EndNote X4 Improvement Wish List

First of all, I think EndNote X4 is a wonderful software, and so I would like to spend some time to give a long list of improvement suggestion.

# The new feature of “import PDF” is a wonderful innovation. However, it has several limits: 1) Most PDFs haven’t the DOI, and so EN cannot add information to fileds except the title for such a PDF. 2) Even if a PDF has the DOI, the fields and the content in the fields are often not complete. For example, John H; Twin K; Louis M may become John; H (two lines, indicating two authors, one has name John, the other has name H.) So, I would like to have abstracts etc firstly (from some web database), and then… (see the following.)

# I hope it has the function to search and attach PDF file in one’s own computer. I know to scan the content in a PDF file is quite infeasible. How about sanning the file name? I suggest two kinds of name can be indentified: i) the PDF name with format made by EN: author-year-front part of the title. ii) a full title or even the front 100 characters of a title. This auto finding and attaching may make small portion of mistakes, but this mistake is not important - it doesn’t make one’s citation wrong; it only occasionally surprises oneself when finding the pdf doesn’t correspond to the reference.

# It is wonderful that EN can download PDF automatically. Can you make it also be able to do another easier thing: to download information for fields? Suppose “import PDF” creates (or you manually input) some references with only title, it will be wonderful that EN can automatically downloaded other field information for them (surely the premise is that the univ has the access to some database.) When several article abstraction information are found for the same title, EN will download all of them.

# About find duplicates and compare them and edit. It is a very good improvement. I have some suggestion to further improve it:

# To add a new function: to automatically integrate two sets of duplicates. For example, one is imported from PDF and the other one is imported from web database. In this case, I may want to automatically integrate them in the following way: the field of file attachment adopts the former, while all other fields adopt the latter. This is just an example, in other cases, people may want to integrate in other ways. So, how about having a way to set up the automatical integration?

# A lower wish is that, in the interface of comparison of duplicates, we can directly drag and drop the PDF from one duplicate to the other. (Currently, it needs to save as firstly and then add it.)

# A similar but different suggestion: to make the following possible: to directly drag and drop a PDF from one library to the other library (both are open.) As to making it different from draging and dropping the whole reference, maybe Ctrl or Alter or Shift + drag and drop can be used.

# To Enlarge the comparing duplicates window. It’s better if its size can be adjusted as normal windows.

# In the change text, to add such function as deleting all other lines except the line(s) which begins with…

# I hope the edit fields window allows to setup which of fields to be displayed and in what order. For example, if I want to edit research note only according to the title and abstract, I may want to only display these three fields.

# When you import a library, if only one file attachment is not ok, then EN will stop importing; while it is very hard to identify which reference’s attachment is not ok. For this problem, I have several pieces of suggestion: i) to add a button to find out those not ok file attachment, and either to correct or delete the locating path in EN. ii) when importing a library encouters the above problem, neglects it, finishes the whole importing and then tells us which file attachments are not ok at the end in one time.

# The limit of 250 items for “find full text” one time be canceled or at least return from 250 (for X4) to 1000 (for X3). The limit should be made by university libraries themselves rather than EN software.

# There be a button to update the number of TC in EN and ENweb.

# Is it possible to add a field to indicate the impact factor of the journal of each reference? And it can be updated.

# After I edit or delete an reference in a smart group, I hope the highlight no longer randomly jump to another place but stay at the same item or jump to the next one.

# For “find full text”, there will be a small piece of note to indicate when it starts and finished so as we can estimate the time.

# The “Unfiled” group is useless and distracting. Hope it will be removed.

# To change the name of the folders “PDF” or/and “Trash” to be of same length. This requirement seems strange but very important. When one adds a PDF file with long name into a reference, EN smartly shortens the name to 255 characters (including the folder length). However, when one try to delete the reference, it appears undeletable – because if the file is moved to the trash folder, the length of folder+file name is more than 255.

# To increase the lines in the smart groups or searching fields. Currently it has up to 10 lines; and if you close it and then open it, it has only 9 lines.

# To enlarge the smart group definition windows. It’s better if its size can be adjusted as normal windows.

# To allow using “and” “or” “not” in the searching fields or smart groups. Or even to allow writing searching terms as in web database advanced searhing.

# Frequently, after you input some words in the searching fields you notice you want to search in another group, and then you click another group – and then the searching words and settings disappear and you have to input again. Is it possible to make them not to disapear after one clicks another group?

# The display columns will be able to be directly moved forward or backward via drag and drop.

# In the PDF folder, why is it necessary to have one folder for each PDF? It has several shortcomings: 1) you can no longer directly look up the PDF; 2) the folder occupy the perished length for file name! (due to 255 charater limit for the whole lenght of the folder and file.) I guess the motivation is for library recovery: if the name of a file is too long, windows may shorten its name, in this case, EN can no longer find the file; but with the folder, EN can recover it. However, if there is no such folder, the allowable length for a file name can be much increased, and is enough for 99.9% article titles, and so this kind of recovery becomes rarely necessary.

In a word, thank you very much for your wonderful invention of EndNote and hope it becomes even more wonderful!