Simplify Writing with Reference Manager Software Part 2 – Endnote
Endnote is another excellent resource to manage references for research articles. It has all the same bibliography and reference usability described in our earlier post about Mendeley, but it also has some powerful extra features. Endnote is free if you use the web-version, but it is severely limited compared to the paid version. We will only talk about the paid version in this article.
When collaborating with other authors who may update, edit, or add references, the “traveling library” is the best part about Endnote. The traveling library is a list of citations embedded in and ‘travel’ along with a given Microsoft Word document. If all authors are using Endnote, it is easy for each author to download the current references in the Microsoft Word document into their own library. In Microsoft Word, simply select the EndNote tab, click on “Export to EndNote,” and choose “Export traveling library” and add the traveling library to your own library. Now you can simply continue on, adding references and text to the research article. When you forward the Microsoft Word document on, the updated traveling library will go too.
This would be a little more painstaking in Mendeley, if all authors were not part of the same Mendeley ‘Group’. The references for the paper would need to be exported from the current library and forwarded separately from, but along with the Microsoft Word document. Co-authors would then need to import the sent reference list before making changes to the paper.
Another important feature of Endnote is the web search interface with popular indexes (PubMed, Web of Science, etc.) Endnote makes it very simple to search these indexes for papers and import them directly into your library. Here is an example of searching for papers published in 2016 containing ‘zika’ in the title.
Our preferred way to add new references to our library is to import search results from the PubMed index. The imported references are much more accurate, with less mistakes regarding authors, title, journal, etc. compared to exports from journal websites. This is especially true with simple, but annoying details, such as when titles are imported with capitals at the beginning of each word and have to be manually changed. This is a common occurrence when adding PDFs to your library and having the citation populated automatically.
Unfortunately Endnote is not free, unless you can make due with the limited web-only ‘Basic’ version. Though it integrates with Microsoft Word, the Basic version only allows configuration with 7 citation styles. This can be difficult given the varied referencing requirements between journals. Without student or other discounts, Endnote costs $250. That is a difficult cost to absorb when other reference manager software is free. However, if you do a lot of collaboration, the cost is worth it to save yourself any referencing headaches.