Last week we discussed Papers, which is a well-known reference manager used by many academics. Today I am focusing on what might be the most well-known reference manager – EndNote.

Thomson Reuters’ EndNote is often available free through Universities. And if you have this opportunity, you should definitely take advantage of it!  If you want EndNote on your own personal computer, you may have to invest in a personal license, which can cost as much as £159/$250, although student discounts and discounts through Universities are offered.

Like Papers, EndNote allows you to organise your papers manually or automatically through Smart groups using criteria you choose.  Smart groups will also update automatically whenever you add new PDFs that match the criteria.

A great feature of EndNote is the ability to directly import PDFs that are already on your computer. Importing PDFs is accomplished simply by selecting the folders you wish to import, or by dragging and dropping directly into EndNote.

Adding new references and PDFs is also simple as you can search databases such as PubMed and Web of Science directly from EndNote. Setting up EndNote to search these online databases using your University’s subscriptions is a little more complicated than other software however.  You will need to input an OpenURL address and an authentication address, and these can be a little difficult to find.

For many, the main use of EndNote is for inserting citations into documents and creating bibliographies. EndNote automatically installs a Plug-in for Microsoft Word, which is incredibly easy to use – just remember to have the EndNote library you are using open.

Cloud syncing is supported and you can Sync your references with EndNote Web. However, if you want to sync your PDF files as well, you will need to have a subscription to EndNote Web with advanced features, which gives you 5 GB of storage. The good news is that with your purchase of EndNote X6 you automatically get a free 2-year subscription to the advanced features.

Apps for the iPad and the iPhone are available for those that want to have access to their library from anywhere, and EndNote for iPad can sync directly to DropBox.

Come back next for the final post in this series in which I will focus on, in my opinion, a more quirky reference manager – Zotero.