What's Special about ProCite?

I know that I find ProCite a very useful tool for managing data.  Especially specialized data from a library or indexing a journal (which I have done).

What features do you use that are not available in Reference Manager or in EndNote?

My answer to this question:

  • MARC21 compatibility and the ability to use library catalogs without having to reformat the data.
  • Searching up to the 20th character on a line
  • Create PDF’s from the results window in the software - versus having to put into a document first.
  • The library or specialized features that comes from being created by librarians.

Here are some more desired Procite features missing from other programs:

  • Groups!!!

  • Flexibility with respect to Marking records:

    • The ‘Mark Selected’ is something I just assumed all applications had.  It has saved me hours of work.
    • Marking a record and having ithe ‘x’ show up regardless of where you are in the database.  For example, if you do a search in Reference Manager, and mark a record from that search, the ‘x’ won’t show up beside the same record in the main list of references.
  • Sophisitcated search functionality allows users to identify subsets quickly

    • 16 operators
    • 1024 characters allowed
    • automatically searches all fields if no field is specified
  • An exceptional find and replace feature that allows replacement of tabs, paragraph markers and linefeeds

  • Control over the Record IDs.  One can renumber them according to desired sort order, choose the increments i.e. by 10 or 1

Hello lizajane,

Some of these features are present in the other programs, though ProCite is the only one that has all of the features you listed:

  • Groups were added to EndNote X1
  • EndNote X1’s Change Text command does allow you to replace Tabs and Carriage Returns.
  • Reference Manager does allow you to change Record Numbers

Message Edited by PTravis on 04-04-2008 12:55 PM


This is the usual response from Thomson when someone points the advantages of ProCite, that some of the features are in this product, some are in that product, some are to be added to another product, and so on. The point is that ProCite has them all now and has had them for years.

My response to the question is that ProCite has multiple views of the database. I can view (and scroll through and jump to a particular item in) all records, marked records, records for a given author, journal, title, keyword or workform, and records in a given group. The ability to view the term lists makes it much easier to find and correct multiple spellings (and misspellings) of authors, journals and keywords.

These views are maintained while I work so I can find and mark records with multiple searches or using other views and then view all the records so found. A marked list can be viewed, printed, edited, deleted, used to form a group and/or copied to another database.

When you can tell me which product has (or will have) all these facilities I will consider switching, but hurry. Things like Zotero are catching up on you.

David Harvey

Hello David,

I apologize if it was not clear in my previous post that ProCite is the only program with all of these features.  That is something unique to ProCite.

The reason why I mention that some of the features are present in other programs is more for users not that familiar with the different products who may read the thread.  If someone is determining which program to purchase, or if they are considering switching to a different program, I want to make sure that they have accurate information about the features present in the different programs.  

I think people are getting flustered because ProCite has so many features that the others don’t have.

What makes ProCite different than Endnote (any version) or Reference Manager (any version)?

Simply - it was never originally developed to be a “personal citation manager”.  It was originally for library bibliography creation, administrative work, a utility for indexers, and power users.  A power user is someone that knows the information needs of ones client (yes client and not a paper) and who also does research on a constant basis. The other software programs are “Personal Citation Managers” meant for one person working on a paper or a small group working on a project.  They are almost inappropriate for the power user to even go near.

I think the overall thing is - “How can I squeeze my data into Endnote or Reference Manager while not losing any functionality or currently used software options?”-these are actual fears.

I didn’t realize that Procite was such a powerful program. One thing I was wondering: does it allow easy importing from Google Scholar? I don’t see it on the list of import programs, but has anyone gotten it to work with one of the other programs set?

Hello philosopherdog,

ProCite can import references from google scholar.  ProCite can import references in the RIS tagged format and these steps configure google scholar to use that format: 


Then you would use the “Import to RefMan” link in google scholar to send the references to ProCite.

ProCite remains the premier tool for MANAGING references, due principally to its ability to retain multiple views of the data and switch between them with a couple of mouse clicks. Viewing by terms makes it easy to find errors and duplications in author and journal names and titles, to display references by author, to view references by author and journal, and to find errant references which have been imported with the ‘wrong’ workform, to name just a few of the advantages of ProCite. Add to that the ability to create your own temporary view by marking and unmarking records and the result is a tool unmatched in the industry. Other tools have their own advantages, but without the basic facilities for managing references they are not competitive.