Endnote at wit's end
September 18, 2006 7:43 AM   Subscribe

Endnote Filter: Could someone explain Endnote to me like I was 10 years old?

I just downloaded Endnote X from my school. I went to one of the tutorial classes offered by my college library, and it made absolutely no sense to me. I came out of there, an hour or so later, with absolutely no functional knowledge on how to actually use the damn thing.

Maybe you could just describe how you use it? All I want to do is a) use it within Word to help format my footnotes/find references; b) for extra credit, if the program can do it, I'd like to store various kinds of bibliographies/reading lists on it.
posted by jak68 to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Endnote does four things; and you will likely do these in the following order:

1. Finds references from online databases (OVID, PubMED, etc.)
2. Stores bibliographic references (and, optionally, PDF or other digital files of the article of reference)
3. Lets you insert references from your library into your (Word) document
4. Formats those references for the journal you are submitting to

I either add references from PubMED or OVID, or I enter them manually. Some PIs I know will store PDF journal articles, as well.

I use the Endnote Word plug-in to insert a selected reference, or citation into my Word document.

This citation remains unformatted until I format it.

I then select a "target" journal from the Endnote Word plug-in, and formatting parses the unformatted citation into the correct layout that the journal editors require.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:59 AM on September 18, 2006


I have EndNote 9 on a PC so hopefully this will still be applicable. Have you installed it yet? You should get a toolbar in Word (which I assume you have) with access to the EndNote features. There are two you need to pay attention to: Go To EndNote and Format Bibliography.

Find the place in your text where you want to insert a footnote. Use Go To EndNote, and then find or create the reference you want to insert. Then use Tools > Cite While You Write > Insert Selected Citation.

When you're done (or even before then), go to the part of your document where you want the bibliography and use the Format Bibliography button.

if the program can do it, I'd like to store various kinds of bibliographies/reading lists on it.

I don't think it's worth it, frankly. Especially if you are having this much difficulty using it. (It is worth using EndNote for the formatting features though.)
posted by grouse at 7:59 AM on September 18, 2006


The basics are pretty much a doddle. Run the thing, then start a new library (File, New). Every time you read an article you want to keep add a new entry to the library, (with the library open, CTRL-N), this will give you a new pop-up box on screen, it will usually start with 'Name' or 'Title', add the details of the article you wish to reference, the key info you need are the names of the author(s), title of the paper, name of the journal its published in, volume of journal, issue of journal, page numbers (the pages the article starts and finishes on). Journal article is the default option but there's a pull-down menu at the top of the individual reference box that allows you to change it to lots of other things (for example, a book, magazine, government report etc). One important thing to remember, when you add names do it in the form 'Family name, Given name' so if your name is Jay Jones, you would write 'Jones, Jay'. *The position of the comma after the family name is important.* If multiple authors, press return after entering each one.
Now you have a reference in the library, close the individual reference box but leave the library open, enusring the reference you want is highlighted (ie in black) simply leave it open and return to Word, it should automatically detect Endnote, to make sure it has click Tools and see if it says Endnote, move the cursor down and it will give you an option menu, the important one is Insert Selected Citations, clicking it will put the refs in the text. You can add multiple refs by holding down CTRL and left clicking with the mouse while you're in the open library.
There are lots of other features but you can get by pretty well just by knowing these things. Don't let it worry you if the menu drop downs vary a little from what it says in different entries here. Key is knowing the diffference between unformatted and formatted stuff in your final document. Formatted look like this (Jones 2006), unformatted [Jones #001] (IIRC), it has to be formatted before you hand it in! Just click on format in the tools menu.

The find function is pretty useful too though, open a library then CTRL-F to search. Lets you pick by any or all of the groups within an entered reference. I found this very useful and it's a good reason to include detailed key words when you're putting refs into the library. If you're doing a big piece of work, a PhD for example, you should start doing this immediately.

For extra points, you can import stuff. File, Import then browse for the right location to bring it in from. Others have already covered this better than I can.

One thing to watch out for, for some reason the default option in Endnote since about version 6 has been to show two refs with the same author and year of publication as identical, you can change this but I forget how, perhaps someone else has the relevant advice to hand?
posted by biffa at 8:26 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


grouse has covered the mechanics of using it for formatting, and that's really all it's good for, IMO. Endnote has been largely superceded by Connotea for storing my references and articles to read. I still have Reference Manager installed just for the MS Word plug-in, but I keep my references in Connotea and just export to .RIS when necessary.

Before anyone starts going on about LaTeX and scientific publishing, we've already had that discussion, so let search handle that, please.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:44 AM on September 18, 2006


Where exactly are you running into problems? Can you see the Endnote toolbar in Word?
posted by mr_roboto at 10:55 AM on September 18, 2006


At the universities I've attended, EndNote had been superceded by RefWorks, which is essentially a web application version of EndNote.

The idea being that you can have all the same functionality from computer labs, etc., rather than being tied to your own computer.
posted by onshi at 11:25 AM on September 18, 2006


Hi all, thanks for the responses. The software is installed and it works fine. (I'm using a windows pc). The comments above are all VERY helpful. I guess the specific questions I have are:

1) You're supposed to create 'libraries'. What the hell is a library? I mean: is it a particular database file? If so, can you 'search across libraries automatically' when you're looking for a reference? Or do you have to 'open the library you want to search in'? Or put another way: Why would you ever have more than one library?

2) You can connect to remote databases. Great. But: Why would you connect to anything other than library of congress? Do they mean you can connect to other databases for example those that contain journal articles that wouldnt be in lib of cong? For books tho, isnt lib of cong enough?

3) You can import references from from downloaded files. Great. What downloaded files? And why would you import manually, when its supposed to be able to connect remotely? Is this only for sharing library files with others? (ie, your friend exports, you download it and import). Is there any other reason for this?

4) You can format citations as you write. Great. But can you also just write, putting in your own shorthand for references (so you dont interrupt your 'flow'), and later on, when you're good and ready, convert each of those into a real reference?

5) Can you use it to create bibliographies/reading lists? Is the only real way to do that, with endnote, is to make a word document for each biblio/reading list you want to create? Or does it have its own 'folder' system, or 'smart search' system, or tagging system, by which you can pull together particular books into a 'reading list' and save that list within endnote for easy reference in the future?
Does it have tags at all?

I realize some of these may be answered above, I havent had a chance to closely read this thread yet. Thanks again for all the responses so far!
posted by jak68 at 12:12 PM on September 18, 2006


Why would you ever have more than one library?

For separate projects or papers, if you don't want to have to go through a list of hundreds of cited papers to find one. I usually have a library for each document, but you could certainly just use one library for all documents. (Be sure to back up multiple copies of it regularly in case it gets corrupted or lost.)

I've only ever connected to the Library of Congress, and PubMed (yes, for journal articles). Other databases will be subject-specific, and you will certainly find the bulk of the databases useless. Whether you will find another one that is useful is up to you—where do you normally look at journal abstracts?

But can you also just write, putting in your own shorthand for references (so you dont interrupt your 'flow'), and later on, when you're good and ready, convert each of those into a real reference?

This is in fact, what I usually do, because I am usually writing my documents on multiple computers, some of which don't have EndNote, and collaborating with people on others (which also don't have EndNote). Be sure to use some sort of consistent fixed phrase like CITE so you can easily find these with Word's search function.

Can't answer the last question. Really I don't think it is so hot as a place to store and search articles. What it excels at is formatting bibliographies and having a large set of predefined output styles for different journals. Although these almost always need tweaking in my experience.
posted by grouse at 12:46 PM on September 18, 2006


Why would you ever have more than one library?

Set up one for writing about a certain subject. Set up another library and call it "Reading List", etc. It is for organization.

Why would you connect to anything other than library of congress?

Different databases specialize in different fields.

And why would you import manually, when its supposed to be able to connect remotely?

You may have references that are not in an online database, which you want to import.

But can you also just write, putting in your own shorthand for references (so you dont interrupt your 'flow'), and later on, when you're good and ready, convert each of those into a real reference?

Grouse has hit on one way how to handle this.

Is the only real way to do that, with endnote, is to make a word document for each biblio/reading list you want to create?

No! Word documents are just for formatting. You can create individual libraries for reading lists, if you need.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:57 PM on September 18, 2006


If you're using OS X, I recommend Sente, which was in turn recommended to me by mefites. It rocks, and it's much simpler than Endnote. And it's much cheaper.
posted by roofus at 2:15 PM on September 18, 2006


"Go ask your father."

*well, that is how everything was explained to me when I was 10
posted by Foam Pants at 11:58 PM on September 18, 2006


Foam - i suppose the social hive-mind plays the 'daddy' role now... :)

You can create individual libraries for reading lists, if you need.

but then, your references will be scattered across different library files, and *cant* be all searched at once, right? Thats how it seems to be... so i guess i'd rather have one massive library, just so i can search across it in one swoop, when i'm searching for references.

So looks like endnote isnt that great for storing reading lists on.
posted by jak68 at 2:56 AM on September 19, 2006


Despite Blazecock's vehemence, I don't see much wrong with your idea of using Word documents for reading lists. But it will be clunky. Personally I would make my reading list an informal author-date text file, and search back in EndNote if I can't remember where to find something.
posted by grouse at 4:19 AM on September 19, 2006


hi grouse,
well, creating word documents seems to me the only way to make separate reading lists (ie, while avoiding the problem of wanting all references in a single database so i can search across them in one swoop).
I think, as you say, that storing reading lists in word docs this way, is do-able, but "clunky".
For reading lists I'll most likely therefore wind up with something like Zotero, which is coming out in open-source beta this fall, and which looks very promising. Its a firefox plug in that pulls bibliographic info from websites and stores them with tags and folders. It doesnt integrate with Word, obviously, so endnote will still be necessary, but it seems like (so far) the best attempt at a bibliographic data *collector/organizer* thats out there. Would be great for reading lists on-the-fly. Presumably its data can be exported into a format that endnote can import.
posted by jak68 at 11:04 AM on September 19, 2006


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