Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Networking EndNote Bibliographic Management Software for Seamless Campuswide Deployment

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Networking EndNote Bibliographic Management Software for Seamless Campuswide Deployment

Article excerpt

The amount of scholarly information currently available for academic research warrants the use of bibliographic software to streamline its use and management. Inasmuch as this type of software increases the efficiency of working with scholarly information, the management of the software itself, on an institutional level, presents its own challenges. The authors have developed an efficient method for the dissemination and management of EndNote bibliographic software components across a campus network. This was a collaborative project between library and IT professionals. Management of the EndNote software on both Macintosh and Windows platforms will be discussed.

Introduction

Carleton College and St. Olaf College have both been early adopters of bibliographic management software, dating back to 1999 and 2000, respectively. Almost all science undergraduates are introduced to the EndNote software during their first year of study. Indeed, bibliographic software is now integrated into many science classes at both colleges. It plays an especially critical role during the senior year, when students are required to complete thesis-like papers in order to fulfill the requirements of their majors.

Methodology

The EndNote software consists of four components: Library (which stores references and citations downloaded from databases, etc.), Connections (which allow a user to search most library catalogs and some databases via the Z39.50 protocol), Filters (which are needed to filter a downloaded file from a database to the EndNote Library), and, lastly, Styles (a comprehensive listing of more than 6,000 bibliographic styles used by diverse journals and fields across ah academic disciplines).

With the exception of the Library, the remaining three components require ongoing updating--and, in some cases, minor scripting--to maintain their accuracy and completeness. The challenge was to develop an efficient methodology for maintaining and disseminating up-to-date components, while making the process as seamless as possible for end users.

After a lengthy investigation and consultation with IT professionals who have expertise on both the Macintosh and Windows platforms, we decided to configure the EndNote preferences of all computers on the campus network (approximately 2,000) to point to a central server in which they could be managed by a team of librarians. This centralized strategy allowed us to efficiently deploy updated EndNote components across campus, with no end-user intervention. (Off-campus users can have complete access by establishing a virtual private network connection.)

Windows Implementation

Our model for deploying EndNote to Windows computers consists of two major components: 1) Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager to distribute EndNote and 2) network-based default user profiles to configure EndNote options.

Distributing EndNote software for Windows machines. The EndNote installer is distributed in Microsoft Installer (MSI) format, an industry standard that enables unattended installation of software. EndNote updates are distributed in Microsoft Installer Patch (MSP) format. The combination makes it very easy to distribute an up-to-date EndNote installation to thousands of computers at St. Olaf.

The EndNote installer and any updates are grouped together in a folder. Our site license file is also added to this folder. When the site license file is present in the same directory as the EndNote installer, the installer automatically licenses the installation for use. There is no need to activate individual installations.

The folder consisting of the installer, patches, and license file is added to our Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (Configuration Manager) software distribution system. Two different Configuration Manager programs are created to launch the installer and apply patches. One program includes command-line switches to run the EndNote installation silently (i. …

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