Please stop using Endnote. Switch to Zotero

I am a big fan of the reference management program Zotero. Now Thomson Reuters, makers of the Endnote program has sued Zotero developer George Mason University because the new version of Zotero can import Endnote databases.

Thomson Reuters demands $10 million and an injunction to stop George Mason University from distributing its new Web browser application, Zotero software, an open-source format that allows users to convert Reuters’ EndNote Software. Reuters claims George Mason is violating its license agreement and destroying the EndNote customer base.

Really. Thomson Reuters believes they own the references that their users have entered into Endnote?  Others have suggested to boycott Endnote, and I support that.

Update: The MIT Libraries have a writeup here.

6 thoughts on “Please stop using Endnote. Switch to Zotero”

  1. I wonder what they’re claiming exactly in the lawsuit. I would imagine some form of DMCA violation? (ie, circumventing some protection over EndNote’s proprietary format?)

  2. Close. It is over the site license agreement between GMU and TR. TR alleges that GMU decompiled EndNote (probably not true) to make a converter that transforms their undocumented .ENS style files to the open CSL (not true–Zotero uses .ENS as-is), that they distributed .ENS and/or CSLs converted from .ENS (not true), and that they used the trademark “EndNote” to describe this feature (true, but O.K. with trademark law (may or may not be O.K. with the site license)).

  3. Have switched to Zotero after reading about it on The Ludologist, a few months ago. All the references and the full bibliography of my thesis have been compiled using Zotero … and there is no going back. Open-source rules, period.

    Even before this new update, it was still possible to transfer endnote data to Zotero via a two step method that involved exporting from Endnote to Ref Manager and thence to Zotero. Can’t remember exactly how but I found the info online and all my endnote data were in Zotero before I knew it.

    Am quite ignorant about the complexities of the EULA but my best wishes remain with Zotero and its users.

  4. I think that anything that gives someone a reason not to use Endnote is a good thing. I’ve never seen such a horrible piece of software. Some colleagues keep suggesting that I use Endnote to keep track of my citations and so every year or two I give it a try. Even though they seem to update it every year it is still one of the worst programs I’ve ever used. It is unintuitive, offers no real error messages so you can’t tell if it is working or not, and its method of inputting citations by hand is frustrating and confusing.

    I’ve only tried Zotero once shortly after it came out but hopefully it will survive this lawsuit and last long after Endnote is long forgotten…

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