MS Word 2007, Citation Management, and Bibliographies

I have for several years now been a fan of Nota Bene for academic writing in large part because formatting according to various styles (APA, MLA, Turabian, etc.) were built-in, citation management was convenient through their Ibidem module, and bibliographies are a snap.

Other programs seem to be catching on. In particular, Microsoft Word 2007 has an integrated citation manager and auto-formats references according to most major styles, including Turabian. From the Word Blog:

As I write my paper, all of the citations that I have been inputting are stored in this awesome tool called the source manager which can be accessed by clicking “Manage Sources”. This means that instead of my list of books I have been pouring over going into the ether I call index cards, all of my work is stored in one little handy database. Enter incredible time savings.

I’ve finished my paper and input my information as I’ve gone along. I know that everything I have been working on is stored in my source manager is safe and sound and ready to be put to good use. Well, all I need to do is click the “Bibliography” drop-down and choose whether I want a bibliography or works cited. Word will then pull the information that you have in your current list and auto generate the information you need into a formatted bibliography (or works cited). It really is that easy.

There are some really cool power features that I didn’t dive into that live in the source manager like the ability to keep a master list (great for students working on papers that often pull from common books or articles) and the ability to search my running bibliography or even preview a particular citation.

It will be interesting to see where this goes and what the folks at Nota Bene do to push usability even further. I have not actually tried the MS Word 2007 features, and so I will continue to recommend and use Nota Bene — especially since all appearances indicate that Word 2007 will not import citations from another system… Yet.

Other (but FREE!) options include:

  • Zotero. I LOVE Zotero. This Firefox plugin has saved me countless hours of work since it not only identifies bibliographic information when viewing a book in a catalog or on Amazon, but it also will export that information as BibTex. I used this when compiling the WikIndx that will be going live at our library soon.
  • BiblioExpress. is a simple reference manager for researchers. It is the freeware edition of the company’s flagship product – Biblioscape. BiblioExpress can be used to collect literature references of different types, to explore bibliographic resources on the Internet, as well as to serve as a free viewer of bibliographic data. BiblioExpress can format records in several popular styles, including ACS, APA, and MLA. BiblioExpress is designed to be small and efficient. You can run BiblioExpress from a floppy disk.
  • Projects and products related to the ShareRef Project which in one way or another provide bibliographic management features to end users.
  • SourceAid builds your reference list online for free in the major styles.
  • Bibus Bibliographic Database is an open source bibliographic and reference management software that works with Open Office.
  • OttoBib creates bibliographies from ISBN numbers. Turabian compatible.
  • JabRef is an open-source client for bibliographic citation management.
  • BibDesk is a bibliographic citation management tool for Mac users.

Citation format tools that I use include:

There are many, many other tools available, and they are becoming more numerous by the day. Please feel free to leave a link and description to others in a comment if you like.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. R. Mansfield says:

    Paul, another option on the Mac is the program Bookends, which creates bibliographical databases. Bookends integrates really well with the Mac academic word processor, Mellel. These two programs together offer the closest equivalent to Nota Bene on the Mac (and without all the crashing!). Mellel is especially good at handling Unicode biblical language fonts, which is not handled well in MS Word for the Mac (especially right-to-left Hebrew or Aramaic).

    I’m using Mellel and Bookends for my dissertation, and I’ve found it to be a great solution. Students at SBTS can get both programs together for an incredible $89 which is a lot less than the equivalent functionality in Nota Bene.

  2. MSWordUser says:

    Any bit of technology aiding writing papers process for grad school, I am all for.

    Thanks for the info!

  3. William Chadwick says:

    Thank you for this post. It saved me hours of grief. I hate Turabian, but Alas! the seminary like’s it- nay, even requires it for reasons beyond my comprehension. I just hope that the professor likes the way Word formats my paper.

  4. Judy says:

    I am a long-time Word user and I absolutely hate the 2007 version. I have been trying to use the bibliography gallery to save time searching for references for reports, but it will not work. I can add the information, but when I insert the bibliography Word says “Invalid source specified.” Any suggestions?

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