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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-12-2021
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Selecting a random sample of records in Endnote - works well on large record sets

[ Edited ]

There are lots of methods for achieving the same end but this is one I worked out while at the University of York, UK. If you're using a version earlier than x.9.3, you'll only need to do the first three steps before running an "update citations and bibliography". x.9.3 and beyond will require all steps as more recent versions of Endnote require an author and year, as well as ID, to update automatically against the library.


It sounds more complicated than it is! I do this all the time and it works very smoothly, even on very big record sets, and it will give you a genuinely random sample. If you have slightly different requirements, you should be able to adapt the steps to suit you - and please feel free to message me if you have questions. 


Mary Edwards, York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC), University of York


Selecting a random sample of records in Endnote


1. Create an export filter that exports the RefID

2. Once you have the RefIDs in a column in Excel, assuming they're sequential, you can just put that range into an online random number generator and select 10%

3. Take the 10% list of IDs and use CONCATENATE in Excel to format them as {#123} (where 123 is the ID of any given record) and then paste those formatted IDs into Word as plain text

4. Take the Word doc with the unformatted {#123} style citations

5. Save the document as a .rtf file (cross-references will be retained)

6. Close the .rtf file

7. Go into Endnote

8. Go to Edit / Preferences / Formatting and uncheck the box "omit author and/or year from formatted citation"

9. Go to Tools / Format paper

10. Choose the .rtf version of the report that you have saved

11. Endnote will match the citations

12. In the bottom right of the matching box, make sure that the style “Vancouver Author Year #RecordNumber” is selected (see zipped attachment to this post)

13. Click "Format" in the bottom right-hand corner

14. Endnote will save a new version of the .rtf report with the style name tacked on the end of the original title, i.e. “Your report name-Vancouver Author Year #RecordNumber.rtf”

15. Open this new .rtf report and save as a .docx

16. This is now your new working Word doc with x.9.3 compatible citations (i.e. containing author and year, as well as ID)

17. "Update citations and bibliography" to format the new Word doc and the group of 10% (or whatever sample size you chose) sample references will appear in top left corner of Endnote


If the IDs in the library are not sequential it's a bit more fiddly, you need two columns; the first 1,2,3,4 etc, and the second with the IDs. So each ID is assigned a corresponding sequential number. Then run the random number generator on the sequential numbers, and use Excel to pull out the corresponding RefIDs, before continuing with the process described above.