Endnote Definitions

Are there any resources where I can find out how Endnote defines the various fields?

With the version changes, some fields are renamed and some added. This has made keying in of the data confusing. For example, what exactly is a “Series Volume”? How does it differ from “Volume”? And what does “Number of Volumes” refer to?

As for reference types, what exactly is the difference between “Conference Paper” and “Conference Proceedings”. “Conference Proceedings” is suppose to refer to a collection of conference papers but the fields are made out to look like you are keying in a conference paper.

This has always been a problem. In the early days, the manual contained some guidance on these points, but there is not currently any guide to tell users what each field is designed for. I’ve still to work out what “Packaging Method” means.

The staff at EndNote, who write the output styles, are not clear about this either, so there are all sorts of odd inconsistencies in the styles.

In practice, you have to select your output style, then open it for editing, and see how it is configured to handle the different fields. If necessary, you can edit the style, and even modify the reference types, to get the output that you want. But this requires a fair bit of investment of your time in learning the software. Most users aren’t prepared to do that.

As for your specific queries:

Series Volume: Use for the number in a numbered series, e.g. Studies in Illinois Archaeology 6 [the numeral 6 would be put in the Series Volume field]

Volume: Use this field when you are creating a reference for an individual volume in a multi-volume set. This is particularly applicable where each volume has its own title, e.g. Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Vol. 1, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971.

Number of Volumes: Use this field when you are creating a single reference for a whole multi-volume set, e.g. Byrne, Muriel St. Clare, ed. The Lisle Letters. 6 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Conference Paper: I only use this reference type for unpublished conference papers. Published conference papers should be entered using the Journal Article or Book Section reference type, as appropriate.

Conference Proceedings: I try to avoid this reference type. Normally a published volume of conference proceedings can be entered as an Edited Book. There are some bibliographic styles that require extra detail when citing a volume of conference proceedings, so I would use this reference type in those cases.

John East

University of Queensland Library

Thank you John East,

Of all people, I am surprise to get a reply from you. I am fairly familiar with the University of Queensland Library staff dedication to informing the use of Endnote. In fact, I am presently using your APA 5th Electronic Reference style.

I hope Endnote’s staff take note of this. For those of us working in interdisciplinary areas, the amount of information displayed in the bibliography is always a source of contention with academics from various backgrounds. I find myself constantly having to edit my reference style to display more than the recommended information.

Hi John,

I’m facing this problem too. 

I’m working with critical editions of 17th century authors in Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition.

Milton, John [Author]. Complete Prose Works of John Milton [Title].  8 vols [Number of Volumes]. Edited by Don M. Wolfe [Editor]. New Haven [Publication Place]: Yale University Press [Publication Press], 1953-1982 [Year].

It’s simple to create a single reference for the complete multivolume set above – just under ‘Book’.

But, then how do I then reference a work inside it? It’s a book proper, and not a chapter – so I can’t use the ‘Book Section’ category, nor ‘Edited Book’.

Milton, John  [Author]. Of Prelacticall Episcopacy [Title]. Vol. 1 [Series Volume], 1624-1642 [Volume], Complete Prose Works of John Milton [???]. Edited by Don M. Wolfe [Editor]. [Publication Place]: Yale University Press [Publication Press], 1953 [Year].

How do I then reference the whole multivolume series to which it belongs? Would this be [Secondary Title]? If I use [Series Title] I get something completely different, esp. when I import references from online.

I would love to get this right the first time so I don’t have to edit 500+ references!!!


UK Academic 

Note citing a particular source or making a brief explanatory comment placed at the end of a research paper and arranged sequentially in relation to where the reference appears in the paper.

Note citing a particular source or making a brief explanatory comment placed at the bottom of a page corresponding to the item cited in the corresponding text above.

Advantages of Using Endnotes

  • Endnotes are less distracting to the reader and allows the narrative to flow better.
  • Endnotes don’t clutter up the page.
  • As a separate section of a research paper, endnotes allow the reader to read and contemplate all the notes at once.

Disadvantages of Using Endnotes

  • If you want to look at the text of a particular endnote, you have to flip to the end of the research paper to find the information.
  • Depending on how they are created [i.e., continuous numbering or numbers that start over for each chapter], you may have to remember the chapter number as well as the endnote number in order to find the correct one.
  • Endnotes may carry a negative connotation much like the proverbial “fine print” or hidden disclaimers in advertising. A reader may believe you are trying to hide something by burying it in a hard-to-find endnote.

Advantages of Using Footnotes

  • Readers interested in identifying the source or note can quickly glance down the page to find what they are looking for.

  • It allows the reader to immediately link the footnote to the subject of the text without having to take the time to find the note at the back of the paper top apartment

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  • Footnotes are automatically included when printing off specific pages.

Disadvantages of Using Footnotes

  • Footnotes can clutter up the page and, thus, negatively impact the overall look of the page.
  • If there are multiple columns, charts, or tables below only a small segment of text that includes a footnote, then you must decide where the footnotes should appear.
  • If the footnotes are lengthy, there’s a risk they could dominate the page, although this issue is considered acceptable in legal scholarship.