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6.5.1  Bibliographic software

Specially designed bibliographic or reference management software such as EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager and RefWorks is useful and relatively easy to use to keep track of references to and reports of studies. The choice of which software to use is likely to be influenced by what is available and thus supported at the review author’s institution. For a comparison of the above products and links to reviews of other bibliographic software packages see:



Of the packages listed above, ProCite is generally considered to be very efficient for identifying duplicate references but is no longer updated by the suppliers. It does not support the wider range of character sets allowing references to be entered correctly in languages other than English, whereas EndNote does. Bibliographic software also facilitates storage of information about the methods and process of a search. For example, separate unused fields can be used to store information such as 1) the name of the database or other source details from which a trial report was identified, 2) when and from where an article was ordered and the date of article receipt and 3) whether the study associated with an article was included in or excluded from a review and, if excluded, the reasons for exclusion.


Files for importing references from CENTRAL into bibliographic software are available from the Cochrane Information Retrieval Methods Group web site at: