Biblioscape 8 release

Dear Biblioscape Users,

Biblioscape 8 has been made available at

Installation: Installing and removing Biblioscape 8 is simple. The installation file bsp8.exe is a self extracting zip file. You can run bsp8.exe and unzip it to an empty folder. To run Biblioscape, double click the Biblioscape.exe file. To remove it, delete the Biblioscape folder. For Windows Vista users, do not unzip Biblioscape to any folder under "C:\Program Files\", because Vista doesn't allow any program to save files under that folder and its sub-folders. Please unzip it to "C:\Biblioscape 8\" or any other folder that you have the full access privilege.

History: Since the version 7.0 release, we have added several new features in the subsequent 7.x releases. The most important one is the introduction of the new composition module which is designed for writing a thesis or book. In version 8, notes versioning support is added. The initial version 7 release changed the folder-reference relationship from many-to-many to one-to-many. In version 8, the concept "Collection" is introduced. A reference still has to reside under one folder only, but it can be added to many collections. Version 7 laid the foundation for many useful features to be added in future releases.

Upgrade: If you are a current user of Biblioscape 5, 6, 7 and want to test this new release against your existing database, please install and run Biblioscape 8 first. Then make a copy of your existing database folder. Run Biblioscape 8 and go to "File | Open Database". Select and open the *.bsl file in your copied database folder. Biblioscape 8 will convert the database to the version 8 format. This process is time consuming. If your existing database has many thousands of records, the database upgrade process will take hours, so it is best to do it before you go to bed or leave your office. When converting version 5 or 6 databases, Biblioscape 8 will put all references under the folder "References" and change all existing folders to collections, so all the many-to-many relationships in your database will be maintained.

Features: Now it is time to talk about the things you really want to hear. What are the new features? Built on top of the milestone version 7 release, some interesting features have been added to make adding new references very easy. I will briefly describe the major changes:


  • The folder panel is now called "Projects". Under the projects panel, users can add folders as well as collections. A record (reference, note, etc.) can reside only under one folder, but can be included in many collections. Both folders and collections are designed to represent a research project you need to work on.   
  • Inside the projects panel, you can go to all the following modules: references, notes, tasks, charts, categories, composition, library, deleted, links, and internet.
  • After clicking on a folder or collection, Biblioscape will display the number of records under that folder or collection so you can easily see how many records are under each folder and collection.



  • The Online Search tab has been added, and searching and capturing references has become very simple. Under the "Web Search" tab, two popular search engines are included: Google Scholar and PubMed Medline. Under the "Z39.50" tab, more than 2,000 sites are included, most of which are university library catalogs. For both "Web Search" and "Z39.50" search, users only need to enter a search string; the hits will be captured automatically into the "Online Search" folder. Users can then drag and drop them into other folders.    
  • When users browse to a reference, Biblioscape will automatically look for the full text of the selected reference using major search engines.
  • When users browse a reference, Biblioscape will automatically look for related references of the selected reference using major search engines.
  • If the full text of the selected reference is available, it will be displayed inside Biblioscape wether the file is in PDF or HTML format.
  • The following fields have been added to the reference table: Original_pub, Custom_date, Custom_number.
  • Users can now organize references under a folder or collection in a parent-child relationship. For example, you can put all book chapter references under the book reference.


Online Search allows users to search against major web search engines for references, as well as Z39.50 sources for university library catalogs.

A PDF file in the Attachment field will be displayed inside Biblioscape.

A web page in the URL field is displayed inside Biblioscape. Biblioscape searches the Web if the full text is not available in the database for an existing reference and displays it in the URL or PDF tab.

Biblioscape searches the Web to find the most relevant references to the currently selected reference.


  • Notes versioning support has been added. You can select a note and create a snapshot, then compare snapshots side by side. You can easily revert back to a snapshot.
  • Notes under a collection can have an independent parent child relationship as well as independent ordering. For example, note A can be the parent of note B in a folder, but when both notes are included in a collection, note B can be made the parent of note A.



  • When linking to a categories folder, if the link type is "Metadata", all the categories under that folder will be linked. This can be used to add metadata for a record.


  • The composition module is designed to help users write long research papers, theses, or books. The compiled final draft will include formatted citations and a bibliography, a Table of Contents, a formatted suggested reading list, a glossary, and an index. The composition module is only available in the Professional and Librarian editions.


Support: You are welcome to make suggestions and report bugs at the Biblioscape user forum ( We prefer you use the forum instead of email for bug reports and feature requests, so our communication can benefit others and provoke further feedback.

I just had a chance to

I just had a chance to install the new version and I must say I'm pretty pleased with it.

New problem with Adobe reader PDF view

Dear Paul,
The PDF viewer has stopped working since I installed the most recent Biblioscape patch (8.03). It was working fine previously. I am not aware if there are any other events that might have caused the problem. I have Adobe reader 9.1.2. I also have Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended 9.1.2 installed.
When I now click on the PDF viewer I get an “unspecified error” message. Here is an added problem related to this. If I close Biblioscape with the little PDF box highlighted and then restart Biblioscape, I not only get the error message "unspecified error" which would be expected, but also many of the citations shown in the main window are missing (or at least cannot be accessed). This is fixed by highlighting one of the other boxes (Live Preview, Formatted, Links etc.), closing Biblioscape, and then re-opening Biblioscape.
There is no problem by the way accessing the PDF attachment in Acrobat using the link designated by the paperclip.

Dr. Robert Masson

The PDF viewer is not

The PDF viewer is not changed in version 8.03. I think the problem is still related to Acrobat Pro. Have you tried reinstall Acrobat Reader? Thanks, Paul


Yes, I did uninstall and reinstall Adobe Reader. Also rebotted between those steps.
Dr. Robert Masson

Robert Masson, if you have

Robert Masson, if you have Acrobat Pro, Biblioscape cannot display the PDF file inside Biblioscape. Please click the "Attachment" icon on the preview header. The PDF file will opened outside of Biblioscape.


Interesting. I can live with that, but surprisingly for at least a while both the Reader was working in Biblioscape and Acrobat was working with the attachment icon. I presume this has something to do with the way Adobe uses the registry.
Is there any way to avoid error message (and particularly the subsequent bizzare behavior) if one accidentally hits the pdf veiw button in Biblioscape? I am just thinking of the problems this might create for users who are not aware of the problem this could cause.
Dr. Robert Masson

Graphic User Interface

I recently started working with Biblioscape 8. The new features are great and the manual, oh boy, that is a plus. But I must say I am a bit disappointed with the GUI. The grayish theme looks very pale and the field, columns, buttons, tool-bars seem to push for extra eye effort. They kind of merge on each other. I don't see the borders, if you know what I mean. The large empty gray area at the upper right corner makes it look like a work in progress, really... like something is missing. I would suggest to use a darker gray or perhaps even use a complete different theme or concept for the tools and fields - those you find in picture viewers - and perhaps fill that empty area with a logo, the owner's (user) information, or a thumbnail of the reference first page, whatever makes it look more professional. By the way, it would be great if the GUI was also customizable. Is it?



We will work on the GUI for

We will work on the GUI for the next major release. Thank you for your nice words about the manual.

Dr. Robert Masson

Dr. Robert Masson

Unsuccessful installation in Vista

I installed Biblioscape 8 as instructed under C:/Biblioscape8.
When Biblioscape starts it gives me a message that there is an unspecified error. When I try to look at the references I get the message: access violation at address 006202B3 in module "Biblioscape.exe'. Read of address 0000000F. It then shows a current reference entry in the sample bibliography but does not show the list of references or even that current reference in the top (reference list) panel.
If I go to the notes module I can see the list of notes.
Opening up a new database does not solve the problem. When I tried to enter a new reference, I get the unspecified error message.
I am current on Vista updates.

I have since found that I can get the references to show by clicking on the "tree view" or "table view" tab. But I still get the unspecified error when I open the program or if I double click on a spedific reference. It does open the reference after I respond "ok" to the "unspedified error" message.

Dr. Robert Masson

Biblioscape uses Adobe

Biblioscape uses Adobe Acrobat Reader to display PDF file inside Biblioscape. If you don't have Acrobat Reader installed, you will get this message. Please download the latest release at and overwrite the old installation. It will display a message ask user to install Acrobat Reader (free) instead of displaying that message. Thanks, Paul

Adobe Reader 9.1 is installed

I do have Adobe 9.1 installed. I also have Adobe Pro (an essential tool for me) but I presume that should not be a problem. I will reload the latest release of Biblioscape and see what happens.
Dr. Robert Masson

Biblioscape can only use the

Biblioscape can only use the freely available Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files inside Biblioscape. Having the Pro copy will not work. Paul

Does that mean that Biblioscape will not work...

Let me clarify. I do have Adobe Reader 9.1 installed. Like many people, I have both the Reader and Adobe Pro. Does that mean that Biblioscape will not work if I have a Adobe Pro installed on my computer?
It would be very unfortunate if that is the case, since I have invested a lot of time in Biblioscape and, as you know, have been a big fan. Deleting Adobe Pro from my programs is not an option.
Dr. Robert Masson

Biblioscape uses Acrobat

Biblioscape uses Acrobat Reader to display PDF. Even without it, it still works. Having Adobe Pro installed is not a problem. When you start Biblioscape, what is the exact first message? Thanks, Paul

Patch has fixed problems

I reinstalled Biblioscape8 and the patch. The program now seems to behave as you described. The absence of the PDF viewer in Biblioscape is no problem, since I prefer to work with PDF files directly in Acrobat in any case. Thank you for your timely responses.

Dr. Robert Masson

Problems with Acrobat PDF access on biblioscape

I am also having the same problem with Biblioscape (read: not Adobe Acrobat). Is there a patch that I need to run to be able to access PDF files with Biblioscape? I installed a version more recent than would have been available to Dr. Masson (i.e., more recently--early June 2009). Nonetheless, i am having the same problem. If I do need to reinstall the program for some bizarre reason to get Biblioscape to recognize my Adobe Acrobat Pro, will this erase all the saved files I have already developed? Please provide some instructions and information on the consequences of taking prescribed actions.
many thanks,

Biblioscape needs Acrobat

Biblioscape needs Acrobat Reader to display the PDF file inside Biblioscape. But you cannot edit the PDF. It doesn't support the Pro version. Do you have Acrobat Reader installed?

Adobe Professional Workarounds


Couple of comments on working with adobe professional in conjunction with bibiloscape software.

1. You can still use your professional version to highlight, take notes etc. When I read pdfs I utilize the highlight feature so that when I
go back and view the document I can quickly skim the major arguments, evidence etc. However, items I need for research I make
a physical note within biblioscape. If this is appealing to you, you need to edit attachments outside the biblioscape program and
work within the files themselves in the attachments folder in your research database.

2. Paul is correct in that you need to adobe reader in order for these pds to be displayed within biblioscape. I have both professional
and reader installed on my computer. The pdf reader in biblioscape will be able to read your edited professional documents including
notes, highlights, and scans directily within the program. It's an extra step but I just find I have my database open on one monitor
and my attachments, and pdf open in another window or monitor.


To Paul and Jim

I do have the free version of Acrobat Reader installed, same version (7.x) as my Acrobat Pro (because multiple calamities might otherwise ensue, according to Adobe). I assume this is no problem for Biblioscape (correct me otherwise, please).

I appreciate you informative comments, Jim. Unfortunately, they are not of much help as yet because Biblioscape still refuses to give me access to pdf files.

I downloaded the latest patch (around 5 July), which did not fix some of the problems it was supposed to (I still got some notes saving to other folders as well as the folders they were meant to belong to). And I still get the other error messages: "File does not start with...", etc.

And as of this writing, I am now getting a new error "Class not registered", which I have not seen before I unzipped the patch. Perhaps this is because I finally gave up (temporarily) on Biblioscape's claim to read pdf files and deleted the attached test .pdf file. But, no, I get this error message even when I try to re-attach a pdf file to that reference. And I initially got the message when I entered the references folder.

A little help from designers would be nice and some point soon. So far, their claims about PDF access do not amount to much. Thanks.

It seems Acrobat Pro will

It seems Acrobat Pro will mess up the ActiveX control of Acrobat Reader. So Biblioscape cannot display the PDF file. So instead of clicking the "PDF*" tab, you can click the attachment icon in the header. The attached PDF file will then be opened outside of Biblioscape.