Bibliography Managers Save Aggravation

Any scientist who has ever published anything has had to wrestle with references. And the longer you’re in the field, the greater the problem grows. Card files spill over, file drawers bulge with reprints, and you shrink from preparing the next manuscript for publication because of the horrible job of assembling the relevant references. Scientists who are worn out from tackling this task constitute a ready-made market, and it’s no surprise that a number of software companies hav

Diana Gabaldon
Oct 1, 1989

Any scientist who has ever published anything has had to wrestle with references. And the longer you’re in the field, the greater the problem grows. Card files spill over, file drawers bulge with reprints, and you shrink from preparing the next manuscript for publication because of the horrible job of assembling the relevant references.

Scientists who are worn out from tackling this task constitute a ready-made market, and it’s no surprise that a number of software companies have sprung up to capitalize on it. There’ are at least 15 bibliography management software packages on the market today, ranging in price from about $200 to $500, and with a comparable range of features.

Reference handling functions fall into two main categories: retrieval and formatting. Retrieval means the ability to find a particular reference when you need it. When you enter the last name of an author—say, “MacDonald”—most bibliography managers will find...

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