Last week we presented an “EndNote Basics” BYOL Lunch & Learn. There’s a reason we’re trying to tell all of our library users about EndNote: EndNote is a powerful tool for managing citations, organizing bibliographies and references, and for editing manuscripts. EndNote, RefWorks, and Mendeley (all similar, competing tools) are often referred to as “reference management software” or “citation management software,” but these phrases don’t do EndNote justice. If you’re still writing papers without the use of EndNote, here is what you’ve been missing!
1. The ability to organize all of your research in one place
EndNote allows you to import all of those PDFs you’ve been saving on your hard drive so that you can organize them–citations and all–and annotate them! Create groups to keep sources for parts of your paper in one place, or use groups for each of the various research projects you have going on.
2. Create a bibliography with (almost) zero stress
Yes, EndNote has some quirks and is far from perfect, but it does allow you to create a list of formatted citations faster than you can say “bibliography.” If you’ve ever tried to create the list of references for your paper manually, you know what we’re talking about. EndNote takes most of the guess work out of formatting citations.
3. Import citations from (almost) anywhere
Using PubMed? Are you a Google Scholar fan? How about those fantastic humanities databases from UCF’s Hitt Library? You can pretty much import the citation for an article you find in any database. Just look for the “export to citation manager” or “cite” link, and with a click or two you’ve imported your citation into EndNote.
4. Renumber the citations in your paper. Again and again. And again.
So you wrote a 16-page paper with 93 references. Now you want to add 5 references and move the second paragraph of your conclusion up to the third paragraph of your discussion section. If you didn’t use EndNote, you’d likely be having a nervous breakdown right about now. One of the most powerful things EndNote can do is to renumber your citations in less than a second. Just move your text around, add those new citations, and hit “Update Citations and Bibliography” in the EndNote tab in Word. Done! Don’t mess up your numbering and drive yourself crazy–use EndNote!
5. Change your citation style with a click of a button.
Hands down the most useful and amazing thing EndNote can do is to completely reformat your citations with absolutely zero effort on your part. Did you write a paper using JAMA style and now you’re getting ready to submit to a journal that wants Vancouver style? No problem! Need to use the latest version of APA style? Easy! EndNote has hundreds of citation styles to choose from, and you can even customize your citation style to fit that obscure style your particular journal is asking for.
We hope we’ve convinced you to give EndNote a try. If you’re about to embark on a new project, be sure to start using EndNote early on, in the research stage. Import all of your citations into a new library so that when you are ready to start writing your paper, you can easily cite your sources. Let EndNote create your bibliography and do all of the hard work for you.
If you missed our BYOL on EndNote Basics last week, or if you just want more information on using EndNote, check the EndNote guide on the library’s website. As always, feel free to ask any of our library staff for assistance.