Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
Reference managers are not simple citation shepherds any longer. They now search on-line sources and download and organize them off-line. Two years ago, the EndNote program, reviewed in JAMA, provided these triple functions for the first time in one package.1 Now, ProCite 5 provides all of the above in an even more versatile manner.
In the health care arena, access to MEDLINE is now indispensable; most of us reach it through an Internet service provider (ISP) in a transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) environment. Another manner of communication is via the Z39.50 protocol, a computer-computer interface using a specific port within TCP/IP.2 The Library of Congress (LOC), National Library of Medicine, and several academic libraries use Z39.50. Both EndNote and ProCite search National Library of Medicine, LOC, and several free or subscribed databases via Z39.50. The overlay for searches of MEDLINE or LOC is similar to the familiar PubMed template.3ProCite downloads and saves data; extensive off-line manipulation is then possible. I was able to sort, list, and search the citations by date, title, or authors. Key terms may be listed with a frequency-of-occurrence count. Searching by text, authors, or keywords is possible. Common features such as shared keywords or authors may reside as grouped references from within a file. Thus, from a large download of 1805 articles on "lobbying," I could narrow down articles on "Medicare" numbering 163, and of those, "date equal to or greater than 1998," numbering 45. With Boolean operators one can locate and then create multiple subgroups containing terms such as Kansas or Medicare or Fund Raising. It is possible to open a saved article and hot-link it to a PubMed citation on NLM's site. In addition to PubMed searches, I was able to search in the LOC catalogue, although the value of this catalogue, but not the library itself, may be limited for health care.
Reference ManagerProCite 5. JAMA. 2000;283(21):2851-2852. doi:10.1001/jama.283.21.2851-JBK0607-4-1