Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-02-2017

Impressions after 2 days with Endnote

Hi I'm new to Endnote (and reference managers) but I consider myself handy with computers. Here are my findings after two days of testing and Googling and text editing and pulling my hair out and drinking coffee.


Use Case:

I thought I'd try it to maintain a library of several reference types from various sources. These references are then exported as several libraries with different styles for personal webpages, co-workers, other databases, etc.


Features I found myself looking for or needing improvement:

  1. does not allow styles to reformat references like 2017/6/5 to June 5th, 2017. Forcing people to add custom fields just to accommodate multiple styles. Output filters need to be smarter (perhaps scriptable?).
  2. no simple select & merge option. Duplicates don't always have overlapping fields. This would be a power-tool for managing low-quality imports
  3. searches don't have negative boolean options. E.g. can't create a smart group using a field with entries that exclude a specific word. So forget about complex filters.
  4. opening a specific attached file is clumsy if a ref has several attachments.
  5. when opening a URL, with multiple URLs only the first entry will be opened, even if it is broken.
  6. no option to use the DOI like a URL. Scraped URLs usually point to public databases, DOIs aren't resolved.
  7. no field for author ID in the Journal Article reference type (e.g. ORCID). Many modern databases have a field for this. As a large reference manager Endnote is not helping a promising new standard.
  8. no ability to preserve the original import information as a text attachment. This causes information loss when exporting back to the original format. There should be a lossless way of importing.
  9. no ability to display library fields with multiple entries (e.g. keywords, URLs) apart from the authors field.
  10. reference types should be infinitely extensible. 8 custom fields is limiting.
  11. custom reference types should be merge-able with existing ones , not overwrite everything by default on import.

Poor batch workflow:

  1. a crude search and replace function to edit multiple references. No regexp!!
  2. can not import multiple files at once (e.g. multiple pdfs or several .nbib files)
  3. no ability to add multiple files to a single reference at once.
  4. no ability to add a single file to multiple references (at once, without duplication)

A lot of potential to attract power-users if these points get attention. I hope the product team realizes my suggestions aren't niche features and have a cost/value ratio. Thank you.