Friday, January 9, 2009

A Response from EndNote: EndNote Web!

Wow, Who knew my Zotero post would get so much attention! I just received an email from a product development manager at Thompson Reuters, the parent company of EndNote. They pointed out to me that EndNote now has EndNote Web, which not only makes syncing libraries across different computers easy, but also supports OpenURL. With the FireFox plug-in, you can capture references online as you can with Zotero. If you have the latest version of EndNote (X 2.0.1) or your university subscribes to ISI Web of Knowledge, you can create an account for free. EndNote web can be used as a stand alone program without having to have EndNote installed on your machine, and downloadable plug-ins let you cite-while-you-write in MS Word. I wanted to be fair to EndNote, so I decided to set up an account, play with it, and post what happened.

I do not have access to the latest EndNote version (2.0.1), but UNH does subscribe to ISI Web of Knowlegde. I went to ( and registered for a free account. After a couple a couple of minutes, I was able to export my EndNote library and import it into EndNote Web. Now when I view my library list using EndNote Web, I see links to "Find it @ UNH." Clicking on this will take me to a link to the holding on UNH's library website, the full text (if UNH has it online), or to the inter-library loan page if UNH does not have it. There is also a "Online Link -> Go to URL" button. I thought this would take me to... well, an online link. What it actually did was try to go to the PDF of the article I have saved locally on my machine (I had the references and PDFs linked in EndNote when I exported my library). Since the way EndNote handles the link address is not actually compatible with how FireFox handles URLs, all this did was produce an error. In theory though, if you have the correct web address in the reference, it would take you to the online source. I am also guessing that if I relink all the references and PDFs in EndNote Web, this would work as well. Here is what my library looks like on EndNote Web:

There are a couple other issues I am having with EndNote web. One is that I cannot figure out how to get it to use UNH's database when searching for new references. UNH was not on their drop-down list (though tons of universities are) and I could not figure out how to manually add it. I have emailed them to ask about this (see update below). The second is that I could not get their FireFox plug-in to capture the reference from a website. I tried books, journal articles, you-name-it. For example, I selected one of the journals I found in a Google Scholar search, went to the page for that specific article, and hit "capture"... Nothing. The EndNote Web window popped up fine, but all the info fields were blank, even after telling it the source was a journal article. While still on the same webpage, I clicked on the toolbar icon to try to auto-add it to Zotero, and that worked instantly. This tells me that the issue seems to lie with EndNote Web, and not with the website.

So in conclusion, EndNote Web is nice, but it still seems to have some bugs that need to be worked out (namely, their capture feature). Also, unless you have the latest version of EndNote or access to ISI Web of Knowledge, you would have to pay for it. Right now it appears that EndNote Web is not available for individual purchase (clicking on their purchase link takes you to a page were you can request info for a corporate purchase).

Update: I just heard back from EndNote and it turns out that libraries have to request to have their catalogs included in EndNote and EndNote Web, and that this requires they have a z39.50 server available. I was under the erroneous assumption that an OpenURL link resolver could be used to search a library's database as well as point to a specific reference. If you are confused as to what exactly an OpenURL link resolver is and what it can/cannot do (as, apparently, I was), check out:

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