Verifying Bibliographic Information

While it's easy to import reference information from online sources, you have to be especially careful about its quality. Common problems include incorrect reference types or author names appearing in capital letters or information that is incomplete or missing altogether. The following tips will help you avoid incomplete and incorrect information in your bibliography.

Assign References to be Checked 

If you import references from online sources or using the Picker, assign them the task Verify bibliographic information right away. Display the Source field (see customizing the reference tab) if you would like to see which database the bibliographic information for a particular reference came from.

Compare the information in Citavi to the original work and make any necessary corrections.

After checking the bibliographic information, mark the Verify bibliographic information task as Done. In the Source field, select Original source.

Once you've finished your publication, create a selection of all references cited in the document. Check that you verified the bibliographic information for all of the references.

Correcting Bibliographic Information

Book or edited book? Most library catalogs do not distinguish between these two reference types. If the reference has an editor and if you see in the table of contents that each chapter has a different author, double-check that the reference type is correct. To change an incorrect reference type, on the References menu, click Change reference type > Book, Edited or Conference proceedings or Collected work.

Authors added correctly?
For Citavi to be able to format author names correctly, they need to be entered in the order "Last name Comma First name". Multiple authors need to be separated by semicolons. Some databases do not export names in a structured way with the result that Citavi cannot interpret the names correctly. You may not see this right away in Citavi, but you can check by placing the cursor in a person field and then pressing F9. In the author editor window you can then check that last names and first names were added correctly.

Author or Journal in all caps?
Correct the name or periodical using the list feature: Lists > Persons and organizations or Lists > Periodicals. Double-click an entry to correct it.

Names written multiple ways?
Under Lists > Persons and organizations you might see that the same author appears in two different formats, such as Miller, P.C. or Miller, Patricia C. or Miller, Patricia Catherine. This can lead to incorrect sorting in the bibliography or lead Citavi to format multiple citations incorrectly (for example: Miller 2010a, Miller 2010b). If you're sure it's the same person, select two entries and click Merge. Merge to the entry with the most complete information. Repeat until you've removed all the variations.

Author or organization?
You might notice that Citavi inserts first names in Word in full instead of abbreviating them, even though your citation style is supposed to use abbreviated first and middle names. This is a sign that first name of the author in question is not in the First name field. As a result, Citavi treats the person as an organization. Correct the entry under Lists > Persons and organizations.

No author?
If the Picker can't find author information in a PDF or webpage's metadata, it won't be added to Citavi. Try to find the information by viewing the original source. For webpages you can often find the editor in the website credits or legal information. If you cannot find any information, enter "s. n." (lat.: sine nomine, without a name. Enter "Anonymous" for works that have "Anonymous" listed as the author. For other cases, consult your citation style guidelines.

Is the last update correct? Many websites are generated at the time they are visited. If this is the case, the Last update field will contain the same date as the Access date field. Check the website's footer for the actual last update. For journal and newspaper articles you can usually find the date at the beginning or end of the article.

No date?
If you cannot determine the publication year, enter the abbreviation "n. d." (no date).

No place of publication?
Books found in Google Scholar, Google Books or Amazon often don't include the place of publication. If you cannot determine the place of publication later on, enter "n. p." (no place) in the Place of publication field.