Remember: No PBM is a replacement for knowing the appropriate style guide. If you do not know the citation style, you will not know if the software makes a mistake.
The number of personal bibliographic management (PBM) programs is continuing to expand. You can spend a lot for a full-featured program, but there are also many free programs that will do everything necessary for a simple bibliography project like a term paper. You have to weigh the convenience of the program against the learning curve to use it well–I have always found it easier to learn the rules of the appropriate style guide rather than learn the program.
While there are many web pages that allow you to type in bibliographic data so you can then see it formatted in a particular style, the most useful programs let you store your data in a database so you can format all of your references at once. Most researchers will want the ability to output footnotes or endnotes as well as the bibliography references, something that is hard to find in free programs. And you have to weigh client-based vs. web-based versions. Client-based versions require you to only use one computer or carry your references around on a floppy or flash drive (which may not be accessible on secured computers in campus computer labs). Web-based versions will be accessible from any computer with an Internet connection.
Unfortunately for Northern Seminary students, there are not any free options that specifically support Turabian. Since Turabian was originally adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, though, Chicago style references are generally very close to Turabian.
The following free programs are good, not-too-fussy options for simple bibliography projects. If you are writing a dissertation, you would want to spring for one of the more full-featured options listed at the bottom of the page:
Free client program that can be run off a thumb drive that allows you to manually enter bibliographic data (or import data in a few select formats) and copy and paste notes or bibliography entries in ACS, APA, or MLA style. See Biblioscape for the full-featured version.
Biblioscape comes in both a Lite ($80/$50 education) and a Standard ($140/$100 education) version (as well as some much more expensive versions); both the Lite and Standard Versions allow you to manually enter bibliographic data or import it from a variety of sources. The Lite version lacks some of the integration with wordprocessing software. It does include formats for both Chicago and Turabian style.
Software for ca. $100 that will let you build a database of references and then will output your references in many different possible style formats. A $20 add-on package allows you to capture bibliographic information directly from web pages.
Full-featured software for ca. $240 that will let you build a database of references and research notes and then will output your references in many different possible style formats. EndNote is slightly more full-featured than ProCite, allowing you to store images and digital objects. Compare all of Thomson ResearchSoft’s products at http://thomsonresearchsoft.com/compare/.
Web-based program for $8.00 per year subscription that allows you to store biblographic data on the web and then export formatted bibliographies and notes in both MLA and APA styles. Data for many in-print books can be copied to your database without having to be manually entered.
Nota Bene was one of the earliest academic writing products before the days of Windows wordprocessors. It is its own wordprocessing program as well as a reference and citation database program. Scholar’s Workstation is ca. $400; Lingua Workstation with support for non-Roman scripts is ca. $450.
Full-featured software for ca. $240 that will let you build a database of references and research notes and then will output your references in many different possible style formats. ProCite is slightly less full-featured than EndNote; ProCite does not allow you to store images and digital objects. Compare all of Thomson ResearchSoft’s products at http://thomsonresearchsoft.com/compare/.
Reference Point Software
Downloadable templates for $28 for APA or MLA styles that simplify the process of creating a document in those styles including tools to help you create correctly formatted notes and bibliographies.
$100 per year subscription gets you access to RefWorks’ web-based program that stores your bibliographic data on the Internet and can generate notes and bibliographies for you in a wide variety of formats. Compare all of Thomson ResearchSoft’s products at http://thomsonresearchsoft.com/compare/.
For $35 you get a Microsoft Word interface that formats your paper for you with predefined styles based on APA, MLA, Chicago, or “Seminary” (adaptation of Chicago) style rules. (Note that it is $35 for only one style; if you want two styles, you have to purchase them separately.) Unfortunately, only the APA and MLA versions store your citations in a database; the Chicago version of StyleEase requires you to retype the same data each time you cite the work.