EndNote X1 probably isn't a piece of software that you've heard of often - unless you write academic papers, that is. Then you probably know EndNote intimately. EndNote is a database for researchers, writers and students designed to organize citations and notes. These citations typically appear at the end of a scholarly paper so that peers can review the author's sources.
Having used EndNote in the past, I was pleased by how this version compared to my previous experience. When I launched EndNote, I was greeted with a dialogue box asking if I wanted to create a new library, see EndNote's new features or open an existing library. EndNote also had a preference that allowed me to set a file as my default to open, which is my preference.
Once in the library , I was able to add new citations, edit existing citations and add notations to cites. The notation feature is one of my favorites because it allows me to capture ideas for further research later without being distracted from my current project.
One of the new features that I appreciate in this version of EndNote is the ability to collect cites within a group. Groups function similar to groups in Apple's Address Book or Albums in iPhoto. They allow me to take a collection of cites and group them together in one project. Since a researcher's work often overlaps, and the same citation may appear in several different papers and groups makes it easy to shuffle those cites around.
Another feature I enjoy is the ability to query 1500 online sources for citation information rather than entering a cite manually. Entering citations is pretty tedious and exacting business and the query feature is a godsend. EndNote also offers integration with Word 2004 and earlier that allows you to "Cite While You Write" meaning that with the click of a button, EndNote will insert citations into your Word document. That feature, understandably, appears to be broken in Word 2008, though there may be an update to fix that.
Word 2008 raises another issue as well. '08 includes support for its own citation manager. I tested it out and found that, although it may be adequate for some students, EndNote beat it hands down for serious research and organization.
Finally, EndNote boasts that it allows you to output your bibliography in over 2800 styles. I only output in MLA format but I believe them. That's why EndNote is considered the standard in the industry.
EndNote can be purchased for $249 at www.endnote.com or, if you're a student/teacher, for at $114.95 and $219.95, respectively, at www.academicsuperstore.com.
Although there are a number of citation managers in the Mac community, EndNote remains my favorite. I find it works intuitively as a digital shoebox for my research. Citations can be the most onerous part of academic research and writing and EndNote helps make that easier by keeping the author organized.
Review by NCMUG member James Bleifus