Endnote: Thumbs up to Technical Support

I have recently been posting about bibtex and some of the problems I was having, and some of the solutions I had come up with. As the research project I have in mind develops, I do envisage more problems on the horizon so I thought I might look around for something a little more sustainable. One of the issues I have been having is trying to get various references form various journals. Some of the publishers are very good at enabling you to do this. Others, not so good. Some do not even give you the option of downloading citations. I plan to blog about some of the issues I encountered later, but I need to do more investigation to be sure of my facts.

For the project I am working on, I need to download a set of papers, from various journals. I don’t want to go into too many details here, as that will wait until the research is done and the paper is submitted and (hopefully) accepted.

A lot of my research had been done using Thomson Reuters and their Web of Science product. It was while looking more deeply at their various products that I came across Endnote. I had heard of this product before but I have never used it and I did not know that it was part of the Thomson Reuters family of products.

Endnote actually has two flavours. A web based product that is free to use (at least for me, because I have an institutional subscription to Web of Science) and a desk based version that is available for Windows and Macs.

I started off using the web based version and as all the papers that I am interested in are in ISI ranked journals, I could access everything I needed to from within Web of Science. This meant that I did not have to go to individual journals or publishers, which was a big plus for me as I could do all my paper searching from one place. Moreover, importing to Endnote Web was very easy.

I soon came across a problem though. Endnote Web has a limit on the number of citations that you can store. This limit is 25,000. I guess that this will not be a problem for most people but for me (or, at least, the research project), I would need a few more thousand for the current project.

If you are interested in the various limits and comparisons for the products, they can be seen here. At the time of writing, the web page was saying that the latest desk based version was Endnote X5, when in fact the latest version is X6.

In other pages I have seen, it states that if you buy Endnote X6 you can store 100,000 references in Endnote Web. Actually the limit is 50,000. In any case, 50,000 would be good enough for my project.

The results of all my investigations was that I shelled out the £66 (GBP) for a copy of Windows Endnote X6. As well as being able to store 50,000 references within Endnote Web, there is also a sync facility so that both the desktop and the web versions mirror each other as far as the data is concerned.

But there was a problem with the sync facility. I have just over 35,000 records in the web based version and when I tried to sync, it did not work (I won’t bore you with the details of the error message, I later learned, was just a generic message). I tried various things but eventually raised a support ticket with Thomson Reuters.

They responded, and kept me informed every couple of days that they were still looking at the problem. Then one of their support personnel (I won’t name them for fear of embarrassment) contacted me and arranged a skype call. We actually had the call as they were driving home from work on (their) Friday evening. I was very impressed that somebody would do this. They also promised to continue to look at the problem once they got home.

I think that this is amazing service. The problem has not been resolved yet but I do know that their technical support is taking the problem seriously, which is as much as you can hope for.

I am hoping that the problem will be sorted out soon, and then I can move onto the next stage of the research project. But, at the moment, there is a big thumbs up for Thomson Reuters technical support. Thank you.

Finally, I have given what links I can above, but it is difficult to give links to Endnote Web as to access it I have to login via my institutional subscription. I am not sure if the product is (freely) available to the general public. Perhaps if you use it as an individual you could post a reply letting others know how you access it, and whether it costs anything? Perhaps the only way is to buy Endnote X6 and then you get an Endnote Web account as a matter of course?

2 thoughts on “Endnote: Thumbs up to Technical Support”

  1. I haven’t used it in years (lack of need, not dissatisfaction), but have you looked at Zotero (http://www.zotero.org/). The last time I used it, which is no doubt several versions ago, it was pretty effective at scraping bibliographic information from a web page, and it can export to BibTeX.

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