View Full Version : Bibliography programs

Ben Spackman
06-12-2004, 04:36 PM
I just picked up a student copy of Endnote (http://www.endnote.com), a bibliography program. Is anyone aware of a database or library connection that lists journal articles, and not just the journals ? I'm loathe to type in all the back issues of SBL, CBQ, etc.\


Joe Fleener
07-01-2004, 10:17 AM
I am a seminary library director and I am not aware of anything like this.

The closest thing would be the ATLA Religion Database, which you would have to get access to via a library that subscribes to it.


Joe Fleener
07-01-2004, 10:21 AM
I have been using BookWhere (http://www.webclarity.info/products/bookwhere.html) with NotaBene (www.notabene.com)

It is fantastic!

Ben Spackman
07-01-2004, 11:09 AM
I found the ATLA database, and I get in for free from the two schools I'm at. It's glorious!:D They index the articles from most of the major scholarly journals....

Incidentally, Endnote (http://www.Endnote.com) just released a new version with unicode support and enough memory allocation to allow up to 10 pages of notes to be stored with each reference...

Joe Fleener
07-01-2004, 11:13 AM

How are you able to download the information from ATLA into Endnote? This would be fantastic...

Ben Spackman
07-01-2004, 07:16 PM
It's a built-in feature. You connect to the library/database of your choice, run your search on the database, and then copy references at will into your personal endnote research library. It's glorious! I've already found 3 references to articles on the enigmatic phrase

~vew" dy" in Isaiah 56:5, one article in a journal I didn't even know existed. See this description here (http://www.endnote.com/eninfo.asp#Search). You can also download a free trial with full connectivity... I sound like an ad, but this is another one of those things like Bibleworks that open up doors, and you wonder how you ever lived without it.

Believing Sojourner
07-02-2004, 09:54 PM
You folks seem to be very much on top of the discussion about obtaining the text of scholarly journals. It is possible, however, that you may be interested in obtaining cd's with transcribed articles from several different Theological Journals from http://www.galaxie.com . This is not a sales blurb, trust me, it is just an effort to give constructive input. Thanks for the information about EndNote, etc.

Glenn Weaver
07-02-2004, 11:33 PM
I regularly use bibliography programs both for academic work and as part of my job as a researcher for a Christian ministry. I am in charge of all source citation at the ministry. My comments come from both experiences. I use Turabian in my Ph.D. program, and Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.) for footnotes at work.

1. Z39.50 software is no better than the quality of the data entered into the library that you access. At work we entered about 7,000 books and other sources into Endnote 5. Time is money for a project of this size. The Z39.50 ability could cut some time from the project, but I found that at least one out of four books was not in the Library of Congress or other helpful libraries. Often the book edition was not the one we had. Frequently the information was wrong or missing. Usually we could not count on the information. Because accuracy was very important, we decided not to use the Z39.50 ability except as a guide for entering a difficult book. Some people like it. I only find it useful for gathering sources, but almost never for obtaining data for later using in footnotes or bibliography. (As an aside, check out www.refviz.com (http://www.refviz.com). It is a unique and potentially fruitful way to use abstracts for data organization and seeing relationships between topics.)

2. Pick a program that fits the type of work you are doing. If you need a library program, then choose that, not a bibliography program. If you need to generate in-text citations, pick a program designed for that. If you need to generate footnotes, pick a program designed for that. Find a program that is stable and for which you can obtain tech support. Find out the track record of the program if you can.

3. If you write academic papers, but sure to use a bibliography program. The time spent learning the program and entering your data will be worth it as soon as you use it write your thesis or dissertation. You can actually concentrate on your writing and not your footnote format! Don't wait until your paper is due to learn your program. By then it is too late.

4. Here are some program recommendations. Feel free to disagree. Scholar's Aid (www.scholarsaid.com (http://www.scholarsaid.com)) looks promising, but there is little or no tech support. Endnote continues to have new releases, and it has been around for a long time, but it does not generate Turabian and Chicago footnotes correctly. There are certain items it cannot do. It isn't bad, but stability also can be a problem. Check their email list for examples. I use Citation since it excels at footnotes. It is difficult to configure if you need to modify the Turabian or Chicago styles. It has been around a while. We switched from Endnote to Citation at work at my suggestion. Library Master seems pretty good, but the company is small. I wonder how long it will be around, and if you can get support.

5. Finally, using a bibliography program will never guarantee that you will have accurate footnotes and bibliography. Learn your style manual and use it regularly. If you don't know the style manual, you won't be able to enter your data correctly, and you won't know if the program is exporting the data correctly.

Ben Spackman
07-03-2004, 03:30 AM
These are some good points Glenn. I did a little shopping around before I purchased, and Endnote seemed like the best thing for me. I particularly like the ATLA database because it indexes the scholarly journals. (None of the journals I need are on the Galaxie CD, but ATLA indexes Catholic Bible Quarterly, the Journal of Semitic Studies, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Journal of Biblical Literature, etc.)

I've already discovered that I frequently need to modify downloaded references to standardize them, but that's a minor price to pay for being able to a) learn that the reference exists and b) only type in half the reference, instead of the whole thing. You can also modify how Endnote handles or cites any reference(though I haven't done so yet), so I'm not sure I understand what the problem would be with incorrect citations.

Joe Fleener
07-03-2004, 08:09 AM
I agree with much of Glenn's comments and alos Ben's. There is much to be said about being familiar with your style manual and chosing the program that best fits your needs.

As far LC not having many of the books you are looking for, I have not really had that problem. I am I library director and we catalog thousands of books every year. In general LC has what we are looking for.

However, one helpful thing coming down the road. For those who have access to ATLA via their library, possibly you also have access to WorldCat. In the next year or so there will be a union catalog of every Theological Library's holdings who have chosed to subscribe to WorldCat, which are MANY! This will then give you access to thousands of library holdings just by searching WorldCat.

I use the Theological Journal CD often (I have 5 & 6), but there are many scholarly sources that are not found on the CD.

Glenn Weaver
07-03-2004, 12:37 PM
The most obvious places where Endnote came up short for use with footnotes was in certain fields were capitalization differed between the footnote and the bibliography. Endnote can't enter the correct capitalization for the following items: vol./Vol., rev. ed./Rev. ed., new ed./New ed., updated ed./Updated ed. I contacted tech support about this, but they did not think much would be done about it since their main user base was the scientific community, not the humanities. It is necessary to make some changes to the footnotes/bibliography before printing. (Capitalization changes, typographical quotations, correcting an unusual entry, etc.) If you do anything else with Endnote in the document, all your manual changes are gone. I'm not trying to disuade anyone from Endnote, but it does have some limitations that you will need to work around.

As far as entering things from a library catalog through Z39.50, I found that I often needed to check the original book anyway, so it didn't save me very much time. Subtitles were frequently missing. This wouldn't matter much for a library catalog, but it is important in bibliographies.

Another factor that kept us from using the library entries was the fact that we wanted to standardize spellings of common entries so we could have betters searches and reports. The terms lists were a great help here. We checked the option to update the terms lists, so adding items from a library catalog simply corrupted our terms lists.

Stefan Green
07-09-2004, 05:05 PM

I have read the discussion in this thread with interest. I wonder if anyone have heard of Biblioscape or are using Biblioscape in their research? It is a bibliography, citation and note program.


Philip Brown
07-12-2004, 09:55 AM
Hi, Stefan,

I am using Biblioscape 6 for a sizable research project I'm involved in. I chose it because of the price and the programmer appears to be fairly responsive to the user community.

It was primarily created for people in the sciences and humanities, though v. 6 has added the key style sheets used by folks in religion (Chicago, Turabian, etc.). The Turabian style sheet needs tweaking (i.e., doesn't always have commas in the right place, and a few other minor problems).

As a means for managing a bibliography database and notes database, I recommend it.

Clinton Branscombe
07-12-2004, 02:24 PM
I have been using Scholar's Aid for several years now. It has the ability to coordinate Notes to Bibliographies and access information via the Z39.50 protocol. It is also supposed to import files from EndNote, but I have never had occasion to use it. The price is quite reasonable. URL: www.scholarsaid.com (http://www.scholarsaid.com)

Clinton Branscombe