Using EndNote for writing a thesis or dissertation


I’ve been invited to teach a class session about the use of EndNote in writing a thesis. Does anyone have any recommendations (including emphasizing what of the following items may be most useful)? The following are the things I’ve been thinking of talking about. My instructions were to specifically address how EndNote could be used to write a thesis, not just to describe how the program worked (including its ability to create citations), though I will talk about that as well.

In regard to sharing libraries

a. how to transfer references from one EndNote library to another

b. EndNote Web (a website from the EndNote vendor putting many of the functions of EndNote online). One option for sharing is that references could be transferred between individual libraries and an online group account. I’ve been told that the EndNote Web accounts are mainly limited or defined by the email address that is used to start the account, so students may be able to create a group email address and use that to create a group account. I will send you an email about how to set up an EndNote Web account both for information and in case you’d like the students to create an EndNote Web account before the class. However, I intend to focus mainly on the installed version of EndNote, not the online EndNote Web version.

The EndNote site links to copies of the 6th edition of the APA style. The most recent version of EndNote (EndNote X3) was published just before the 6th edition of the APA style was available, so students will have to add it to their copy of EndNote.

The most recent version of the APA Style (6th Edition) was made available for EndNote after EndNote X3 was published, so if students need the 6th edition they will need to download and install the file from the EndNote site.


Linking from EndNote references to the library's full text sources

Linking local copies of pdf's to EndNote references

Use of groups in EndNote

The Research Notes field


I may try to show how to define custom fields. These fields can be named and used in EndNote references.


Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton


Speaking IMHO, please emphasize the followings.

Please do not assume EN magically take care of the referencing job in a day or two. We have so many requests here asking “Urgent help needed!” “Help! my deadline is next week”. Some of them seems to me simply a matter of underestimation of referencing job, and overestimation of the EN’s capability.

I usually tell my students to do test flight “months” ahead of their deadlines.

Other than that, your teaching plan seems comprehensive.

Best wishes,

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To help students in locating reference materials it might be useful to cover: using connection files to connect to an online database, searching through the database, and downloading/importing references into Endnote.  This could also lead to some discussion on evaluating and using searched references.

Also making a  backup copy of the library and thesis files and maintaining updated files as a safeguard in case of hard drive failure, corrupted files or even accidental deletions.

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While you have them in the room, tell them to use a good Word template so they can automate chapter and figure numbering,  table of figures, table of tables, table of contents generation.  Use headers to make consistent - make compatible with university requirements (and this helps in the table of contents generation).  These are the painful things that I make them do when they are formating and if they would just listen to me in the beginning, it would be so much easier! 

Tell them not to put endnote references into textboxes (convert to frame), if they are going to use a numbered citation format.  Doesn’t really matter if they are using a citation format (Author, YEAR).  Frames work better when you are trying to do the table of figures too. 

Avoid Endnote’s “insert figure, table” functionsand use the word-processor facilities which are more adaptable and robust. 

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