Bibliographies Made Easy: A Look at PRO-CITE

By Knauth, Michael | Computers in Libraries, April 1989 | Go to article overview

Bibliographies Made Easy: A Look at PRO-CITE


Knauth, Michael, Computers in Libraries


Bibliographies Made Easy: A Look at PRO-CITE

In the past, creating bibliographies, no matter the type, purpose, or length, could be time-consuming drudgery. Sources would be selected, bibliographic information compiled and organized in the correct format, making sure all punctuation rules were being followed correctly, and finally, horror of horrors, the bibliography would be typed and often retyped many times.

Word processing certainly made the process less frustrating, but now with PRO-CITE and its BIBLIO-LINK companion programs, which are produced by Personal Bibliographic Software, it is easy to compile and maintain accurate, correctly formatted bibliographies, sometimes with little or no manual input, and with no knowledge of the rules or requirements of formatting styles.

The versatility of PRO-CITE is excellent. Twenty predefined workforms for twenty types of documents -- from books and journal articles, to music scores and art works, to audiovisual material and computer programs -- and six user-defined workforms allow virtually any type of material to be included in a bibliography.

Also, PRO-CITE's ability to handle up to 32,500 records with variable-length fields (a maximum of 16,000 characters) makes it possible to create bibliographies as simple as a list of references for a research paper or as complex as a catalog for a small library collection.

BIBLIO-LINKS

While the PRO-CITE program can be used alone by manually entering bibliographic data into workforms, it is BIBLIO-LINKS that make PRO-CITE such a labor-saving wonder. BIBLIO-LINKS are reformatting programs that convert records downloaded from online database systems directly into PRO-CITE records. With a BIBLIO-LINK, there is no manual entry.

Simply download records as you normally would, start the BIBLIO-LINK program, enter the path and name of the file containing the downloaded records, enter the name of the PRO-CITE file you are about to create, and then press one key to translate and transfer the records. BIBLIO-LINK will analyze the downloaded records to determine document type and store the data in the appropriate PRO-CITE workform, putting fields from the downloaded record into the correct PRO-CITE fields.

It is that easy to create a PRO-CITE file. Separate BIBLIO-LINKS are available for DIALOG, BRS, OCLC, RLIN, LS2000, NOTIS, MUMS, SCORPIO, and MEDLARS; arrangements can be made with Personal Bibliographic Software to design customized BIBLIO-LINKS.

Features and Performance

Once you have created a PRO-CITE database, you can edit, format, sort, index, and print. The editing features are basic word-processing functions: word wrap; insert or overwrite characters by toggling the insert key; blocking to copy, move, or delete text; global find-and-replace to automatically find and replace each occurrence of a word or phrase. Anyone even minimally familiar with word processing will be able to use these editing features. You can also quickly and easily insert and delete entire records while in the editing mode, which means that bibliographies can be updated in minutes--one of PRO-CITE's finest qualities.

If you expect to manually add a large number of records, PRO-CITE's pop-up authority lists can help you to standardize author and journal names and index terms. Authority lists can be created (and eventually edited) with a word processor or can be automatically generated from terms already entered in any field of your database.

The layout and formatting of your bibliography is controlled from an options screen (Figure 1). Margins, spacing, lines per page options, etc., are set from this screen. Unfortunately, once these options are set there is no flexibility; each and every page of your document will be printed in this uniform layout. If, for example, you need certain pages of your bibliography printed with different margins or lines spacing, it cannot be done as it could be with most word processing programs. …

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