MacOS Endnote 20 Issues and Feedback

I am not the first to write with hopes for major changes and improvements to Endnote 20, especially on the Mac platform. While I am heartened to read that the developers are watching this forum, by now they must have gathered the extent of the dissatisfaction about the Endnote 20 release. Hopefully, they are, as a matter of urgency, making major changes to the next update. This needs to occur in THIS release cycle (20), not be deferred to a putative 21 or 22. Failure to do so may see even more scholars join the exodus from the Endnote platform.

Some observations from use of the software on MacOS:

  • We need to be able to preview our PDFs in the main window, not a separate screen. This includes “split screen below” as in previous versions.
  • The software may well be functional if all you ever do is use journal articles. However for those of us who handle monographs, scholarly books and edited collections it is extremely frustrating. This includes many of us working in the humanities and social sciences.
  • The default reference type is “Journal Article” - however when you select a different reference type (ie “Book” or “Edited Book”) the fields do not update until you exit the reference, select another reference, then return to the reference you are trying to edit. This to enter basic information such as Place Published and Publisher.
  • The “Update Reference” does not pull bibliographic reference information for books from ISBNs. Other software manages this without issue. Endnote could. The fact it does not indicates that the developers are neither listening to, nor understanding, their user base. The weaselly advice to “download the reference from Library of Congress” as bruited about these forums by Clarivate staff is not a viable response - it adds even more complexity to the workflow, potentially duplicates references in the library and is needlessly irritating.
  • Auto complete of authors does not work in editing windows, only on new references (this includes any reference auto imported via the PDF watch folder). This means that errors are likely to enter reference libraries and defeats the data consistency that this feature helped promote.
  • Handling of multiple authors is a disaster. The software regularly fails to recognise hard carriage returns/separate lines for multiple authors, leading to incorrect citations. Again, this is particularly an issue when editing automatically imported citations.
  • The reference preview does not update on save - again only when exiting then returning to the citation. If displayed this should remain open as an option, not something that has be clicked on each time.
  • Change case is not available and needs to be restored.
  • Handling of multiple chapters from edited volumes is cumbersome and requires extensive re-entering of the same information. Again, other bibliographic managers handle this far better.

I am not the first to identify many of these issues. For the price charged to individual users for this software (and to our institutions via site licensing fees), we as end-users deserve far better. I look forward to an imminent update that addresses the overwhelming feedback you are receiving.

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