Nov 11, 2009 Rick Bennett

Bibliography Citations in Accordance 8.4

Yesterday David announced the release of version 8.4, and one of our newest features: export of bibliographic citations for tools. Today I'd like to describe this in more detail, and highlight some of its strengths.

As of today we support two citation styles: SBL and Turabian. SBL is the standard for most  in the Biblical studies field, but Turabian is widely used in colleges and seminaries. At this stage we felt that these two styles would meet the needs of the majority of our users. But, there's one problem: neither of them has a completely adequate citation type for our resources. While some of our resources are published on an individually licensed CD/DVD, many aren't. Although Turabian 7th edition boasts greater support for electronic sources, many of them are tailored towards online databases and other Internet sources. Because of this ambiguity many people use our resources yet cite the print editions.

For this reason, we decided to develop a modified citation type, which treats our resources as electronic editions of their print counterparts. For SBL we consulted with a specialist in the field of Biblical studies technology, Danny Zacharias, faculty member at Acadia Divinity College, and creator of Danny has extensive experience with bibliographic software (he has written a review of the leading Mac bibliographic manager, and developed its SBL format), and is actively involved in academic research as a Ph.D. student.

Our SBL citation style is based upon The SBL Handbook of Style For Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Early Christian Studies. In addition, the Student Supplement for The SBL Handbook of Style (February 2009) was consulted. The SBL style is the most accurate and robust style for handling resources related to Biblical studies. For Turabian we consulted the latest handbook: A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th ed. We went to great lengths to make sure we were as accurate as possible for both of these styles; an advantage that we feel will be evident to those with a keen eye towards detail. Despite our best efforts, this feature is not perfect and you should always consult the handbook for the particular style you are using.

So, how does this great feature work? The first step is to go to your preferences, and select Bibliography.

Bibliography Preference

From here you will see the popup menu to select your Format: SBL or Turabian, then Footnote or Bibliography. In addition, you can create markers around your content (the typical being quotation marks), and even markers around your citation. Then, if you are using the footnote format you can opt to have the citation entered as a footnote in your favorite word processor like Word (2004/2008), Mellel,, or Nisus Writer Pro. Unfortunately, Pages is not currently supported because of a limitation in how it handles pasted text - this is not a bug in our feature.

After setting your preferences, it's just a matter of selecting the content you want to cite, and using the shortcut key (⌃⌘C), selecting Copy As Citation... from the Edit menu, or right-clicking (⌃ click) and selecting Copy As Citation… . Then, switch to your favorite app and simply paste (⌘ V). That's it. Simple.

In order to highlight some of the strengths of this feature, here are some samples of citations taken from Accordance (N = footnote; B = bibliography):

N. "‏שׁאב‎," HALOT, 4:1367.

In this SBL footnote you can see that we account for the Hebrew entry (exported as Unicode based upon my preference setting), the SBL standard abbreviation for HALOT, along with the correct volume and page in which the entry is located (thanks to our recent update of this module).

B. Koehler, Ludwig, Walter Baumgartner, and M. E. J. Richardon, eds. The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Accordance electronic edition, version 3.0. Leiden: Brill, 2000.

Here, in the SBL bibliography, you can see that we accurately account for all the editors and list the title in full. In addition, the version number of the module is automatically extracted according to your local copy.

"Some understand the thrones as a picture of Jerusalem and the other towns of Judah encircled and under siege (as suggested by 1:15b)."

N. F. B. Huey Jr., Jeremiah (NAC 16; ed. E. Ray Clendenen; Accordance electronic ed. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 54-55.

In this SBL footnote you can see that the cited text is one coherent sentence, but is actually contained within two pages of the print edition. We have stripped the page marker from the Accordance module, and accounted for the page range in the footnote citation. In addition you can see that the precise volume and abbreviated title are cited.

"In 6:11-18 Paul adds a postscript in his own handwriting."

N. Hans Dieter Betz, Galatians: A Commentary on Paul's Letter to the Churches in Galatia, ed. Harold W. Attridge, vol. 69 of Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Accordance electronic ed. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1979), 312.

In this Turabian footnote you can see that we are able to accurately extract the proper book title from within a multi-volume Accordance module. Furthermore, you can see that the Turabian style includes the text "vol. 69 of Hermeneia… ." This is a shift from how SBL handles this type of citation, which shows you that we don't simply recycle the citation styles and change the name. The accuracy of the specific citation style is maintained.

"For example,  4QSama contains about three lines introducing chap. 11 of 1 Samuel heretofore known only partially in Josephus."

N. "Aims of OT Textual Criticism." WTJ 51 (1989): 97-98.

This SBL footnote reveals several significant strengths of this feature, but also a shortcoming. Our Theological Journal Library contains hundreds of articles from a number of the leading journals. In this citation we are able, again, to accurately extract the page range, strip the page marker from the module, cite the SBL approved journal abbreviation, and the title of the article.

B. “Aims of OT Textual Criticism.” Westminster Theological Journal 51, no. 1 (Spring 1989): 94-108.

In this Turabian bibliography entry you can see the same elements as in the SBL footnote, but note that we properly list the full journal title, the issue number of the journal (not required for SBL), the month or season of publication (also not requried for SBL), and extract the proper page range for the entire article.

But, as you can see in both examples, the author is missing. You will simply have to insert it on your own.

Currently we do not support extraction of authors from multi-article modules that have individual authors. This affects dictionaries like Anchor and NIDOTTE, as well as journals. We realize that this is incorrect formatting, and hope to address this very complex issue in a future update of this feature.

These are just a few examples of this exciting feature. We invested a signficant amount of reasearch and development into this, and hope that it saves you time, and more importantly, further demonstrates our dedication to making Accordance your top choice for a robust, stable, and intuitive Mac Bible software program.

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Archived Comments


November 11, 2009 2:09 PM

As always, implemented beautifully. Accordance gets it, and that's why we as users are so happy to use and recommend the software.

Steve Jamieson

November 11, 2009 2:46 PM

This is very exciting. If someone is having Accordance export footnotes as they work on a paper, is there a way to quickly get just the bibliography form for the resource for when they assemble their bibliography/reference list?

Rick Bennett

November 11, 2009 2:56 PM

Robb: Thanks, as always, for your support. :)

Steve: I didn't discuss any future plans in the blog post, but we're already cooking up some intuitive ways on how we may be able to do this type of thing in a future revision (plus some other stuff that you probably haven't thought to ask yet!). For now, you may want to experiment with creating a user tool for all your resources, then copy it to your final bibliography. 

David Lang

November 11, 2009 2:57 PM

Steve, there's not currently a way to have your bibliography automatically built while you're copying and pasting citations with footnotes, but we've got some cool ideas we're hoping to implement in a future rev.


November 11, 2009 4:28 PM


One thing that would also be helpful along these lines would be to have these bibliographic records available for import into a program like Endnote, using one of the industry standard export formats. This may also help overcome interoperability issues with Pages, which supports Endnote integration.


November 12, 2009 1:35 AM

This new version has messed up my Yehudit font. I cannot paste the hebrew text into word docs anymore. Anyone else facing this problem? 


November 12, 2009 2:34 PM

I don't think that regular pasting into Word should be affected by our update. Maybe you upgraded the system or Word in the meantime. This issue is really better dealt with on the Forum.


August 01, 2011 11:47 AM

Accordance users - I would like to cite Accordance in Turabian format. Does anyone know how to do that?

Rick Bennett

August 01, 2011 1:13 PM

Dawn, can you shoot us an email at: [email protected] with a further description of what you're trying to cite?