University of Exeter


PSY6002 Workshops in Psychology/PSY6031 Workshops in Economic Psychology
Basic Research Skills

Storing your own bibliographic material: detailed procedures

Simple solutions | Commercial solutions | dbCindex

Purpose of this page

This page summarises the detailed procedures required for doing a simple, standard set of tasks with each of the data base management approaches outlined on the companion web page, Making a data base of your own references. If you haven't already done so, you need to read that page first - this one won't make a lot of sense on its own. The present version of this page is very much a first draft, little more than an aide memoire for the lecture, use it with caution.

Procedures described for the simpler solutions are different from those for the more complex, special purpose software, since with the simpler approaches you can't do everything the specialist software makes possible.

Simple solutions

The following are very brief notes, to give you an idea of how to go about using one of the simpler solutions. They are not step by step instructions, and you will need some computer nous, and some familiarity with the programs concerned. But they will tell you how to get started.

Keeping a list of references in APA (or some other) format in a Word (or other word processor) document.

In this case, all you need to know is how to type the references in (the rule is: put a "hard" return after each reference, and never allow a hard return within a reference), and how to sort the resulting list (in Word, use the mouse to select the entire list, click on the Tools menu, click on Sort, and click on OK in the box that then appears, without changing any of the settings).

Using the "Table of Authorities" procedure to store references attached to a list of short descriptions.

The following is a rough indication of the procedure for Word97 - you will need to work out the full details for yourself. Type a list of the short forms of the references. Then mark the first reference, using the mouse. Press the key combination shft-alt-I. A dialogue box will appear, with the short form appearing in two places - a box marked "Selected Text" and another marked "Short form". Edit the contents of the Selected Text box so that it contains the correct APA formatted reference. Click the button marked Mark. You will be returned to your document, with both short and long forms of the reference showing (plus a whole lot of mysterious symbols). To return it to an easy to read format, click the "show/hide paragraph marks" button. Repeat this procedure for each reference. To use the references in a paper, just cut and paste the short form references from your master list into the text the first time it is required. You can subsequently use the "Mark All" facility to transfer the hidden footnote to all occurrences of the reference. To prepare the bibliography, use the Insert Menu, click on Indexes and Tables option, and then use the Table of Authorities tab.

Using MailMerge

You will need to set up a Master Document and a Data Source. In Word97, use the Tools menu and go to MailMerge. Create a Main Document of type "catalog". Then create a Data Source. You will want to remove most of the fields that you will find present and replace them with fields like "Authors", "Date" and so forth, to contain the basic information about the reference. It is a good idea to include a field called "DataType" which you can use to specify whether a reference is to a journal article, a book, a chapter, or whatever. Having created the data source structure, you should add one or two sample references. Once you have done this, you can edit your Master document by using the two buttons labelled Insert Merge Field and Insert Word Field: Insert Merge Field allows you to enter a field name, which will be replaced by the value of the corresponding field for each selected reference in turn, while Insert Word Field allows you to insert logical steps like If... Then..., which will enable you to deal with the different kinds of reference that can occur. If you want to edit your master document or your data source subsequently, you re-enter them by means of the Tools menu.

Using a Data Base Manager

Access is relatively easy to use. You should start by creating a new, blank data base, and then creating a new table to hold the information about your references. You can use the Table Wizard to give you a basic layout, which you then modify - the Books example provided (in the Personal collection) would give you quite a good start. To modify the table layout later, select the Table concerned, and then use the Design button. Virtually all the fields you will want in a reference data base will need to be of the Text type, but long fields (for example, for including Abstracts or your own notes) should be of the Memo type.

Commercial solutions --- and dbCindex

The following table shows which menus to use to carry out a few basic functions with each of the commercial solutions, and with the free dbCindex program. This is closer to being a step-by-step guide, but you will still need to do more than is indicated here - but it should be more intuitive than for the simpler software solutions. The functions listed here nowhere near exhaust what you can do with the more advanced programs, but would enable you to get started to the point where you can explore their facilities for yourself.




Reference Manager



Start a new data base automatic on first entry go to the File menu and click New go to the File menu and click New Database go to the File menu and click New Click the "create and start a new database" button on the opening screen
Enter a reference key I or mouse/tab to Input on main menu. Use Type menu to select data type to input go to the References menu and click New. Select the reference type in the drop-down box provided. When finished use the File menu and select Save go to the References menu and click New. Click on Generic next to Ref Type to get a drop-down list of reference types Go to the Database menu and click New Record (or press F9) Type the short form name in the Papers grid, then click the Show Details button to enter remining information
Author name entry format Estes, WK 


Estes, William K. 

Skinner, Burrhus F.

Estes,W.K.;Skinner,B.F. Estes,W.K.;Skinner,B.F. EstesWK,SkinnerBF
Read in a downloaded file of references from PsycLit or BIDS 

NB Except for dbCindex, always use Dowload Format when emailing reference lists from Bids.

First time only: Use Formats on main screen, and the liBrary, to find and load the correct input format (use IMPORT.FLB, and copy SILVER PSYC for PsycLit) 

Subsequently: Use iMport, specifying the correct input format when requested

[at present this is not working--for probable reasons see the EndNote column]

go to the File menu and click Import. Open the Import Option drop-down box and look for Psyclit_SP.enf for PsycLit, BIDS.enf for BIDS. If the filter you want is there, select it; if not, select Other Filters, then select Silver Platter followed by PsycLit, or Bids followed by BIDS.enf. Specify the file location and click Import. 

NB PsycLit have recently changed their output format and it may be necessary to edit the Psyclit_SP.enf file to conform with the new use of the SO field. This is fairly easy to do.

go to the References menu and click Capture. At Definition name, use either the drop-down box or the button with ... on it to select SILVERPLATTER-PSYCLIT for a file from PsycLit, or BIDS (TAGGED) for a file generated from BIDS. Select the data file, and click Capture. 

At present the PsycLit option does not work correctly, because of the change in PsycLit's output format.

go to the Tools menu and click Import Text File. Select the file and click OK. When a preview of the file appears, set the right file format using the dropdown box; either Silver Platter (SPIRS) for PsycLit, or Dialog for BIDS. Then click Transfer. An error box may appear while transferrring BIDS files, but this appears to be non-fatal: respond with the Use Default button. 

As with other systems, the recent changes to Psyclit formats mean that transfers from Psyclit may not work.

go to the File menu, click Read bibliography, and select the required format. 

dbCindex has been updated to handle the new PsycLit format

Output a bibliography in APA format First time only: Use Formats, and then liBrary, to find and copy the APA output format from library BIOMED.LIB 

Subsequently: Use Group to create a new reference group, and to set its format to APA. Re-enter Group, and use Modify to add the required references to the group. Then use List to output the members of the group.

go to the Styles menu and look for APA_Published.ens entry. If it is present, click it. If not, click More style, and select Psychology then APA_Published.ens 

Then go to the File menu and click Export. The .rtf file produced can be loaded into Word or other word processors

Use the check boxes by the references in the list to select the references to be included. 

Go to the Bibliography menu and click on Generate from Reference List. In the dialogue box that appears, go to Output Style and use either the dropdown box, or the button with ... on it, to select APA 4th ed. For a conventional bibliography, clear all the Optional Fields check boxes. Click OK to send a .rtf file that can be read into your word processor

Go to the File menu and click Print Bibliography. It won's print staright away - instead, a draft appears on the screen. Use the drop down box at the top of the screen to select APA output format go to the File menu, click Write bibliography

Stephen Lea

University of Exeter
School of Psychology
Washington Singer Laboratories
Exeter EX4 4QG
United Kingdom
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Document revised 3rd December 1998