Wednesday, January 24, 2007

EndNote is supposed to save time, right? not crush your soul and jeopardize your meeting important deadlines?

If my normal mood was Boston proper and mundane frustration was Cambridge, I would be well past Wisconsin by this point, and perhaps into Montana. Maybe Seattle. Maybe Mars.

EndNote is great in the abstract. I have neither the time nor patience for the abstract right now. As some friendly practical warnings to fellow EndNote users, you should (a) keep all your references in one library, (b) not collaborate with other people, (c) not attempt to write complicated documents, and (d) not do any work that involves deadlines. Consider (e) fleeing academia and (f) finding peaceful work in a bookstore or as a barista.

9 comments:

A+ said...

Man, I've tried EndNote like three, four times now. It's counterintuitive for me, and I can never seem to get it to work correctly. Is it *that* ridiculous to type up a bibliography?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're stressed out. For what it's worth, Seattle is a nice place to be when you're not driven there by frustration.

I don't use EndNote or anything similar because it just seems like a major hassle. Based on this post, I probably won't change my mind anytime soon. Besides, some sick part of me finds typing up the references and checking citations as relaxing and enjoyable. That probably wouldn't be the case if I'd been depending on software to do the job and working against a deadline.

I hope you finish this soon so you can take a break and return to this happy blog a happy blogger.

Lucy said...

I keep using EndNote because the 50 iterations it takes to get it to do all the citations correctly are still generally faster than hand typing, but definitely several orders of magnitude more frustrating (and that's even when following warnings a-c).
I'm sorry it's not cooperating. I hope you're back in Boston soon.

tina said...

Yes, collaboration is Endnote's death knell. You have my sympathies.

eszter said...

Yup, EndNote sucks with collaborations. The way I deal with this is tell my co-authors that I'll deal with that bit (since I tend to know the program better), they should just add the name and year to the text and I'll fill it in later. They should, separately, send me a file with their references though. I then add those to the main library file and add the refs. Not great, by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly still better than typing the refs individually in each article.

Super sorry to hear about all this, although that email from Tess was amusing. Definitely good call that I didn't publish anything in 1971.

gabriel said...

Most of the time I just copy cites from my previous papers. For the fifteen or so new cites I just type them and then they're in.

This is really easy and has no nasty problems. The only time I wish I were using endnote is when I'm submitting to a journal that doesn't use standard ASA citation style and I have to change them all to APA (or whatever) by hand.

eszter said...

Gabriel, that works if you're always drawing on the same literature, but not everyone works that way. (Then again, for tenure purposes, it's probably more savvy to do so. That way you'll clearly have a coherent story to tell AND don't need to be up-to-date on a wider range of material.)

jeremy said...

Eszter: Yes, in the future I will only do a one person handles all references system, at least until I hear of dramatic improvements to EndNote.

I've normally handled things by just using EndNotes control-K feature to copy and paste citations into the bibliography as I go, but doing the in-text citations myself and dealing with the cross-check of references against in-text citations at the end. Hopelessly quaint as that approach sounds, it would have saved me something like 20 hours over the past week.

TheInternetDog said...

I have a friend who works in academia and sidelines as a barista in a bookstore. It seems to work well for him. Perhaps you should consider that option.