Administration of literature often follows the same procedure, you search for a special topic, transfer the relevant information to the found dokuments in the administration program and - as long as you have some- add the electronical dokuments and maybe even add some individual comments. Today, you usually access on online data banks and JabRef has a direkt approach to some of them or at least offers an import of a file with chosen and exported datafiles from a data bank . The advantage is, that you don´t have to type in the information by hand (error-prone!). Very nice is the integration of your electronical documents: you can deposit several documents to one entry und for viewing them open all of them directly with JabRef.
Standard features, such as editing, searching and displaying of entrys are of course possible and are completed by other features like keywords oder group features, to have a better structure of the collection. Your own data bank fields are defined very easily to lodge locations or librabry signatures. Not only the import, but good opportunities for an export label a good literature administration, so that if you want to, you can work with other softwares or share your collection with others. The elegant way of doing so is to publicate the collected literature via HTML-Export, so that it´s available on a webserver or as a file. And only with just a little bit more effort it includes the electronical available documents as well.
Some nice examples you can see here, on the Webseite von Mark Schenk. Especially the durchsuchbare Variante is quite good and can be adjusted to the formatting style that is used in your department. According to my experience with articles, such a HTML-export ist easier to perform than the RTF-format, and the export can be used easily per copy&paste in MS-Word.
There is a connection to differet texteditors, mainly for LaTeX-user. First steps to connect JabRef with Open Office do exist, but the comfort and reliability is not as good as with commercial alternatives. Fair enough, you have to stress that this is not the aim of JabRef. A possible option for MS-word user might be Bibtex4Word, but due to my lack of interest according to Microsoft products I can´t give any information here.
The advantages of JabRef are the many features, the adaptability and that you are the master of your literature information all the time – you could read and edit this file by using a texteditor.
The disadvantage is its lack of features compared with the comercial competition. One of the reasons might be the nonexisting focus of MS-word and Open-/LibreOffice and some advantages could only be used in combination with LaTeX
If you still are missing some information, I will show you a quick example, how a search for literature might work with JabRef (and NO, this is not propper according to the criteria of systematic reviews…). Inspired by the season, I searched for “christmas” in PubMed and transfered some of the results in a JabRef file.
Each of the imported files got a unique BibTex-Key, in my case it is configured so that the first two authors, the abbreviation of the journal und the year is used. There are lots of other possible alternatives, JabRef can even generate a key depending on the type of the literature, you get good advise by the help function for that.
For the file in my example I own a -fictive- electronical version and even a supplement for my documents. If I drag these documents to the entryline, JabRef offers me immediately to transfer the file (usually with some funny name) in the register of my documents and to rename it according to my BibTeX-key. And already, the document ist namend and proper ordered. If you still have the supplement, take the same way and add the offered dataname by some reasonable labelling and finished.
Now you can proof the link by opening the file or by using the rider General→File. It is even faster with a right mouseclick on the pdf-symbol, now all the with the enty connected documents are opened. Using the left mouseclik, the first entry will be opened.
And now you can go on like that till you are under the impression that the pure collection can´t be the intention of all that and that you should start reading eventually…