I'm looking to clean up our citation database and would like to be able to record the institutions that authors are affiliated, especially in cases where a publication is reporting on a collaboration beyond a single lab or institution. However as far as I can tell, Zotero, Mendeley and Papers (Mac) don't support the ability to associate each author with a particular university or institution. Does anyone know of any citation or bibliography management software that enables this level of detail in capturing citations?

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    To those voting to close: please see the linked meta question regarding shopping questions. In my opinion, this doesn't fit that bill at all and is directly on-topic here.
    – eykanal
    Oct 26, 2018 at 18:57
  • For what it's worth, this is a nonstandard entry in bibtex, so that's not apparently a good solution here. Curious if there is a good one.
    – eykanal
    Oct 26, 2018 at 18:59
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    @eykanal biblatex supports data field annotations, but I am not sure if there is a reference manager that makes use of them.
    – StrongBad
    Oct 27, 2018 at 0:58

2 Answers 2


Depending on how you define citation or bibliography management software, you can get part of the way there in the LaTeX world. The biblatex package in conjunction with the biber program supports data annotations. With biblatex/biber the database files can be in a variety of formats, but the most common is probably a bibtex .bib file (yeah the LaTeX world is confusing). Assuming a .bib file, for each entry you would add a field author+an with a value similar to 1=University A; 2=University B; ...; N=University N to denote the affiliation of each author (I think it can even support a list of affiliations for each author). With biblatex and biber you can store the author specific affiliations in the data base and get access to them when citing, but this is only part of the way there.

I am not aware of a nice graphical front end for managing bib files that directly supports data field annotations. The database is a plain text file, so maybe a text editor counts ...

I am also not aware of any biblatex styles that utilize data annotations, so you would have to roll your own. While updating a style to print the annotations is relatively easy, at the user level you are pretty limited. J Doe at University A and J Doe at University B are going to be treated as the same person. There is no user level support for sorting based on author name and then affiliation (or even affiliation of the first author).

  • On the Mac, you can use BibDesk, which allows you to create custom fields, and hence would allow you to create that data. The problem, as you already mention, is how do you use the annotations…
    – juandesant
    Mar 30, 2020 at 15:04

Try Scopus. They support a tracking system where you can export scientists' work and obtain their respective affiliation per publication. However, it might be a bit tedious depending on how many scientists you want to investigate.

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