By John M Quick

The R Tutorial Series provides a collection of user-friendly tutorials to people who want to learn how to use R for statistical analysis.

My Statistical Analysis with R book is available from Packt Publishing and Amazon.

R Tutorial Series: Citing R with EndNote

Unfortunately, due to the vexing complexities of academic style guides and the limitations of associated software packages, citing a non-standard name, such as Cher, Prince, or R Development Core Team can be problematic. Thankfully, I have discovered a simple trick in Word and EndNote that allows for the accurate automatic formatting of R citations. Note that this method was developed using Word 2011 and EndNote X4 for Mac. I am unaware of the differences between operating systems and software versions, but it is anticipated that this method will work for almost anyone.

The Intuitive, But Nonworking Way

If you were going to create your R record in EndNote, you would probably enter something like what is pictured below. In the name field, it makes sense to just type in R Development Core Team.

However, this is where things take an untimely turn. EndNote will try to interpret that peculiar name as a series of first, last, and middle names, which leads to inaccurate citations.

The Unintiuitive, But Working Way

This is where we basically need to trick EndNote into interpreting our R citation the proper way. All we have to do is add a comma after R Development Core Team in the name field.

This tells EndNote that R Core Development Team is a complete last name of an author that has no first name. Hence, EndNote uses what it has (a last name with no first name) in generating its citations.

Note: The official citation for R can be found by issuing the citation() command in the R console.


  1. Thanks for the tip. I was struggling with the same. It also works in endnote x11

  2. Thanks! This is very helpful!

  3. Thanks you for sharing this tip. This also works with Word 2010 for Windows 7 and endnote X5

  4. Thanks a lot! Internet is fantastic - I was also struggeling and getting frustrated.

  5. Thanks for this resource!

  6. very useful, Thanks!!

  7. Thank youuuu ! I was already going mad about this!

  8. Thank you so much! I spent quite a great deal of time trying to figure it out.

  9. Thank you! just what I needed.

  10. Thank you for posting this!

  11. Thank you! This is so simple, but had been giving me a major headache.

  12. This is really helpful. But I have a follow-up question. According to the helpful website on APA format, the Purdue Owl (,"Software that is downloaded from a Web site should provide the software’s version and year when available."
    AND they provide an example:
    Hayes, B., Tesar, B., & Zuraw, K. (2003). OTSoft: Optimality Theory Software (Version 2.1) [Software]. Available from I figured out that to get [Software], I should put that in the "Description" field in Endnote. But currently, my citation looks like this:
    R Development Core Team. (2014). R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing (Version 3.12) [Software]. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Retrieved from

    I'm wondering if it matters that it says "Retrieved" instead of "Available"

    Thanks a ton!