A blog about free research software, alternative to commercial paid software.

One way to help people is to share your knowledge with those who could benefit from it. As a researcher , constant effort to solve scientific problems have exposed me to various scientific resources that can be accessed free of charge. Especially these knowledge is useful to labs and institution unable to access expensive software or novice users due to lack of expertise. In this blog, I have provided a comprehensive list of freely available softwares, alternative to commercial software. I shall share with you all that I have learned, as I make the changes or learn something new, I shall document them. Hope this blog will help those finding the way………….

Research software and books

Dec 20, 2010



BiblioExpress is a simple reference manager for researchers. It is small and easy to install. BiblioExpress can be used to collect literature references of different types, to explore bibliographic resources on the Internet, as well as to serve as a free viewer of bibliographic data. BiblioExpress can format records in several popular styles, including ACS, APA, and MLA.

Website to download: http://www.biblioscape.com/biblioexpress.htm


Bibus is a bibliographic and reference management software. As with other such tools, Bibus allows one to search, edit, and sort research bibliographic records. Bibus contains several features that makes it unique among open source and even commercial bibliographic databases. It is designed for multiuser environments and one can heiarchicaly organize reference with user defined keys.You can share the database between an "unlimited" number of users and each user will have its own classification.One can define read-only and read-write users. Live queries; that searches and updates the database changes On-line PubMed queries, On-line eTBLAST queries. Insertion of references and formatting of bibliographies into two widely used Word Processors (OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Word). Foreign language support through Unicode and gettext. As of version 1.4, Bibus is available in English, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish.
 Bibus works on most modern platforms: GNU/Linux with OpenOffice.org, Windows98/2000/XP with OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Word. On other platforms (MacOS X, ...) Bibus works with Microsoft Word but styles cannot be created at this point (this should change soon for MacOS X).

website to download: http://bibus-biblio.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page


JabRef is a reference management software that uses BibTeX as its native format. JabRef provides an easy-to-use interface for editing BibTeX files, for importing data from online scientific databases, and for managing and searching BibTeX files.

Website to download: http://jabref.sourceforge.net/


Pybliographer is a reference management software tool that deals with bibliographic databases, used for viewing, editing, searching, and reformatting bibliographies. Written in Python and licensed under GNU GPL, it provides a scripting framework of classes and functions, which makes it extendable to many other applications.
Website to download: http://pybliographer.org/

Qiqqa (pronounced "Quicker") is a gratis reference management software or researchers that allows researchers to work with thousands of PDFs. It combines PDF reference management tools, a citation manager and a mind map brainstorming tool. It integrates with BibTeX to allow researchers using LaTeX to format their lists of references in a consistent manner. It also plugs into Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010 reference management system. Researchers can store their PDF documents, annotations, tags and comments in their online Web Library using the internet cloud.

Website to download: http://www.qiqqa.com/
Referencer is a GNOME application to organize documents or references, and ultimately generate a BibTeX bibliography file. It is designed with the scientist/researcher in mind, and "document" may be taken to mean "paper" in general, although Referencer can deal with any kind of document that BibTeX can. Chief among Referencer's capabilities is the automatic acquisition of bibliographic information (metadata) for some kinds of documents. Upon adding a PDF file to a Referencer library file, it will automatically be searched for key identifiers such as a DOI code or arXiv identifier. If either of these is found, Referencer will attempt to retrieve the metadata for the document via the internet.

Website to download: http://icculus.org/referencer/

Wikindx is a free bibliographic and quotations/notes management and article authoring system (Virtual Research Environment) designed either for single use (on a variety of operating systems) or multi-user collaborative use across the internet.

Website to download: http://wikindx.sourceforge.net/
 Zotero (pronounced /zoʊˈtɛroʊ/) is a free, open source add-on for the Firefox web browser to manage bibliographic data and related research materials (such as PDFs). Separate word processor add-ons, available for Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.org Writer, add features for the automatic creation of in-text citations, footnotes and bibliographies.
Website to download: http://www.zotero.org/