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Author: J. Kelly Robison
Title: Bibliography Applications: Endnote 3.00
Publication info: Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library
April 1999

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Source: Bibliography Applications: Endnote 3.00
J. Kelly Robison

vol. 2, no. 1, April 1999
Article Type: Software Review
PDF: Download full PDF [93kb ]

Endnote 3.00

J. Kelly Robison

Endnote 3.00. Niles Software, Inc., Berkeley, CA., $299, downloadable - $275, Academic price - $99.95.

PC - 386DX/25 or higher
8 meg RAM
CD-ROM drive
Windows 3.1, NT, 95, 98
Endnote is a 32-bit application.
MAC - System 7.0 or higher (including 8.5)
Macintosh with a hard drive and at least 770K of free memory.
EndNote is compatible with all PowerMacs, although it is not a native PowerPC application.

Endnote is a substantial, yet easy-to-use bibliographic database with enough add-ons to satisfy the power-user. The basics of the application are fairly intuitive, letting the user begin entering and retrieving information from early in the process of learning. The more advanced features, however, are not so intuitive and require a thorough reading of the well-structured documentation.

Initially, the user must create a library to store all information. Once the library has been created, the user can input citations. From the "References" menu, select "New" and manuscript type can be selected from a pull-down menu. Choices from this menu include everything from a journal article (the default) to a manuscript, to a computer program. All information about the document can then be written in the blanks underneath the selected reference type.

Each document type has different categories. For example, if book information is what is being entered, then ISBN number is one category, but this category in not included for journal articles. There are spaces the title, author and other bibliographic information as well as spaces for an abstract and notes. Once the document information has been entered, it is automatically saved, as is the entire library.

A key feature is the "keyword" blank. Using the "keyword" search from the main menu, the user can find all references of the specified words. If one is looking for documents on World War II, for example, a search will bring only those documents onto the screen. However, this is only the case when "World War II" has been entered as a keyword in a document entry. For new users, it is best to decide on keywords from the beginning. If a search is performed with the "any field" category highlighted, then the resultant reference list might be quite large and not entirely useful.

Exporting document lists or bibliographies to a word-processing program is straight-forward. Under the "File" pull-down menu is an "Export" command that asks where the exported file should go, and once the name of file is entered, all selected files are exported in Rich Text format. The entire library may be selected or only a few entries. The style of the export may be chosen as well. Endnote provides a standard set of reference styles within several folders in the "Styles" menu. Endnote lists over 300 styles of citations but in the "Humanities" folder, Turabian, MLA, and Chicago are the choices, with several sub-choices of these three. The styles may also be edited (and saved under different names) to include categories not listed in the original style. In other words, a simple bibliography with complete bibliographic citations is possible, as is a more complete listing with abstracts and notes.

Using Endnote to create a bibliography while writing a paper is not quite as straight-forward as exporting. It really seems to be more trouble than it is worth. First, Endnote and the library needs to be open, then the word processor is opened. Endnote has add-ins that allow access to the Endnote library from within WordPerfect and MS Word tool bars. When a citation is needed, go to the add-in, click "insert citation" and the Endnote library comes to the screen. A reference can be selected and then the word processing program comes back up. An in-text citation within brackets is now where the citation would be. At the end of writing, Endnote will create a bibliography based on the style the user chose, substituting the bracketed citation with the style of choice. However, if the purpose of inserting the citations was to place page references, the page numbers must be inserted manually. Additionally, multiple citations of the same reference must be edited since they are listed in the Endnote-created bibliography as full citations. Perhaps a more time-efficient method of creating a bibliography would be to simply select the references used while in Endnote, export them to a word-processing program, and tack that onto the end of the document. If Endnote formatted citations with page numbers and could edit multiple citations of the same reference, the add-in feature might be more useful.

Endnote, as other bibliographic programs, extolls the ease with which citations can be searched and downloaded from CD or online databases. This feature is not intuitive but, thankfully, the reference manual contains a step-by-step guide to accessing online databases and importing files. Once an online connection is established, choose "connect" from the file menu in Endnote. Endnote provides several possibilities, including the Library of Congress.

A search window opens and the user may search the online database for references. Once a search is complete, a window shows the references and all or some of these references can be imported directly into the Endnote library. Once the user knows how the online search and retrieval works, it is simple.

In general, Endnote is a worthwhile program for the historian. It is especially useful for those working on major writing projects such as monographs or dissertations. Graduate students would find the application extremely beneficial for organizing book reviews in preparation for comprehensive exams. Endnote is, by and large, intuitive which makes it ideal for those who are not particularly computer-savvy. It does have its faults though. The bibliography creation add-ins for the major word-processors might be useful for some, but lacking the ability to create footnotes or endnotes with page numbers makes this feature of dubious use for the historian.

J. Kelly Robison
Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis