Author's bibliography - Is it doable?


I would like to create an author’s bibliography -with over 2,000 entries, each of them with several fields- and I was wondering if RefMan is suitable for this as it is quite different from from the Works Cited or Bibliography section of an article, a M.A. or a PhD.

What follows is an example of how I would like to display the data; the information in [] shouldn’t appear, but I need it to show it here to make as clear as possible what I need in each field.

[Title of magazine] Sepia [issue and/or volume of the perodical] #22, [date] September 1983. [editor] Colin David Webb, [press] Kawabata Press, [place] Cornwall, UK.
[contents] “eulogy to a hell of a dame”; “now”; “Big John of Echo Park and nearby parts…”; “nice try”; “repeat”; “the puzzle”
[notes/comments] “I got to know about Bukowski’s work through a friend who was into the beats […] I wrote to him to ask if he would like to send me a couple of poems to use in Sepia. I explained the small circulation of the magazine (usually 100-200 per issue) and that I couldn’t pay etc and he replied with a bundle of poems […] This was the only occasion I asked anyone for some poems. […] Sepia was started in July 1977. Punk was breaking out in the UK and people were putting out their own tapes/records ets so I jumped on the band-wagon with poetry and stories and put out Sepia. At that time there was a very healthy small press market in the UK –dozens of small magazines like Sepia," Colin Webb, May 8th 2007.

Another example, a book, would be as follows:
[Book] At Terror Street and Agony Way. [Press] Black Sparrow Press, [place] Santa Rosa, CA, [year] 1968.
[Contents] As I Lay Dying-Beerbottle-K.O.-Sunday Before Noon-7th. Race When the Angels Swung Low and Burned-On Going Out to Get the Mail-I Wanted to Overthrow the Government but All I Brought Down Was Somebody’s Wife-The Girls-35 Seconds-A Note on Rejection Slips-The Mexican Girls-True Story-X-Pug-Class-Living-The Intellectual-Red and Gold Paint-Shot of Red Eye-I Don’t Need a Bedsheet with Slits for Eyes to Kill You In-I Met a Genius-Poverty-Poem to a Most Affectionate Lady-To Kiss the Worms Goodnight–John Dillinger and Le Chasseur Maudit-The Flower Lover-Traffic Ticket-A Little Sleep and Peace of Silence-He Even Looked like a Nice Guy-Children in the Sky-The Weather Is Hot on the Back of My Watch-Note to a Lady Who Expected Rupert Brooke-Reunion-Now-The Difference between a Bad Poet and a Good One is Luck-Eat-The Man with the Hot Nose-Notations from a Muddled Indolence-For the Mercy-Mongers

I’ll probably need a couple of more fields to display info. from my own research, but this is basically how I would like to display the information. Before each entry, there should be a number, as in “1. Sepia

I don’t think this is really complicated and I bet Endnote or RefMan could do this. Problem is, I need several Indexes, such as “Magazines”, “Poems”, “Stories”, “Unpublished poems”, etc. This means that I have probably to mark each item listed in each entry so I can then create the Indexes I need by running the appropriate query. There might be a script to do this or to import available information online (from libraries and such as they usually list the contents -poems/stories- of a given book), but I really have no idea.

Any help at all will be appreciated.

I think Endnote should accomplish this pretty easily, and I assume Ref Man would too.  You could sort on Reference Type and create a type for each of your categories or use a custom field to  distinguish between them. A bit of editing of the reference types (in preferences) and the styles templates should give you the output you desire.  People on the list (or the ref man list, although this list is far larger, and answers come quicker) can help, once you have made your software choice.

In X2, you can search on reference type or on any field in a record, so producing the output should be relatively simple.  Searches can be saved and rerun, providing the “script”.  Also, you can create smart groups based on searches, which will be automatically updated when new records are entered or information is edited in an existing record to match the search, so you can select a group and export to a bibliography list.  Numbering is achieved thru the Output Styles, which, as I said above, will probably need some tweaking.  The program is very powerful, and with that comes a learning curve to acheive some of the functionality you want.  But as I say, the usergroup here is very helpful. 

You can also produce bibliographies thru the subject bibliography facility, and that might be a good aspect to explore for your needs. 

I am pretty sure you can download a demo and play with it a little, to see if it can do all you want it to do, coming back here to this thread for more specifics, as you explore the software. 

Thanks, I’ll download the demo and give it a try.

I’m from Spain and my English re. technicalities is quite limited, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to do much tweaking to existing styles and/or templates, but I’ll try my best.

There are two things that I would really need to know: Can EndNote create Indexes easily out of the input data? We’re talking about almost 5,000 poems and several hundred short stories, so it will take me a long while to dump all data. It would be a pity if then I could not create the Indexes I need. 

Also, will I be able to import data from online libraries? I see that many libraries allow to save their entries as an Endnote file, but  I suspect those are standard files. Will I be able to import/convert those entries to meet my needs?


I don’t know of any way to get it to “index”.  Sorry.  But other users out there might have some ideas.

As for the resources, if you can get the database to export a file in a standardized way, with the information you want, tagged in a way that uniquely identifies the different fields you wish to keep, then one can create a filter to import it, and you should be able to collect the information you need.  If it has the Z39.50 retrieval proticol, the connect feature can be used.  These may require tweaking by someone in Tech support at Thomas or another user on the forum. 

I suspect that given some time, people here or Endnote’s Tech support may help you produce both the ref types, the import filters and the output styles you need. 

Like I said, indexing is a bit more complicated and I am not sure Endnote is capable of that. 

Searching for “index” in Endnote’s help brought up this, so maybe this can be converted into something you can use?:

Overview of Subject Bibliographies

You can create subject bibliographies and subject lists.

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A general bibliography is a continuous listing of citations in a particular order. A subject bibliography is made up of smaller listings, each appearing under a distinct heading. Despite the name, a subject bibliography (or a subject list) can be based on any EndNote field or combination of fields.

Subject bibliographies have diverse uses, including:  generating lists of journal abstracts; current awareness lists; subject indexes; or lists of holdings by category. Typical subject bibliography headings are by Keyword, Author, Journal Title, or Call Number.

You can print entire bibliographic citations, information from one or more fields, record IDs, or nothing at all under each heading.

Thanks again. I’m not sure the subject bibliography would work. It seems that you have to dump all the data and then list/create the subject bibliography. Of course, I’m a newbie and I really have no idea. But perhaps it would be safer to create a customised output style, etc.

Still, it’s not clear to me whether I would be able to create several indexes out of the input data. For instance, I would need an Index for uncollected poems. See below:

Sepia 22, September 1983. Colin David Webb, ed. Kawabata Press: Cornwall, UK.
[contents] “eulogy to a hell of a dame”; “now”; “Big John of Echo Park and nearby parts…”; “nice try” [uncollected]; “repeat”; “the puzzle".

I guess I would need to mark somehow such an item to then be able to list it in the “Uncollected Poems Index”. If I’m able to create all the  Indexes I need, then I’m almost sure EndNote is the way to go…

Just in case my first post was kinda confusing, here’s a clearer explanation of what I would need -hopefully!

All the 5,000 plus entries are by the same author, so I obviously don’t need an “author” field. What I guess I need is a set of styles which allow me to input the data depending on the source. For instance, there might be magazines, broadsides, books, ephemera (postcards, posters, etc). In some cases, some poems were reprinted in different magazines and anthologies. For instance:

[Entry 333 - a magazine]: South and West 22.1, Sept. 1965. Susan Abbott, ed. South and West: Fort Worth, TX.
[contents]: “too dark”, “no future”, “bright sunny day”, “sun coming down”

[Entry 444 - a book with dozens of poems] Down by the River. Pink Vulture Press: Chico, CA, 1999.
[contents]: “homegrown’s good”, “ain’t fixin’ it”, “bright sunny day”, “digital clock”, etc.

[Entry 555 - single poem printed as a broadside] “Bright Sunny Day”. Capra Press: San Diego, CA, 2001.
[contents]: “Bright Sunny Day”.

[Entry 666 - An anthology] Poems for the Future. David Mills, ed. New York, NY, 2004.
[contents]: “me against the world”, “bright sunny day” and “sun coming down”.

Then, in the alphabetical “Index of Poems”, I would need this:
“Bright Sunny Day”: 333, 444, 555, 666 [the numbers refer to the entries in the main body of text]
“Sun Coming Down”: 333, 666.

Is this feasible in EndNote or RefMan? How do you create such an Index?


Are the entry numbers being generated or are you assigning them?

I made them up, as well as the poem titles, but that’s the kind of indexing I would need. Is it feasible with Endnote or RefMan?

I am not sure… I am thinking.  easy to do part one, but the indexing itself  probably needs a different kind of software…as discussed here? 

So Indexing is not possible with EndNote? That seems weird to me. You’d think there should be a way to input data or create keywords to then display the required Indexes…

EndNote doesn’t do indexing (it wasn’t designed for that), but it has an excellent Subject Bibliography function.

The term “Subject” Bibliography is a bit misleading. You can generate a bibliography arranged by any of the fields in your references. It certainly works well for creating a bibliography arranged by the Keywords, but it is also useful for producing lists by Author, Year, or any other criterion.

Thanks, John. Looks like the “Subject” Bibliography function might be useful after all to create “indexes” of a sort.

Anyway, let’s just use two very simple actual cases of what I would need.

[1 - entry number] Misnomer [magazine name] 1 [volume/issue], June 1994 [date]. Will Robson, ed. [editor] Tronic Press [press]: La Honda, CA [place]
[contents - poems]: no chance - broken toys - bayonets in candlelight

[2 - entry number] Living on Luck [book title]. Sudden Death Press [press]: Chicago, IL, [place] 1999 [date].
[contents - poems]:  odd endings - don’t come around - no chance [there are more poem titles, but no need to list them all]

So I would need these 2 entries displayed thus in a doc, pdf, html, etc, file [the bibliography would be chronologically arranged]:

  1. Misnomer 1, June 1994. Will Robson, ed. Tronic Press : La Honda, CA.
    no chance - broken toys - bayonets in candlelight
  2. Living on Luck. Sudden Death Press: Chicago, IL, 1999.
    odd endings - don’t come around - no chance

Then, in the alphabetical “index of poems” at the end of the bibliography, I would need this:
bayonets in candlelight: 1
broken toys: 1
don’t come around: 2
no chance: 1, 2
odd endings: 2

The problem here, if any, is how to tell EndNote to list in the “index of poems” the number entries after each poem title. Of course, if you can think of any other way to tell the reader where to find each poem, I’d love to hear it. I just thought that listing the entry number(s) after each poem in the “index of poems” should be the easiest and shortest way to do  so, but  I’ve been known to  be wrong many a time!


It’s always risky to use EndNote for things it wasn’t designed to do. It can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort.

One possibility that you could experiment with is to put an identifier in a field such as Short Title. This could be a combination of (for example) the year of publication and the magazine title.

When using the Subject Bibliography function to create your index of poem titles (which I suppose you would extract from another field, where each poem title would be entered on a separate line), you could use a simple style which you have created yourself, and which only uses data in the Short Title field. This should produce a listing arranged by poem titles, follwed by the data in the Short Title field of the relevant reference.

You could then use EndNote to generate a “normal” bibliography from your library, using a more standard style, which has been modifed to sort by year of publication.

This gives you two separate bibliographies. Users would have to navigate from the title listing back to the main listing to find the full details of the source.

Thanks, John. That seems a reasonable angle, but I really do not have the skills or knowledge to do such a thing in EndNote. Besides, since EndNote is not really intended for indexing, it would be risky business for sure.