Bibliographic software (also known as citation software or reference managers) plays a very important role in research. This type of software helps research to be published more quickly. Researchers amass a huge collection of bibliographic references which are pertinent to their field of research, and they need to cite relevant references in their published journal articles.
Consequently, the effective management of bibliographic references is important to these individuals, saving them time to find the required citations. Some of the other ways the process is streamlined is that this type of software helps researchers to organise bibliographies, by formatting citations for academic papers, importing citations from websites and databases, and by taking notes on articles.
A bibliographic manager will typically let the user search academic and non-academic databases, store the reference, annotate them, import / export between different formats, and present the data to standard formats.
There is a wide range of open source software which offers similar functionality (and more besides) available for Linux. A special mention is reserved here for BibTeX. BibTeX is a program and file format designed by Oren Patashnik and Leslie Lamport in 1985 for the LaTeX document preparation system.
A common misconception is that bibliography tools are really only useful for academics. However, this type of software is a type of reference manager offering the ability to collect large amounts of metadata.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled an updated list of 11 excellent bibliographic software, including native Linux applications, Java based tools, and Web-based programs. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to publish their research more quickly.
Now, let’s explore the 11 bibliography tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.
|KBibTeX||Reference management software primarily for BibTeX|
|Zotero||Powerful online/offline research tool for Firefox and standalone|
|JabRef||Graphical frontend to manage BibTeX databases|
|WIKINDX||Provides a Virtual Research Environment|
|Pybliographer||Tool for manipulating bibliographic databases|
|Referencer||Document organiser and bibliography manager for Gnome|
|cb2Bib||Extract bibliographic references from various sources|
|refbase||Efficiently manage scientific literature, references and citations|
|papis||Extensible command-line based document and bibliography manage|
|Bibfilex||LaTeX package implementing bibliographic functions with BibTeX|
|pubs||Bibliography on the command line|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.