Well, I think it’s handy, anyway.
If your favourite library catalogue doesn’t export references directly to Endnote and you find the whole “email to yourself as text and fiddle” technique tedious and painful, you can use WorldCat to import it into Endnote for you. Just find the book or article you want, click on the link that provides the details and then click on the “Export to Endnote” link and there you are. There is also an “Export to RefWorks” link, for those who use that.
Simple, as long as you’re familiar with WordCat.
For the benefit of anyone who’s asking “What is WorldCat?”, here are a few details. The WorldCat website informs me that it is “the world’s largest network of library content and services. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information.” You can enter a title, subject or person and WorldCat searches over 1 billion items in more than 10,000 libraries worldwide to find it for you. Once you’ve found the item you want, as well as being able to download the reference into your bibliography software, you can also find out whether it is in stock in a library near you, or one for which you have borrowing rights, or whether you’re going to get a bit more practice at filling in interlibrary loan forms. Or maybe giving up all hope of getting hold of a copy, since the only three copies in the world are in places where even interlibrary loan librarians will not venture without large amounts of money and it doesn’t look that good.
One way of getting to WorldCat is to click on the link above, which takes you direct to the search window. It is, however, highly likely that you can set your browser so that World Cat is one of the search engines you can choose to use whenever you do a search. You can certainly do it on Firefox and Internet Explorer. If you want to add it to Firefox or to your Google or Yahoo toolbar, go here and follow the prompts. [Please note that I am not recommending Google or Yahoo toolbars, just passing on the info.] To add it to Internet Explorer, click on the little arrow beside the magnifying glass icon in the top right-hand corner, click on “Find more providers” and the follow the instructions in “Create your own”. Note that I use IE 7 and these instructions may not work in earlier versions. WorldCat assures me that their instructions work on all versions of Firefox.