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Home » Access all of your PDFs with EndNote and Finereader 

Access all of your PDFs with EndNote and Finereader 

    Reference management involves organising and managing reference information. Often, the reference information is accompanied by full-text PDFs. The great thing with true PDFs is that they look the same on all devices, but the file’s text is still available.
    Handling old references, only available in printed form, can be a bit challenging, as are PDF files which are a simple scan of a paper copy. However, there are several steps you can take to manage and incorporate them into your research workflow effectively, as we outline below.

    Why EndNote

    EndNote is a reference management software for organising and managing bibliographic references and citations. It’s commonly used by researchers, students, and professionals to keep track of sources, generate citations and bibliographies, and collaborate on research projects. EndNote allows you to store, organise, and format references from various sources such as books, articles, websites, and more.

    EndNote further provides features that allow you to attach and manage PDF files within your reference library. Attaching PDFs in EndNote offers several benefits that enhance your research and reference management workflow. Here are some key advantages:

    • Centralised Storage
    • Find Full Text. EndNote can automatically search for full-text PDFs based on your reference information.
    • Efficient Review. You can open the attached PDF directly from EndNote when reading or reviewing a reference. This saves time and makes it convenient to cross-reference information in the reference with the content of the PDF.
    • Search within PDFs
    • Offline Access. Attaching PDFs allows you to access your research materials even when you’re offline. This is especially valuable if you’re working in locations without internet access.
    • Annotation and Highlighting
    • Citation Verification
    • Collaboration. If you’re collaborating on a research project, attaching PDFs in EndNote allows your collaborators to access the same references and associated PDFs, facilitating a smoother collaboration process.
    • Backup and Data Integrity

    While there are numerous benefits to attaching PDFs in EndNote, managing your library effectively is essential. Keep your library organised, ensure accurate metadata extraction from PDFs, and periodically check for updates and improvements in EndNote’s capabilities.

    The challenge is text that is not digitally available

    Handling old references only available in printed form can be a bit challenging. Still, there are several steps you can take to manage and incorporate them into your research workflow effectively:

    1. Create Manual Entries in EndNote. Even if the references are unavailable digitally, you can still create manual entries in your EndNote library. Enter as much information as you can gather from the printed material, such as author names, publication titles, publication dates, and relevant page numbers.
    2. Scan and Digitise. If you can access a scanner or even a camera, consider scanning the printed references to create digital copies (PDF). This will allow you to attach the scanned PDFs to the manual entries you created in EndNote.
      Our recommendation is to use software like Finereader to convert your scanned PDF into a true PDF, with content that will be searchable in EndNote.
    3. Library Catalogues and Online Databases. Check if the printed materials are listed in library catalogues or online databases. While the full text might not be available digitally, you might find bibliographic information and abstracts that can be entered into EndNote.
    4. Interlibrary Loan Services. If the printed materials are available in other libraries, you could use interlibrary loan services to obtain photocopies or scans of the relevant pages. This way, you can create digital versions to attach to your EndNote entries (PDFs; see our recommendation above.
    5. Backup and Preservation. Since the printed references are not easily replaceable, ensure that your EndNote library and any associated files (scans, photographs, notes) are backed up regularly to prevent loss.

    Remember that the goal is to capture as much relevant information as possible from the printed materials and integrate them into your research workflow while maintaining accuracy and transparency in your citations.

    If you can access a scanner, consider scanning the printed references to create digital copies (PDFs). This will allow you to attach the scanned PDFs to the manual entries you created in EndNote.

    Once you have the source as a scanned PDF, we strongly recommend that you convert the scanned PDF into a true PDF. This means you convert the scanned PDF (essentially an image) into a true PDF, which is a text document. In turn, this means that when you attach this true PDF to your EndNote library, EndNote will index the PDF text and make the whole content of the PDF searchable in EndNote. This, of course, dramatically expands your data knowledge base.

    We recommend using Finereader to convert your scanned PDF into a true PDF, as Finereader is one of the leading Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.

    Why FineReader

    ABBYY FineReader is an optical character recognition (OCR) system. It converts scanned documents, PDFs, and image documents (including digital photos) into editable and searchable documents. ABBYY FineReader can automatically recognise and process documents with any combination of 198 languages and provides full dictionary support for 53 languages. The software is available for Mac and Windows machines.

    ABBYY FineReader can analyse documents as the images/documents are scanned into the program or by analysing existing images or PDF files.

    Basic OCR Operations in ABBYY:

    • Before performing OCR, the program analyses the structure of the entire document and detects the areas that contain text, images, tables, and/or barcodes
    • Recognition results are then displayed in the text window
    • Uncertain characters are highlighted in this window, and the user can locate possible errors and quickly correct them within ABBYY FineReader

    With the resulting files being editable and searchable, researchers will be able to:

    • Attach the file to a reference in EndNote
    • Copy and paste passages of text
    • Search the text in PDF readers or word-processing programs
    • Ingest the text into analysis programs like NVivo
    • Make information more accessible to find by creating searchable documents