What is synapsen?

synapsen is a hypertextual card index or reference organizer, which is to say a storage system on the basis of an electronic literature database that enables the management of bibliographies. However, in contrast to normal literature management software, synapsen offers a very distinct advantage: with catchwords entered by the user, the program connects individual cards automatically and creates not only a network of cards whose relation to each other might have been forgotten, but also creates completely unexpected connections and relations between individual entries. synapsen is therefore not only for electronic literature management, but also a helping hand when writing scientific texts, which participates in communication with the author in order to augment lines of argumentation and the generation of ideas.

synapsen is a hypertextual card catalog or reference management software written in JAVA, that is housed on a SQL-database based in the literature networking structure from Niklas Luhmann.


  • Runs on all major operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Unix).
  • Easy installation procedure.
  • Automatic or individual connections between all cards through common headwords.
  • Easy editing, searching and viewing of reference entries.
  • Direct connection to MS Word and Open Office 2.2 in order to support footnote insertion by one click
  • Direct search and download from OPACs like Library of Congress or GBV via the z39.50 interface.
  • Extensive printing capabilities
  • Embedding of your pdf-documents
  • Extensive printing interface
  • Produces fully BibTeX compliant output, tight connection to LaTeX, but also to word processors via RTF and copy & paste.
  • Many individual formatting features while creating the bibliographical output
  • Data import and export via BibTeX, PDF and RTF.
  • Support of the biblatex package
  • Complete support of Unicode, i.e. you can simultaneosly work with many different alphabets like cyrillic, hebrew or chinese etc.
  • Support of SQL for the internal database server in order to procure future compatibility of your data. Linkage to external databases like mySQL also possible.

Target Audience and Field of Application

The program is targeted at students and scientists that have to manage a large body of literature. First and foremost it is dedicated to researchers and students in the humanities and sciences, especially philologists in every language, art history, social- and cultural studies, philosophy etc., scholars and historians in general, but also business, library, information and communication scientists or lawyers and all those who maintain a bibliography over a long period of time.

For application in research projects with multiple useres and a decentralized entry from various PCs in a central database there is also a network version of synapsen, with which various users can simultaneously work on a database. Details available upon request.

synapsen functions under all popular operating systems, which includes Linux, Unix, and also under Mac OS X and Windows systems. Furthermore, synapsen has a comfortable interface to LaTeX via BibTex. And since Version 1.9p, synapsen is especially optimized for Apple and offers an ideal slip box or card catalog for Mac OS X!

LaTeX BibTeXWindowsunixLinuxMac OS X

Roadmap to forthcoming versions of synapsen

Synapsen are always under construction. The next updates plan to contain enhancements and functions as follow:

Version 3.1 (mid of 2008)

  • Redesign of the import interface (via XML)
  • Mind Map: displaying the connections between cards in a diagramm

© Dr. Markus Krajewski, last revision: 2007/06/09;
Current version of synapsen: 3.0 of 2007/11/25.