↓ Archives ↓

2.2 Reference Management software

In order to help authors manage large sets of references, and to produce citations and references in a consistent style, a range of software packages is available. This type of software is often called ‘Reference Management’ software, but ‘Citation management’ and ‘Bibliographic management’ are also used. The Wikipedia entry on Reference Management software gives a good overview.

Reference Management software enables an author to build a library of references by entering the details of each reference in a structured format. They usually support mechanisms for organizing sets of references by tagging or use of ‘folders’, and will generate references, citations or bibliographies in a range of referencing styles.

Most packages support ways of importing records from library catalogues and other bibliographic data sources in order to facilitate the generation of references. In addition, many packages now offer plug-ins or add-ins for Word processing software which enable authors to insert references from their ‘library’ directly into a document as they are writing.

As Reference Management software has become more sophisticated functionality has extended beyond the basic use for producing references in a consistent style, and they may also offer tools for managing related documents (e.g. PDFs of the original items you wish to reference), social networking tools, and a variety of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to enable reference management functionality to be embedded in other environments.

As the software available in this area is subject to constant and rapid change, this toolkit does not include any summary or review of available packages or their functionality. Wikipedia has a comparison table of software that may be useful in this regard.

It may also be useful to consider the prompts provided by Martin Fenner at http://www.slideshare.net/mfenner/which-reference-manager, and his overview diagram at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mfenner/4379530289/.

In addition to the issues covered here, when considering integration into other environments the availability of an API (Application Programming Interface) is key, and a careful consideration of whether the available API supports all the functions you wish to provide to authors is necessary.

The UKOLN/JISC report on API Good Practice contains valuable advice on choosing and consuming 3rd Party APIs

No Comment

Leave a Reply

Sorry, comments are closed.