Is EndNote basically...done?

This thought originally started in response to another thread post, but I’d like to see if others’ perspectives match my own. That is, do you feel that EndNote is basically done being actively developed?

It’s February 2019 and we still have no Android app, the iOS app is terrible, and the desktop software is a security risk and a resource hog. I’m sure Clarivate has 1 or 2 developers on staff to patch show-stopper bugs, but it seems obvious to me that any attempts at bringing “next-gen” features to market would have happened long ago…the last two versions of this software seem completely iterative.

Thoughts? For me, it’s one of those things where I’m moving on to a different product if there’s no further planned development on the horizon; EndNote is far from perfect, and I’m just tired of struggling to find ways to access my documents on the go (the website is not viable option). Add to it the 2007-era interface, and it just seems like Clarivate plans to keep the software going in its current form until it stops making money.

Of course, maybe I’m off base here, and someone else can offer a glimmer of hope that I’m not seeing. Please chime in to this discussion if you can.


I think the problem is, to move into the modern era, it would need to be completely recoded.  So that would eliminate complatibility and so they just try to keep it limping along?  It is from the late 1980s I believe?  

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I’m sure that’s a big part of it, but it’s not an insurmountable challenge. Other software companies out there have made the leap…Quicken, for example. 

But also, things like an Android app are just completely inexcusable for not having gotten done. An (albeit pretty bad) iOS app exists, there’s no reason an Android app at least on par could not happen pretty quickly.

The fact that this has not happened, nor has there been any real innovation…it just seems like EndNote has reached end-of-life status, even if Clarivate is not willing to admit it…

Having provided EndNote support to researchers since the introduction of version X, I agree that the application is due for a significant update.

Yes, it would be ‘nice’ to see improvements to the iOS app and the introduction of an Android alternative. But I am more concerned about basic functionality / useabilty of the desktop application. Recent upgrades haven’t been associated with signigicant improvements to functionality and more importantly … haven’t addressed significant known bugs, particulrly with the macOS version, e.g. PDF viewer, memory issues(?).

Version X9 under macOS Mojave is almost unusable. Adding / editing even a relatively small number of records, the application slows to a crawl … and this is only resolved by closing and re-opening the library. And this is with a library stored in a desktop folder with no attachments, running on a late 2013 Mac Pro with 32GB of memory, or a 2017 15in MacBook Pro.

I can live with a nagging prompt about 32bit applications, but the performance issue is a significant issue! Needless to say, I have held off deploying X9 at the higher education institution where I work.

Having said that, I have yet to see an alternative reference management system with a better integration for the omnipresent MS Word?

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I started with Reference Manager in the mid-1980s and was forced to switch to EndNote four or five years ago. Reference Manager was bought out by the then owners of ProCite and was essentially negrlected to death.  ProCite then also disappeared.  I cringed when I saw that EndNote had been purchased by a new owner not long ago.  I fear that EndNote is headed for the same fate as Research Manager and ProCite.

There are other reference management software packages out there, but changing always comes with a period of learning that means you have to focus on the software and not on your work.  You essentially lose the investment of time and effort into EndNote if you switch.  You also risk moving to software that is not as functional in some areas that you most value.  

The signs of neglected software? Updates that contain little increased functionality and become mostly bug fixes that you pay for.  Software “support” means that the company will answer your specific questions, but will make relatively few fundamental improvements to the program.  Increased dependence on talented “super-users” to respond to forum questions. Solicitations for software improvements that never appear in the program… 

I am heavily invested in EndNote (>92,000 references), but I am constantly looking at other programs.  All seem to both appeal and repel, so far.  But I wonder if there isn’t a small startup somewhere with some talented programmers huddled around a grungy table looking for a field begging for innovation and competition.

C’mon, Clarivate, step up and get it done.  Don’t make me suffer through another transition to a new program.

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Like many of you, I was a very long-time EndNote user (as in, I started with EN4). I was frustrated for ages with the bugs and slowdowns in ENX8 but was very reluctant to try to switch to another application for referencing. But when it was clear from my use of the X9 trial version that no fixes were present and it wasn’t even a 64-bit application, I realized it was time to go elsewhere. I looked at Zotero and Mendeley and a few others but those did not fit my personal needs. I did find Bookends, which I did purchase after trying the free trial version, and it’s been wonderful. For me, it works well, and is far less expensive than EndNote, is fast, very much a Mac application, has extremely prompt and responsive support, and most importantly, is actively developed. 

So I can’t say if EndNote development is done, but I would say that for me, it became a buggy, slow and painful app to use and I can’t say enough that it was delightful to have switched (in my case, to Bookends). I am bummed I didn’t do this earlier.

BTW, it was extremely easy to make the switch. Bookends imports everything from EndNote, including attached PDFs, so it was pretty painless. 

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so far, it is still the best product for me, on Windows, and maybe it will continue work for me until I retire in a few more years.  Younger colleagues are looking at F1000 and F1000Workspace

I appreciate those who took time to weigh in with their thoughts. Two weeks after the original post, I think the answer to my question is a resounding “yes”.

The original intent of asking was to provide an additional piece of data into my decision-making as to whether to hold out hope that Clarivate would eventually get its act together with EndNote, or whether I should move on to something else. I have since moved on to ReadCube, and so far I’m loving the enhanced functionality (and the Android app!)

FWIW, the answer to my question wasn’t necessarily pre-determined. As a longtime user of Quicken, I have seen an example of another legacy/decades-old software that was facing some of EndNote’s same challenges, but was successfully turned around (due to spinoff by Intuit and move to a subscription model). I was hoping that Clarivate would take the same approach as Quicken with its revamp, but EndNote seems too-far gone to be worth the trouble for anyone who’s not already deeply invested in the ecosystem.

Agree, but I would also add that some of us who were heavily invested in EndNote over many years also have switched and it was not hard at all to transition. Good luck. The fact that no support rep seems to even bother to provide reassurance is very telling…

Since future MacOS versions (expected for Autumn) will not support the 32-bit EndNote anymore, Clarivate will have to make a move in the next upgrade, which, according to their usual schedule should be around the end of this Summer. Clarivate can either re-code the app to 64-bit and fix the issues that made the last three versions barely usable or we can safely say that they officially abandoned EndNote.

I would have already moved on to another reference manager if it weren’t for the time I invested in organising my references, editing them, adding pdfs… etc. I wonder if any of you know a platform that is easy to migrate to, in a way that the library structure and the reference infos, including edited titles (subscripts, italics), are saved, and the pdfs also get migrated simultaneously?

Your concerns are what kept me on this bug-ridden unsupported application for several years too long. I switched to Bookends ( and it migrated flawlessly with the PDFs. I was kicking myself for not switching sooner. It was pretty easy. And cheaper I might add. Way cheaper. 

Hi, @knnnike :

Thank you so much for your post. I apologize that I am only just seeing it. 

For those who may not know me, I am the current Product Manager for EndNote. I have been working for Clarivate for the last 14 years, and always on EndNote – I started out in the technical support team. I also used it myself in school. I tell you all this so you realize the deep commitment and responsibility I feel for this product. I truly love it, and rely on it just as many of you do.

Therefore, hopefully, you’ll take my word for it when I say that EndNote is *definitely* not done. You may know that our company had a big business transition recently as we moved from our former parent company to form Clarivate Analytics. With that transition done, we’ve been putting the pieces in place to move our product forward. 

I see some discussion on this thread about the age of the interface, as well as 64-bit compatibility with Mac. Let me address those separately:

  • On the 64-bit issue, believe me, we absolutely would never leave our Mac users out in the cold with this looming date from Apple. While I don’t have an exact date, we have been saying publically for a while now that EndNote Mac users can expect an update in advance of this fall to address this issue. We’ll give more details as we get closer, but rest assured we’re working on it!

  • In terms of the interface – we hear you. The interface has not seen much love, and it’s fair to say it shows its age in places. All I can say right now is stay tuned; we should have some exciting news about that soon. 

There’s some really good things coming, and I hope that you will be along for the ride – we can’t do it without you! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me directly at .

The very best wishes…



With all due respect, actions speak louder than words. Since I posted this, I have moved on to ReadCube with zero regrets. I’m certain that tens of thousands have as well. Even the university librarians think that EndNote at this point is pretty terrible (according to the library staff at the major research university where I work), but they’re too entrenched to switch to something better [yet]. Unfortunately, we’ve been hearing “stay tuned” from you for years. I can find posts from you back in 2013 (that’s 6 years ago!) saying “stay tuned” and “we’re seriously considering” an Android app. That’s just an example, but I think it proves my point. Your response is curiously silent on any sort of Android presence for EndNote…

I understand that you’re not personally to blame for the slower-than-glacial pace at which app development has progressed [edit: actually, if you’ve been the product manager for 14 years, I think the blame does lie mostly with you], but it’s extremely difficult to put any sort of faith in your responses at this point. Either Clarivate has the most incompetent group of software engineers on the planet working on EndNote (who need years to fix basic issues), or you’re seriously over-selling the priorities and resources devoted to this product.

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I am, like others here, a long-time EndNote user, but for my most recent project switched to BookEnds. Is EndNote done? I don’t know; they have a lot of ground to make up. But I would not start a new project using EndNote in the hopes that it might eventually get the upgrade it needs. Wait and see, and meanwhile use something else.

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Following the upgrade to 9.3.1 on Catalina, all the performance issues seem to have been ironed out!  EndNote 9.3.1 at least for me is significantly faster than Bookends.  No longer spinning wheels, etc. even with very large libraries.  It is also way faster than EndNote 9.2 on Windows. Compared to the macOS 9.3.1 version, it is now the Windows version that seems unusable.

I consider that the attention to details are not in EndNote, it is visible when we try to use templates provided by EndNote. Now a wrong message is displayed as I type,… !

Well I sure hope Clarivate is good for it. I finally upgraded from X7 to 20, and on Monday I will be asking my IT wardens to put X7 back (I’m an institutionalized user, have to jump hoops to install software). It’s the interface. It might look sleek and modern but it doesn’t allow to customize or do basic things like open a record in a full Window, I can’t work easily. What happened to beta-testing? The fact that Leanne, the most loyal user in the world with 8800+ posts on here, is questioning whether Endnote will survive, should be ringing alarms at Clarivate-Endnote HQ.

I used earlier versions of Endnote (such as version 9, from 2005), along with Office 2003, on

a Windows XP computer.

In 10 minutes, I could add 100 references to a 20 page manuscript, format, at it was done.

It took me 5 minute to make custom edits in the Style.

(And I could teach a student all those skills, in a few minutes, it was that easy).

Now I have Office 2016, Endnote9x, and a Win10 computer.  It’s a nightmare!  Maybe

given 1-2 days, I’ll get it all figured out.  It’s beyond me, why these companies want

to take highly-functional software and create “improved versions” that are very difficult to use.


I agree with you 200% – I have to go back to Endnote X9 because 20 has a terrible interface. I’ve been using Endnote for 30 years and I’m done with it. Beta-testing never happened, and the only way to keep Endnote 20 alive is to restore basic layout features so you can work effectively.