Emory Report

Mar. 1, 1999

 Volume 51, No. 22

Technology source:

New program helps researchers get a grip on citations

When I was a graduate student the two worst parts of writing a paper were managing a shoebox full of index cards and formatting citations. The latter task was particularly odious because of the sometimes complex formatting rules. Writing for publication is even worse, with conflicting style requirements from hundreds of different journals.

Judging from a conversation I had with a faculty member recently, things haven't changed much--managing notes and formatting citations is still the scut work of writing for publication. So he was very interested when I told him a new program is available to the Emory community that helps remove much of the tedium from writing for publication.

Performing complex tasks over and over with great consistency is one of the functions computers do well. EndNote is a personal citation/bibliography manager program that helps researchers organize references in a database that can be used to format citations and create bibliographies automatically in a word processing program such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. Through a joint effort of the General Libraries and Information Technology Division, Emory now has a site license for EndNote 3.0.1 for Macintosh and Windows that includes technical support for users. The program is available to students, faculty and staff for a media surcharge of $8 from ITD Software Distribution in 230 Cox Hall (404-727-4741).

Programs for managing citations and formatting bibliographies have been around since the early days of personal computers but involved a lot of work because the researcher had to enter the citations manually into a personal database. As online library catalogs and reference databases became more readily available, these programs added features to capture search results. The latest development, supported in EndNote 3.0, permits the bibliography software to act as an online search tool. The software connects to a library catalog or reference database and transfers search results directly into a personal bibliography. With its direct connection, EndNote provides the same look and feel to searching resources as dissimilar as Emory's online library catalog, MEDLINE and Sociological Abstracts. In fact, searches can be carried over from one database to another.

In fall 1998 the library policy committee, chaired by Steven Kraftchick, reviewed bibliography and citation management programs used at Emory. A check with the University computer store showed their customers were already purchasing EndNote by about a 10 to one margin. A technical review confirmed that EndNote had the needed features and was available for both Macintosh and Windows computers. Based on this information, the policy committee recommended Emory purchase a site license for the software.

EndNote's capabilities and features include:

  • Automatic creation of citations and bibliographies in a word processing program.
  • Creation of an unlimited number of databases, with up to 32,000 records per database.
  • Seventeen customizable reference types, with up to 30 fields for entering bibliographic data and each field containing up to 32,000 characters (equal to about 10 printed pages).
  • Direct connection to information resources (including Emory's online library catalog, EUCLID).
  • Downloaded references that can be imported, without retyping, into a personal EndNote database using import filters for resources that do not support direct connections.
  • More than 300 bibliographic styles (for a variety of journals and other publication formats).
  • The ability to launch a web browser with references to full-text articles or other material on the World Wide Web.

The EndNote at Emory web site at <http://www.library. emory.edu/Endnote/> provides current information for Endnote users, links to custom filters and connection files. EndNote classes and workshops are planned. If you have questions about using EndNote, send e-mail to <endnote-l@listserv.cc.emory.edu> or call 404-727-0271.

Selden Deemer is systems administrator for General Libraries.

Return to March 1, 1999, contents page