently you know about their paper but have nothing to say about it. Another con: You are in charge of capitalization of the journal and paper titles. Chicago Manual of Style anybody ?

Bottom line: I think I will return to bibtex. Am I missing anything ?

This happens a lot: I am reading a paper, as usual going directly to the results and skipping the introduction, related literature, discussion, preliminaries, formal model etc. And then there is some \alpha which I have no idea what it stands for. I would like to search for `\alpha’ in the pdf document, but if there is a way to do it then I have never heard about it.

So, imagine my delight when I heard of Springer’s LaTeX Search tool, which does something that I never even dared to wish — search in their database for an equation that contains a given latex code. Pretty awesome, isn’t it ?

I tried some arbitrary code

i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\Psi=\hat H\Psi

(which translates to i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\Psi=\hat H\Psi)
but apparently nobody has used this equation before.

So I tried something else: E=mc^2. Again no exact matches but this time there are a couple of similar results

Well, as Jeffrey Shallit said, it is, at least, a start.