More efficient methods for choosing styles?

Hi everyone,

I teach the Use of EndNote course at Cambridge and one thing that seems to cause students a lot of problems is the difficulty of choosing a suitable style because there are so many of them (and every supervisor seems to have slightly different views about the aesthetics of it so it’s not possible for me to suggest one for them).

I usually suggest the students look for a style that’s close to their supervisor’s requirements and then tweak it if necessary, but that still leaves them looking rather blankly at the enormous list of possibilities. 

Suggesting they try “Find by category” to narrow it down doesn’t seem to solve the problem for most of them.

Any ideas? What do other people do? 

I usually edit one for them, with them watching, so hopefully they can take it from there, the next time for the next professor!

The improvement in response time with EndNote X4 CWYW comes at a price, i.e. reduced number of default output styles, filters, connection files etc. Having all the available output styles accessible via the ‘Styles manager’ meant that you could easily see a preview of those styles, and identify one that is close to what you require.

This facility is lost with EndNote X4, unless you download a complete set of styles from the Thomson Reuters site. Thus degrading the improved response times with CWYW.

I would like to see Thomson improve the functionality of the styles download facility available from -  including a preview option to this facility would assist users to identify likely candidates to download.

It would also be wonderful, if someone could convince journal editors, that inventing yet another obscure referencing style … does not contribute anything to the sum of scientific knowledge and understanding :cry:

Speaking for the EndNote team, we agree completely. It is simply too hard to find a specific style from among the thousands that we provide as part of EndNote. For a while now, we have had a project on our master “To Do” list to improve this and make it much easier for customers to take advantage of this aspect of EndNote. We still plan to do this and these comments will hopefully help us to prioritize this effort.

I think ideally, we would like to build a feature into the main EndNote application that makes it much easier to search, download, and update all of the auxiliary files associated with EndNote so that users would not need to go to a separate web page at all.

Currently, this is a missed opportunity for us and a point of unnecessary frustration for our users as we put tons of effort into developing these files - working with journal editors - and then we do not make it easy enough for customers to take advantage of this effort.

Jason Rollins, the EndNote team

It would help if the styles could be grouped in families on the basis of layout as an alternative to sorting by discipline (which at least in the UK doesn’t seem to help much as it seems perfectly possible to have an arts professor who is wedded to one of the science styles). 

What I’m thinking of would be a way to drill down so you could select,  say, numbered | notes in footnotes | author date then subdivide numbered into order of citation vs. alphabetical order in bibliography.