Keep track of references: use Endnote

Checking references for your thesis is a long and tedious process, but you have to do it, right? What if we told you there was an easier and quicker way? ... by Paula Todd

Monash has the license for EndNote so all students have free access to the full version and can download it from the Library website.

By learning how to use this software you can save a lot of valuable time but the key is to understand your referencing style first and THEN use the software. A bit like the theory that to use a calculator to solve a mathematical problem, you need to understand the formula before applying it. Talk to your supervisor if you are unsure which referencing style you should use.

OK so you know your referencing style, how is EndNote going to help you? 

When you use databases or library Search you can export the details of the article, book etc. into your EndNote library. But this isn’t the end of the story, you can then use the ‘cite while you write’ function in EndNote to put your in-text citations into your thesis or report and at the same time EndNote will automatically start creating your reference list at the end of your paper in your chosen referencing style. No more painstaking typing of references!

How do you start?

It’s best to book into an EndNote class to get started, as the librarians will give you lots of tips and tricks to make EndNote run smoothly. Once your EndNote library is set up then most databases will have an export function to add references straight into your library.

You can attach the full text PDF’s of articles to your EndNote library which can save time when you are writing your thesis as the article and its citation are in the same place. With EndNote you can also highlight and annotate PDF’s (see right) which makes the relevant parts of the article more easy to spot when typing your assignment.

Another really cool feature is the Group option where references for a particular purpose (such as for a chapter in your thesis or a paper you are writing) can stay together. This becomes extremely useful as your EndNote library gets bigger and you want to easily see which references are relevant to different projects.

Can I share my references with others?

If the idea of having your EndNote library in the cloud to access anywhere appeals to you then check out EndNote Online  You can also use this version of EndNote to share the references in your library with your supervisor or other researchers you are collaborating with. 

Paula Todd is a subject librarian for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. She is based at Peninsula Library.

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