5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 12, 2015 6:43 AM by philmodjunk

    References/Citation Database (Academic Research)



      References/Citation Database (Academic Research)


      Hello, I'd like to create a database to store all my references from all the research that I do in my field. I am not entirely sure of the kinds of tables that I need, though I realize I am still fighting a many-to-many relationship scenario.




      Overall, the references (I refer to those as publications) come mostly in three types:

      1. Journal Articles
      3. Books/Monographs
      5. Chapters in books or edited volumes

      Each of those can contain one or more authors, and an author in turn can belong to several publications. In creating a join table, I could link those two together then, but what would this look like in Filemaker? I am only wondering as I have three different types of publications, but would they just be resolved by having different fields, but be part of the same table? If so, would my ERD look something like this:

      Authors ----> JOIN_Author_Publication <---- Publications

      My biggest stumbling block that I seem to fail to understand is how I would enter the data. I understanding creating a customized layout for this, but how I would draw data from there, especially given the three forms of publication.

      This is also made worse than some of the authors would have the role of editor in some edited volumes. This led me to think to create an "Individuals/Persons" table, and then I would assign a role within the publication layout. Does this make sense?

      Any help you can provide is kindly appreciated.

      Many thanks!

        • 1. Re: References/Citation Database (Academic Research)


          Research would be a table where you have one record for each Research Paper or other document where you need to cite sources.

          Citation is a join table where you link a publication to a record in Research. The chapter and/or pages cited from that publication would be documented in fields of the citation record

          Publication is a table where you you create one record for each publication (Journal, book or monograph).

          PublicationAuthor is a second join table where you link a publicaiton to multiple authors/editors. The role of an author (such as "editor" would be documented in a field in PublicationAuthor.

          For linking records in a many to many relationship, the simplest approach is to set up a layout based on one of the two main tables with a portal to the Join table that links them. Example
          Research::__pkResearchID = Citation::_fkResearchID
          Publication::__pkPublicationID = Citation::_fkPublicationID

          You could set up a portal to Citation on your Research layout and format _fkPublicationID with a value list of publication ID's and titles from the Publication table. If "Allow creation of records via this relationship" is enabled for Citation in the Research to publication relationships, selecting a Publication from this value list will both create a new record in Citation and link it to both the current record on your Research layout and to the selected publication.

          • 2. Re: References/Citation Database (Academic Research)


            You probably have very good reasons to want to set it up in this way, but just judging by your question wouldn't you be better of with a reference manager like EndNote or Bookends? They solve all these problems for you automatically and have vast amounts of extra functionality built in, like auto-formatting your references in publications and allowing you to search academic libraries and insert the records in your own database, not to mention the option of linking actual publications (pdfs) to the records for easy retrieval or consultation of the texts within the reference manager itself (they have a pdf reader built-in).

            PS. I started with a relational database to keep track of references at a time when reference managers did not yet exist but now use them very intensively.

            • 3. Re: References/Citation Database (Academic Research)

              Thanks very much for your recommendations so far.

              I have used bibliographic software before (Papers, Mendeley, and Sente), but have not been happy with them. I am just trying to keep it as simple as possible (have my PDFs and books alphabetically organized in a folder, but wanted to organize my references in a database. My idea eventually is to attach notes to each publication record that I keep, and possible attach book reviews also - but that is way down the road. Thank you for your input tho! :-)

              PhilModJunk: I have taken your approach and understand the relationships between all the tables you suggested. I have added a role field in the PublicationAuthor table, and am specifying there the role for each author/editor.

              However, how would I put all the information together? How would I enter a journal article for instance? As in, how would I design the correct layout, how would I choose the table into which the information would go?

              Because the Publications table is related to both Research and Authors, would I create the overall "reference" here? I have created a portal to both the Citations (Join) and PublicationAuthor (Join) tables, but am wondering how to specify it properly for a book, journal article, or chapter/section in an edited volume. You mentioned putting the page numbers within the citation table, which I have done also. Now, for the paper/section title, this would go into Research? Would my citations record go into the Research table? If so, how would I link authors with it?

              Thank you so much for your help!

              • 4. Re: References/Citation Database (Academic Research)


                I don't want to push this, so please don't interpret it that way, and I too have used all three, though very briefly, except for Sente which got a good run. I eventually abandoned all three of them, as well as EndNote (both for Windows and later for OSX). Ultimately I ended up with Bookends (OSX) and it does exactly what I want (and if it doesn't Jon is more than willing to add new functionality, which he has done on more than one occasion). EndNote for Windows was pretty good too but is a little old-fashioned. All these programs let you link your pdfs to records in the reference manager. All of them support fields for notes as well as as fields for abstracts, summaries etc. I just don't get it, because they have so much more to offer than we can ever cobble together with a regular database ... unless you are a professional programmer of course.

                • 5. Re: References/Citation Database (Academic Research)

                  If you can use a solution (even if in other software than FileMaker) to do what you need, this will save you a lot of time and effort as this is not a trivial undertaking.

                  How would I enter a journal article for instance?

                  I will assume that this is a Journal article that you want to Cite in your research as opposed to a Journal article that you are writing.

                  Set up a Publications based layout with a portal to PulicationAuthor. If the Author(s) are already listed in the Authors table, you would then select each such author (or other contributor such as an editor) from a drop down list set up on the PublicationAuthor::_fkAuthorID field. If they are not yet in that table, you will need to go to the Authors layout and add new records for them. This process can be scripted such that you click a button on your Publication layout and you both get a new Author record and also a new PublicationAuthor record that links it to the current Publication record.

                  To cite that publication, you would then go to your Research layout and use a portal to Citations to do the same kind of link to your publication record that you have now created. In this citation record, you'd add the additional needed details such as page numbers, etc. that are specific to this one citation.