Thankfully, someone has written a PHP-based document database program for BibTeX. This will allow research groups to create a shared bibliographic database so that you don’t have to pass around some “master bibliography list,” or, worse yet, re-type in from scratch references that are used over and over again.
Unfortunately, it will require me to get my own server with a PostgreSQL database on it (ergodicity.net doesn’t have one). I know if I try to suggest it to the computing support people here they’ll be uninterested, even though you can create several instances of it on a single machine, so if they put it on the main server every group could make their own database. It’s not worth my time to argue the virtues of it to them, especially since I am no expert on the software and they will have fifteen reasons they shouldn’t do it, most of which rhyme with “understaffed.” One thing I definitely miss about MIT was the integration and depth of tech support. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a lot better organized than it is here.
Perhaps, if I am lucky, we will get a machine for the group on which I can install the software.