Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lawsuit-proof citation software

The recent kerfuffle over EndNote-to-Zotero got me thinking:

Is there any way to convert MARC records directly into a BibTeX file en masse? So that a researcher could just download a master BibTeX file with all of a library's holdings (monograph holdings, anyway) already entered?

On the one hand, that sounds like it would be a huge file; on the other hand, it's just text. You could segment it by call number or LCSH, so that researchers only download the records in their fields.

I just think we need to be thinking in terms of pure open source solutions where we can (I know most literature faculty are not going to use LaTeX anytime soon, but data-heavy sociologists might be persuadable).

Edited to Add: I just went to a training session on our new state-wide OPAC. It has a built in feature to export any item to EndNote or RefWorks, but not to BibTeX. :( And when I asked about it, no one in the room had ever heard of BibTeX or LaTeX - at the Bio/Medical Library! This may be a pipe dream for now.
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Libri & Libertas: Books & Freedom in a Web 2.0 World by Laura H. Wimberley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 3.0 United States License.