10 September 2008
Reviewed by Felix Grant
With X2 (version 12), Endnote continues the process (followed, in previous reviews here, from release X) of carefully managed transition from bibliographic database manager to wider research information tool.
In this release, search facilities that have been developing separately for quite a while are brought together under one convenient foreground interface. Where the preview pane used to be, at bottom right below the abbreviated reference list, there is now a tabbed area with two options so far: 'preview', as before, and 'search'. In the left hand pane, groups now contain an expanded range of options (of which more in a minute) including 'Online Search' (which used to be 'connect', a couple of versions back); click it and choose a library or other source which will stay in the pane for future use.
Whether you search all your own references, a subset of them in a defined group, or online, the search tab at bottom right becomes active and is identical in all cases. The search results are automatically absorbed into the current library, no longer requiring a manual copy over, though they are temporarily held in a separate left pane search group and can easily be shifted to another library (or deleted) if you prefer.
Also on that left pane are headings for All References, Trash, (deleted references, like the operating system recycle or trash bin), the existing Custom Groups, Smart Groups and Endnote Web – all separately searchable on an equal footing from the same form.
Smart Groups are like Custom Groups except that you don’t compile them manually; they are defined by a saved search. If, for example, I search for “Author [contains] Zazen AND Author [contains] Ebenezer AND Any Field [contains] ring morphology”, then convert the results to a smart group called “Eb’s ringmorph stuff”, any future references I acquire which fit those criteria will automatically add themselves to that group.