Pro-Cite: For Bibliographic Databases and Bibliographies

By Fuller, Sherrilynne | Information Today, October 1988 | Go to article overview

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.

Convenient Navigation

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. …

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