Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

EndNote X3 reminder

Posted by Megan on February 15, 2010

A reminder to EndNote users: at the beginning of the winter semester, McGill upgraded to the most recent version of the EndNote program, version X3. In general, the look and functionality of the program remain the same, but the new version runs much more quickly than its predecessors.

It is recommended that you uninstall previous versions before upgrading. As usual, the program can be downloaded from the university’s software distribution website. Your VPN must be connected to download the program from off campus.

If you’re not familiar with EndNote…you should consider learning more about it! It is a citation management software program that allows you to organize bibliographic information (i.e., references). It can also help with formatting your citations when you’re writing a document in Word.

EndNote allows you to maintain a personal “library” of references, which you can search, label, and sort into groups. You can save lots of time by directly importing references from various online databases into your EndNote library. A sample library is shown below.

The references exist in your EndNote library independent of citation style, so you can apply a format to your citations and bibliography (like Chicago or APSR, for example), depending on your needs.

The library offers workshops to help you get started with the program. I am glad to set up additional consultations and special sessions…just drop me a line to discuss the options!

And now for a caveat: I’m not trying to advocate EndNote as a magical solution to the woes of citation management. It’s a complicated program, and it can take time to learn to use it and integrate it into your work patterns. Nor is it perfect. You will probably find that you will have to tweak citation styles to make them look how you want.

That said, it is a wonderful tool for organizing your research and preparing papers.

McGill pays for licenses to distribute EndNote to the McGill community, but there are alternatives out there. Most notable is Zotero, a free, web-based program that is similar to EndNote in its functions for storing references. I find that it’s easier to use than EndNote in terms of collecting references while I’m doing research, but it is less customizable. Since I use both programs, I am glad to discuss both in greater depth.

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