by Diane Calabrese
EndNote Verson 5. ISI ResearchSoft, Berkeley, California, 2001. List
price: $329.95 (Students in North America with valid ID: $109.95)
READ AND STUDY and write, and inevitably notes and excerpts and
ticklers begin to accumulate. It doesn’t take long before
even an electronic compilation of the prose too profound to
let go becomes almost too unwieldy to track.
This writer’s collection of snippets represents hundreds of authors,
among them Thomas Hart Benton, Alasdair Clayre, Nellie McClung,
William Butler Yeats and Alfred Russel Wallace. The quotes,
of course, are only as good a resource as they are easy to
tap. Until now, being able to find a memorable passage from
the self-assembled repository, slip it into a manuscript at
a second’s notice, and immediately tie the complete and correct
and properly formatted bibliographic citation to the text
has required several steps and some retyping.
EndNote Version 5 allows authors to make a quantum leap to a new world
of formatting where genuine simplicity and consistency govern.
An author can build a library of references as large as 32,000
references (or 32 megabytes, whichever comes first) for potential
use. Then, the author can tap the personal library whenever
there is a desire to add a cited excerpt or paraphrase and
its corresponding bibliographic source to a manuscript.
Essentially, EndNote meshes with Microsoft Word so completely the two become one. Version 5, which is compatible with Windows 95, Windows
98, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows NT 4 (or later) for Intel processors, loads so that its pull-down menus branch off the same main toolbar that appears in Word. For example, pull down at Tools in Word and the EndNote program and its options appear.
One possibility is to find a citation that already exists in the
library-in-waiting and incorporate it in a text. But suppose
there are some new sources, such as articles, books, or statutes
at the side of the working writer. Each bibliographic source
can be cited in the manuscript and also added to the ever-growing
personal library whenever a quote or paraphrased material
derives from it.
The experts behind EndNote recommend a single library, but multiple
libraries can be created. The advantage of a single library
is that an author will not one day have to search multiple
libraries for a reference, having made a choice, since forgotten,
about how to categorize the citation during input.
The fidelity EndNote produces in the final product, a formatted
bibliography, begins with the guide to input. Indicate the
source of the information–journal article, electronic source,
report, and so on, and the program issues prompts for the
information it requires about that source.
As for output, or how the bibliography will appear, there are
more than 700 choices for the way it can be formatted. Beyond
the choices, an author can make certain alterations to the
template. But in some rare cases an author must generate the
closest match to a desired format and do some tailoring of
the finished product.
Many special features of EndNote will genuinely delight users.
Open a library and get a one-line index to its contents. With
a single click it is possible to sort the list by date or
author name or first word of title. Even better, instead of
scrolling or formally searching, just start typing the name
of an author once the library is open, and the cursor moves
to the name.
When building or altering a library, choose between or mix mouse
and keystroke combinations (“CTRL + letter”). Generally, entering
the complete name of a journal makes the most sense because
it can then be altered later–in one swoop–to fit any quirky
abbreviation used by a publisher. But abbreviated journal
entries can be stored, and to make certain what is saved counts
as nearly universally acceptable, one can tab to any of the
three built-in, comprehensive sources of information about
abbreviations for journal titles in chemistry, medicine, and
Many on-line libraries, such as Entrez-PubMed from the National
Library of Medicine (NLM), permit users to make a personal
clip file of bibliographic entries (and sometimes abstracts)
for journal articles that turn up in a search. Such files
can be transferred to an EndNote library. But be careful.
ISI ResearchSoft warns users of EndNote that copyright and
fair use restrictions apply to databases. Before importing
any references, be certain the transfer is permitted.
Permission might just be the first obstacle, however. Many databases
are laden with special marks or characters for formatting.
EndNote provides several filters for screening out such marks,
and one of them will work for most databases. But there are
still challenges, and ISI ResearchSoft promises updates as
users alert them to the hurdles they encounter. Sleek, slick,
and superb come to mind when using EndNote. It meets the trademarked
claim of ISI Research Soft that it constitutes Bibliographies
Made Easy™. EndNote cannot do every last thing in the world
of bibliographies. But it comes close to doing almost everything,
and doing it very well indeed.