Endnote and Procite are reference-management software packages that assist writers in producing references and bibliographies. Endnote operates on Windows and Mac OS X while Procite is available only for Windows. Both brands are manufactured by the Thomson Corp. and offer various methods for reference searching and management.
Both products allow the user to create a database of reference information that can be turned into bibliographies with Microsoft Word. Both offer features that will organize references, link to PDF files and search databases online. Both offer advanced search capabilities and reference grouping. Some features included with Endnote are the ability to store and cite images and objects, automated search for full-text articles, the ability to create figures and table lists, a personally created list of favorite styles and the ability to create smart groups for instant sorting, access to open URL links and the ability to create a document with MS Word templates. These features are not available with Procite. Neither allows multiuser access. Endnote is more popular and is often viewed as more user-friendly. However, Procite offers more flexibility by allowing unlimited work forms and management of special collections. Both products are great time savers that offer efficiency and effectiveness.
Endnote has been praised for its management of PDF files, many options for comparison operators and easy-to-find reference types that form an alphabetized list. Endnote has been criticized for its lack of a special-characters table, no database distinction between personal and corporate authors and searches being sorted by record type. Procite is not deemed to be as user-friendly as Endnote but has been praised for its high level of detail when entering data and editing. Consumers have said Procite needs to include features to allow the importing and exporting of competitors' database files directly instead of in intermediary formats. Also noted is the lack of a spell-checking feature and the need to search multiple databases rather than one.
Consideration for Usage
It is important to consider where and how a reference-management package will be used before purchasing it. Universities and research institutions often require the use of one type of research software. If the product is intended for use on group research projects or collaboration with multiple colleagues it may important to check and make sure that different research software is allowed.
Endnote and Procite are available for purchase through the Microsoft and/or Mac Web stores. They can also be purchased directly through the Thompson Corp. via fax, phone or email. If considering a bulk purchase, contact a company sales representative, who may be able to offer price benefits for bulk orders.
Free trails of both software packages are available at the Mac and Microsoft Web stores. Endnote and Procite prices start at $109 but lower pricing is available for larger institutions or academic use.
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