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What is Bibliographic Management Software?

Bibliographic Management Software is a class of software used mostly by scholars and researchers to perform two main functions:

  • To create databases of bibliographic citations

  • To produce bibliographies which can easily be inserted into word processing documents (dissertations, books, papers, etc.). Citations may either be created within the software itself, or more commonly, downloaded from online bibliographic systems.

The three most prominent bibliographic management packages on the market today are Endnote, ProCite and Reference Manager. All three are owned by ISI, producers of Web of Science and Current Contents. RefWorks is another bibliographic management software package and is web-based.

Using the Bibliographic Manager option in EBSCOhost (available using the Save or E-mail links inside the Folder), users can download records in the tagged format that these software packages expect. However, to successfully import those citations into Endnote or ProCite, the user needs to specify detailed information about how fields within those citations are tagged. (For example, the primary author is in a field tagged "AU" and is non-repeatable; additional authors are in a field tagged "NM" which is repeatable; the MeSH headings download in a repeatable field tagged "ME", etc.) Both Endnote and ProCite make this task easier for the user by including customized citation templates with the product. These provide detailed format information for citations from a variety of databases on a variety of different online systems.