EndNote X2 / Word 2008 Corrupts Cites in Thesis and I am Mad as Hell About It !!!

I am trying to complete a thesis using Word 2008 ver. 12.1.7 on Mac OS X Leopard, 10.5.7.  I am using the EndNote X2.0.1 build 3889 licensed to my university (Virginia Tech).

I would prefer to use automatic formatting of citations as I work, so that I can get some sense of how insertions of equations, tables, and figures in my text need to be formatted. Otherwise, what is the point of WSIWYG word processing? It appears that EndNote X2 cannot be trusted to format bibliographies without corrupting field codes within Word 2008.

I have three instances early in my thesis where I reference ranges of EndNote records.  The first instance cites a contiguous range of six references.  The second instance cites another range of six cites, and the third cites an additional range of four cites.  When I format the bibliography from Cite-While-You-Write, everything looks ok.  After saving the document, if I return to it and resume writing (and citing) these three instances of cited ranges are corrupted and lost.

I have tried unformatting the bibliography, removing the field codes, and moving the unformatted text to a new document.  I have tried retyping the text into a new document. Every time, once I reinsert the references where the corruptions previously occurred, the newly inserted cites re-corrupt.  I have Word set to display field codes and I am 100 % certain that I have removed all traces of the prior corruption before I reestablished the cites.  This problem is very reproducible and seems like an issue with EndNote and/or CWYW itself.  It appears that formatting the bibliography is almost certain to corrupt something, every time. As matters stand presently, I am being forced to leave all cites unformatted on my working document, and occasionally save a formatted document under a different file name to see if it is properly formatted.  This arrangement is highly inconvenient and completely negates the utility of having a WSIWYG word processing package.  I have lost count of the number of times that I have restarted writing this thesis, due to the unreliability of this citation software.

I have tried (multiple times) removing Office 2008 and EndNote X2 folled by reinstallation and re-updating.  I have tried retyping the document.  Every time, the same corruption problem reappears.  This nonsense is wasting my time and causing unnecessary frustration, where I am spending more time ‘tweaking’ my computer software so that I can write, than writing!!!

I would strongly encourage you to contact - by phone - the tech support team.  – details from the website:

Technical Support
(questions on using software)
Phone: 800-336-4474
at the prompt press 4, and then select the “ResearchSoft Products” option.

Technical Support 9 AM – 8 PM Eastern, GMT – 5 Monday – Friday
Message Edited by Leanne on 06-30-2009 09:01 AM

Firstly, please allow me to appologize for the harsh tone of my earlier posting.  I am a mid-life graduate student (49) who is being compelled to defend a MSc prior to entry into a PhD program, the latter of which was and remains my goal.  The thesis I am writing for the MSc defense is already late, and I don’t need any more problems.

I have not attempted ‘academic’ writing since my undergrad days in the mid 80’s and given the size of my adviser’s research group, I am very much on my own.  Word 2008 carries its own set of ‘issues’ following Microsoft’s decision to yank out the VBA feature, so I have been forced to invent ways to accomplish tasks associated with my writing that would have been easier in an earlier version of Word.  Compounding all of these difficulties, I am a ‘switcher’ from Windows to Mac OS so that status also presents its own set of problems, although I do not miss the instability, constant system tinkering, and system security issues that usually accompany Windows.  I had used Windows for sixteen years and it is highly debateable whether its evolution from the 16-bit version to the present has really been an improvement.

I believe that I may have found the cause of my issues with corrupting fields for reference citations.  I noticed when reestablishing the cites for the corrupted references that one author’s name had appeared twice when I searched for it from the CWYW plug-in.  As I was in a hurry to back-track when the previous field code corruptions had occured, I probably selected the first of these two duplicate entries.  I had been careful about removing duplicate records from the EndNote library when they occured, so I didn’t understand how this instance had occured.  Then I noted that the first cite I had been selecting had record number 1 in the library, and I knew that record 1 could not possibly be that reference.  I went back to EndNote and confirmed this suspicion.  I copied record 1 to a new entry and deleted the original record 1.  Now when I call up the cite I was trying to use, ony one occurance of the record appears.  I think what was happening was that I was unknowingly entering a cite to a record in the EndNote library that did not agree with the cite information in the Word document.  When the bibliography was formatted by CWYW, this pointer to a ‘phantom’ entry in the EndNote library caused CWYW to corrupt the range of cites where the phantom occured, as well as the ranges of the cites immediately preceding and following this entry.  Now, I am able to format the bibliography and unformat it without further problems, although I am a long way from blindly trusting that something like this could not happen again.  I will continue to write with unformatted cites in the master document and occasionally take a formatted ‘snapshot’ to see how things look until I am finished with this thesis writing project.

I look forward to seeing EndNote X3 for the Mac and I hope that Virginia Tech licenses it this Fall.  One addition to this version (or its successor) that would be nice would be an easier method of previewing file attachments and reading/annotating them from within EndNote, similar to the way that the program Papers functions.

Glad to hear that EN is finally working (or at least you’ve learned how to make it work).

Here’s what I usually think (and do). EN and CWYW feature are so useful. But if they don’t work as expected, they just bug me. I can’t stop tweaking this and that in OS/Word/EN/Forum. It is similar to this: Whenever I sit down in front of PC (or Mac), first thing to do is to browse some web sites, or check e-mails before I start things to do (writing). We are living in an era with so much distraction.

So, to get away from “modern era” distraction, I often take a notebook (sometimes scratch papers) and a pen and go to library. Then I just start writing. I don’t care what and where I have to cite, or what is the font I need, what is the page margin, or anything PCs distract me. “Ping” sound telling me new email doesn’t happen because I don’t bring laptop or cell phone.

I found myself I can write so much, I can focus so much, doing this way. Now I go back to my desk, try to continue with that mood, but I can’t. There is a slight difference between EN styles and authors instruction. CWYW isn’t working properly. Word and textbox page layout are driving me crazy. Then, “modern era” distraction just destroys my best day.

I found over the years, I can focus on the contents of writing, if I disregard everything about formating/referencing. I still use “text editor” from 25 years ago, that doesn’t have any formatting. During this phase, I usually type { } and enter something that reminds me later to find out that particular reference. Sometimes first author’s name, sometimes senior author’s name, sometimes description about the study. When I finish contents writing, I switch to formatting/referencing. Then I use traditional “format paper” command.

Certainly, using CWYW feature is less distraction and indispensable for some people. For me, CWYW is a distraction because my focus of writing is interrupted everytime I go back and forth between Word and EN. Unfortunately, neither Word or EN can read my mind or context of my writing, and insert references automatically.

This is just my personal style. I don’t know about your style. I’m just telling what I think (and do). But your “snapshot” method is very close to mine.