Sorting within Research Notes

I would like to be able to have a number of separate ‘themes’ in Research notes with quotes or thoughts for each theme. How can I search, sort and print on multiple journal articles and extract the relevant themes together from all the articles. To do this you need to sort within Research Notes.

What I am trying to do is replicate the old card system when each card (with relevant thoughts or quotes ) could be shuffled into theme order which made the writing process very straight forward. Any suggestions??

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Interesting question - here are some thoughts which encompass a couple of procedures:

1.   I suppose you could create “sub-fields” information within each reference’s Research Notes field. For example, this could include: Theme (identifying number and title), page number of the quotation, and the quotation (see Image1).  You could then search through your EndNote library using the Research Notes field and a specific theme.  The search results will display the relevant references containing the searched theme.

  1. Another method is once you’ve organized the “sub-fields” of data within the Research Notes field, you could export the contents from each reference into a text file (see Image2).  (This example is based on modifying the “Tabbed Delimited” output styles file so the Research Notes field appears first in the text file.)  The text file could then be imported into Excel where it could be sorted/organized. You could print the file but it could be problematic for long quotes so maybe doing a mail merge in MS Word might help to format the information in a way that makes it easier to read and print.

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Here are a couple of other ideas to consider:

1.  Could you use thematic “smart groups”? Your smart groups could be based on the specific theme character string you enter in the Research Notes field. A Smart Group is updated automatically when a new reference is added that reflects the search.  Within your smart group results, you could then sort them however you like.

2.  Could you use the subject bibliography function to generatie a bibliography based on specific keywords in the keyword term list?  This would require you consistently enter a term in the keyword field that denotes your theme.