Reference Manager is a software package for compiling personal databases in which to save and reuse bibliographic data (bibliography manager). RM is used at TU/e, but there are alternatives like for example EndNote Plus.
What exactly can Reference Manager do? What is it for?
Reference Manager is primarily a software packege for storage and retrieval of documentary or bibliographic information, i.e. information on literature.
End user software
Secondly, RM is a programme meant for end users. Scientist/Researchers/Students may use RM to compile their personal bibliographic databases. These make correct citation and reuse of literature data much easier.
Information input and output
RM databases are easy to create and fill. In many bibliographic information systems used at TU/e, selected data can be immediately saved in RM. Sometimes conversion modules known as capture files are still needed for this. See below under “import” for further explanation. Several different types of publications can be handled, not only journal articles but also for example books and book chapters.
You can however also enter bibliographic data by simply using your keyboard.
Quite handy is the option for automatically compiling literature overviews and/or references in a multitude of formats or styles. As you probably know, each (scientific) journal applies its own rules for citation of bibliographic resources in articles. Using RM, you can automatically adjust your reference list to many of these so-called citation styles. Citation styles which are not yet included you can add yourself.
Cite while you write
A final feature in RM is the option to recognize standardized indicators for bibliographic references in word-processed texts, matching these to corresponding records in one’s own database and finally compiling a reference list, according to the specific style of citation to be applied in the text.
In short, Reference Manager is a handy tool for literature research and for using while you are writing a scientific paper. Let's take for example a researcher who is writing an article to be published in Nature. He will search for relevant literature in various online bibliographic databases, and download his selection to his personal database. Then he will start drafting his article, making connections from passages in the text to relevant records in his database. Once the text is completed, RM will automatically compile the reference list in the citation style required for a contribution to Nature.
Schematic representation of Reference Manager