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EndNote for Thesis Writers & Researchers

Setup and Tidy-up (before you start writing)

Starting well

  • Your library should be saved to a personal drive, not a shared (networked) drive or on any form at all of cloud-based storage.
  • EndNote libraries consist of two parts:
    EndNote - Two parts of a library
  • They should always live in the same location and have the same name.
  • Check out the Beginner's guide to using EndNote section on Getting Started with EndNote.

Keeping your library tidy

  • The quality of the detail contained in the records of your EndNote library will determine the quality of your references. Which is another way of saying "garbage in, garbage out".
    You cannot assume that records you import or create will always be accurate and consistent: it is up to you to check.
  • Even the same reference can arrive in a very different state from different databases:
    EndNote - Reference comparison

    Neither record is superior; the Ovid Nursing record has put the start page number in the Year field, the Academic Search Complete record has used mostly upper case for a journal article title, and they are each showing the DOI in a different format.

  • Some examples for the key areas where things go wrong are:
    • Prefer the form Familyname, Firstname or Familyname, Initial(s).
    • Authors must be entered on separate lines or the names will be merged in the Reference list.
      EndNote - Authors entered on separate lines

      Lawton, B., Makowharemahihi, C., Cram, F., Robson, B., & Ngata, T.


      EndNote - Authors entered on separate lines

      Ngata, B. L. C. M. F. C. B. R. T.

    • Remove qualifications that may be listed after a name.
      EndNote - Author qualifications

      O'Carroll, A. D. P. M. A. G. A. B. A.

    • Corporate authors should be represented in a way that keeps them together. Note the commas.
      EndNote - Corporate author example 1

      Te Rau Matatini


      EndNote - Corporate author example 2

      Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment


      EndNote - Corporate author example 3

      Matatini, T. R.


      EndNote - Corporate author example 4

      Ministry of Business, I. a. E.


      EndNote - Corporate author example 5

      Employment, M. o. B. I. a.

    • If you are using an Author-Date style like APA 7th, author names should be entered in a consistent format, even if that author uses different forms of their name at different times.
      EndNote - Author consistant format 1

      The entries above are accurate, but will cause problems in your in-text citations and references list:
      (M. Durie, 1998, 1999; M. H. Durie, 1977, 1985, 1987)


      EndNote - Author consistant format 2

      Consistent author entries will present correctly: (Durie, 1977, 1985, 1987, 1998, 1999)

    • Use the Search panel to find instances of any author whose name may have inconsistent entries, as this will also find that author as a second or subsequent author. EndNote - Author search
    • Check out the section in the Beginner's guide to using EndNote on manually entering author's names.
    • Understand the difference between:
      1. headline style (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), which some referencing styles prefer for Book or Report Titles, and Chicago style uses for everything.
      2. sentence style (The curious incident of the dog in the night-time) which most referencing styles prefer for journal article titles.
    • Decide on your preferred referencing style early. Understand which style is needed and where, and be consistent in your library.
    • If weird things turn up in titles, or anywhere else, go back to the original source to check the details, and then correct the record in your EndNote library. For example:
      Mead, H. (2016). Tikanga Maori: Living By Maori Values. Wellington, Huia (NZ) Ltd.
      This is an e-book record with:
      • a corrupted title
      • incorrect date (date of conversion to electronic format rather than date of publication)
      • messy publication details
      After checking the e-book, and modifying the record in the EndNote library, it is now correct:
      Mead, H. M. (2003). Tikanga Māori: Living by Māori values. Wellington, N.Z., Huia.
      Do not ever just put [sic] after the oddity. This should only be used to indicate that there was a mistake in the original work and you are representing that original faithfully.
    • Be consistent with names of journals, unless that name has changed over the years, e.g. the British Medical Journal became BMJ in 1988 and The BMJ in 2014. If in doubt, check out the journal website, or the NLM Catalog: Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases.
    • Most referencing styles prefer journal titles in headline style, e.g. International Journal of Social Research Methodology.
    • Use full journal names in EndNote, not abbreviations. If the referencing style you are using requires abbreviated journal titles, EndNote will do that for you. If the abbreviated titles are not appearing correctly, contact us.
      There are formal conventions that standardise the abbreviation of journal names - never just guess.
    • Electronic journal articles, especially articles in press, do not use the traditional Vol (Issue) pp-pp format. As long as there is an accurate DOI , this is not a problem. However, some databases try to use whatever they can find to fill fields which should just be left empty, e.g.
      EndNote - No paginination type text in page field
      In cases like this, just remove the no-pagination-type text from the Pages field in the EndNote record.
    • Sometimes the articles are numbered sequentially throughout the year, and this Article Number may appear in the page number field, with or without any indication of what it is, or part of the DOI may appear. If in doubt, check back to the article on the publisher's website, or contact us for help.
    • As most styles which use a hyperlinked DOI will add the hyperlinking prefix automatically, prefer the simple (non-hyperlinked) form for DOIs in your library. Other formats, are likely to cause trouble in your reference list.
      EndNote - Hyperlinked DOI example

      EndNote - Non-hyperlinked DOI example

    Not all the received EndNote styles contain options for all reference types. The Journal of Advanced Nursing, for example, offers 39 reference types , while the British Journal of Nutrition offers only 10 .

    If you enter a record into EndNote using a reference type that your chosen referencing style does not contain, Endnote will default to using the Generic style for that record. You get no warning of this, and the reference may not show correctly in your reference list. It is possible to add reference types to styles, but it is fiddly work, so we suggest you contact us for help.