This is a short introduction to "refbase", an initiative that originated at the Institute for Polar Ecology at the University of Kiel (northern Germany) under the initiative and auspices of Matthias Steffens.

At our institute, we felt the need to develop a web-based solution for managing scientific literature, references and citations. Aims are to develop a web-based, platform-independent, multi-user application for literature databases based on php and mysql.

An implementation that aims to provide a comprehensive and platform-independent literature resource for scientists working in the field of polar & marine sciences can be reviewed at:

However, among the goals of this project is to adhere to web standards (i.e. produce standards compliant html code), avoid cookies (if possible) and make only sparse use of stuff like javascript - in short: keep things simple and accessible.

The database application offers:

  • a clean & standardized interface
  • a multitude of search options, including both, simple & advanced as well as powerful SQL search options
  • various display & export options
  • easy-to-use and platform indipendent in-text-citation

We realize that there are similar initiatives in the workings, but we felt the need to develop a custom solution that would really fit our own needs.

Just have a look and you will see the power of refbase.