Pro-Cite: For Bibliographic Databases and Bibliographies
Fuller, Sherrilynne, Information Today
Pro-cite: For Bibliographic Databases and Bibliographies
Pro-Cite has clearly organized menus that allow the package to be used intuitively, and there is rarely, if ever, any need to resort to the manual. Users begin by naming a new database or selecting an existing database. Once a database has been named or selected the Main Menu appears. Options available to the user on this menu are highlighted, and the choices are clearly worded on the menu screen.
Each Pro-Cite database can hold up to 32,000 standard records (where standard record size is approximately 256 characters). There are no limits to the number of Pro-Cite databases that can be created. Each record can be as large as 16K characters (about ten pages of text), allocated as you wish among any of the fields. All 16K could be used in a single field, if desired.
Pro-Cite provides twenty different work forms into which bibliographic information can be entered. These preformatted forms cover such "esoteric" material types as video recordings, art works and data files, as well as forms for more standard items. For example, the short work form for books provides space for author, title, publisher, date, ISBN, a note, an abstract, call and index entries. If one or more of the work forms fits a user's needs an enormous amount of time can be saved by using the forms. If necessary, users can design their own work form using the Templates feature of the package.
Pro-Cite automatically work-wraps, so users do not have to press Enter at the end of each line. The narrow keys are used to move the cursor within a screen, and the PgUp, PgDn keys are used to rapidly move up and down in records that are longer than a single screen. There is a tex under feature. Sophisticated edit functions include a block feature which permits marking a piece of a text as a unit for moving, copying or deleting, delete to end of line, and an index feature which allows users to transfer text from a records to the index field automatically, thus significantly decreasing the number of keystrokes required.
Helpful Authority Lists
Pro-Cite Version 1.4 supports use of authority lists to help standardize the contents of Pro-Cite database fields. An authority list contains standardized names or terms used to control entry of records information for accuracy and consistency. The National Library of Medicine's MeSH (Medical Subject Heading) thesaurus is a good example of an authority list. Without authority lists users might enter synonyms or variant forms of an index term. For example, an author authority can be displayed while entering new records for books or articles. If the author name for the current item already appears in the list, it can be automatically copied from the authority list to the author field, eliminating the need to key in the author name on that record. With this approach, all records for books and articles by the same author will have the same form of name. Later, when a search is made for everything a particular author has written, the user is assured of finding all relevant citations.
Flexible record selection and search
Pro-Cite records can be selected in several ways. The Search option from the Main Select Menu can be used to search by character strings or keywords in any field in a record. Alternatively, the In-text option from the Main Select Menu will scan stored text for references, and will retrieve those references. There is also a Browse capability that allows users to select records individually. Finally, Pro-Cite will identify duplicate records for deletion.
Pro-Cite offers very sophisticated search capabilities. Boolean searching is fully supported including "AND" "OR" and "NOT." Users can combine terms using more than one expression to formulate a very specific search, for example "(information and management) and not libraries" will retrieve all those records containing both the terms "information" and "management" and of that group of records, those which do not contain the term "libraries." The program permits the combination of the results of several searches using the Merge function. "Greater than," "less than," and "equal to" searching is allowed and is particularly useful in searching the data field.
Users can determine the fields which will be used to sort the file, the number of characters which are taken from each field, and the order in which the fields are taken. This feature is particularly useful in preparing a list if citations by date. Users can also control which fields are printed out or displayed and the layout of the bibliography, including the order of the bibliographic elements.
Reference lists can be created
The In-Text option permits Pro-Cite to examine the text of a stored document, locate in-text references such as (Shirley, 1984), compare these against a database, and select the records which match these in-text references. Pro-Cite can then sort and print out these references as a bibliography for the document. During these procedures, users do not have to intervene in any way, Pro-Cite does all the work automatically. An alternative for creating a bibliography is to use the browse facility to select records by persuing the database record by record.
The In-Text function is for use only with documents which are standard ASCII files. If a document contains any special formatting or control charachters, Pro-Cite may not reliably recognize the in-text references. Fortunately, most word processors offer a means of stripping the special control characters and creating an ASCII file. In Wordperfect, for instance, the Text In/Out feature can be used to create an ASCII file. Once the reference list is generated the same Wordperfect command can be used to return the document to its normal Wordperfect format.
A Pro-Cite Options screen is used to select the format of records to be printed in a bibliography. For individuals who have special needs, Pro-Cite allows them to customize the apperance of their bibliographies, with selections that affect punctuation format, headings, layout, spacing and inclusion of special fields.
Pro-Cite draws upon a punctuation file to place the appropriate punctuation into a citation when it is formatted into a bibliography. This punctuatin file is one part of a style sheet or format, which specifies not only the way a bibliography is laid out but also the layout of the entire paper or manuscript. This feature is very important because it means that the same database or collection of records can be used to produce bibliographies in different formats. Users therefore do not have to retype the entire bibliography to conform to a different publisher's requirement.
Set-up instructions are quite clear and, in general, easy to follow. An excellent tutorial gives the new user a quick overview of Pro-Cite. The tutorial assists the user in creating a simple bibliography including record entry, changing of some default options, searching of the entries and printing out a bibliography. Advanced tutorials are included which provide assistance in customizing a number of Pro-Cite features.
Pro-Cite has nearly 100 help screens throughout the program which explain various options that are available at any given point, and also explain how special keys work, and any limits. The help screens can easily be delted, if desired.
Large Choice Of Characters
Pro-Cite allows use of the entire character set provided by the computers on which it is run, including the characters of most Roman alphabet modern foreign languages, the Greek characters most often used in scientific publications, and many special characters such as the symbols for Japanese yen and British pounds.
Other special features include a repair program to be used to fix damaged databases (such as might occur during a power failure while using the database), an import function to permit the transfer of records from other database management systems into a format that Pro-Cite can use, and an export function which enables users to transfer records from one Pro-Cite database to another, or to other database management systems.
Pro-Cite Version 1.4 contains none of the awkward copy protect features that were part of pervious versions.…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Pro-Cite: For Bibliographic Databases and Bibliographies. Contributors: Fuller, Sherrilynne - Author. Magazine title: Information Today. Volume: 5. Issue: 9 Publication date: October 1988. Page number: 11+. © 2009 Information Today, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1988 Gale Group.
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