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Systematic Reviews Skills Curriculum

Managing and recording your results

This guide will show you how to import and manage your search results in Endnote*.  You will also be shown how to record your search results using Workbook Name.

*Note that this guide uses the desktop version of Endnote, not the web version.

To begin, make sure that you have downloaded and installed Endnote.

*Acknowledgement: We have adapted these videos with permission from those created by the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.

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How to Set Up Your Systematic Review Endnote Library

Step 1: Set Display Field Preferences

Step 3: Create Group Sets and Groups

Step 1. Set your display field preferences.

It is ideal to set up your display preferences in EndNote before importing your results to more efficiently identify duplicates.

  1. Click Edit preferences and select Preferences.
  2. Select Display fields on the left.
  3. Select which field you would like displayed in each column using the drop down menus.  The recommended order is:
    1. Record Number
    2. Author
    3. Year
    4. Title
    5. Journal
    6. Volume
    7. Pages
    8. Name of Database
    9. Reference Type

Step 2. Set Duplicates Preferences.

  1. Click Edit preferences and select Preferences.
  2. Click Duplicates.
  3. Select only "Year" and "Title" under the "Compare references based on the following fields:" section.
  4. Under "Criteria" select "Ignore spacing and punctuation".
  5. Click Okay.

Step 3. Create group sets and groups.

In EndNote you can create groups to hold your search results and group sets to hold your groups. You will need to create a group for each of the databases that you searched for your systematic review and a group set to hold all of your database groups. You will also need to create a group to hold duplicates.

  1. Right click My Groups under the left hand menu.  Select Create Group Set.
  2. In the text box name you group set "Databases."
  3. Right click the group you just created Databases under the left hand menu.  Select Create Group.
  4. In the text box name the group after one of your database.  The groups will be listed alphabetically by name,

    so you will prefix every database name with a letter to the group name so that the group order corresponds to the priority that you set for your databases.

    • For example "A - Medline", "B - CINAHL."

  5. You will also need to create a group to hold duplicates.  Repeat steps 3 and 4.  Name the group "Z - Duplicates."

    • You use the prefix "Z" so that it is at the bottom of the list.

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How to Set Up a Library to Store Your Duplicates

You need to create a second library to hold your duplicates. This library is useful if you run into an issue, or if you need to look at your search results for you records. The process is very similar to setting up your main library, if you need help please see "How to Set Up Your EndNote Library" above.

Step 1. Create the library.

  1. Select File in the top menu and then New.
  2. Name your library. The name of your main systematic review library + "duplicates" will make it easy to keep track.

Step 2. Create group sets and groups. (This process is very similar to creating Group sets and Groups for your main Systematic Review Library).

  1. Right click My Groups under the left hand menu. Select Create Group Set.
  2. In the text box name you group set "Databases."
  3. Right click the group you just created Databases under the left hand menu. Select Create Group.
  4. In the text box name the group. 
    • Use the same letter prefix you used for each database in your main systematic review library. 
    • You will need to create 2 groups for each database: one for the internal duplicates and one for the external duplicates, except for the first database. The first database will only need a group for internal duplicates.
    • For example "A - Medline int. duplicates", "B - CINAHL int. duplicates", "B - CINAHL ext. duplicates."

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Tracking Your Results

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How to Import Search Results as an RIS file

1st Set of Search Results (Medline via Ovid)

2nd Set of Search Results (CINAHL via Ebsco)

To complete this step you need to have your search results saved as an RIS file.

Step 1: Import the RIS file.

  • In the EndNote library you created to store your search results select import which is the download pointing arrow in the top bar.
  • A box title "Import File" should appear.  Select Choose beside "Import File" and select the RIS file you want to import and click Open.
  • Before you click Import:
    • Beside "Import Option" select "Reference Manager (RIS)" from the drop down menu.
    • Make sure that beside "Duplicate" "Import All" is selected from the drop down menu. You don't want EndNote to identify and remove duplicates at this stage.
    • Make sure the beside "Text Translation" "No Translation" is selected from the drop down menu.
  • Your references should be imported into EndNote. 
    • You should check to make sure that the right number of search results have been imported.  If you look at the number beside 'Unfiled" on the left hand side, it should match the number of search results you exported from whichever database results you are importing.

Step 2: Move the search results into the database group.

  • In the Unfiled group, select all of the references by selecting ctrl+A.
  • Drag all of the references into the appropriate database group.

Step 3: Add the database name to the database field.

This step helps with the external de-duplication process.  If there are two duplicates, you can check this field to ensure that you are removing the duplicate from the lower priority database so that your search results match your workbook records.

  • In your database group, select all of the references by selecting ctrl+A.
  • Click Tools in the top menu and select change/move/copy fields.
  • A window titled "Change/Move/Copy Fields" should open.  Under the "Change Fields" tab:
    • Beside "In" select Name of Database from the drop down menu.
    • Below "Change" select Replace whole field with.
    • Type the name of the database in the box.
  • Click OK.
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How to Identify and Remove Internal Duplicates

Before you begin this step you should have already imported a set of search results and set up a library to hold your duplicates. The first step is different the first time you import a set of search results.

Step 1: Identify Internal Duplicates (First set of search results)

  1. Select the group of results that you want to check for duplicates.  Eg. A-Medline.
  2. Click References and the Find Duplicates.
  3. A box will open to compare duplicates.  We are not going to use this method so click cancel.
  4. You should see in the left hand menu that a new group called "Duplicate References" has been created.  This group contains all of the duplicate references that EndNote identified.  The duplicate references will already be selected and highlighted in blue.
  5. Go through the duplicates manually to ensure that they are duplicates.  An effective method is to check the page numbers column; if the page numbers are different then that is an indicator that they may not actually be duplicates. If you find a reference that is not a duplicate de-select the reference by holding ctrl and clicking the reference.
  6. Once you have looked over all of the duplicates, click one of the highlighted duplicates and drag all of the duplicates into the "Z-Duplicates" group.
  7. You can now delete the duplicates group by right clicking on the "Duplicate References" library and select Delete Group.
    • The references will still be in your library even though you've deleted this group.

Step 1. Identify Internal Duplicates (Every time after the first set of search results)

  1. In your systematic review library, select the All References group.
  2. In the top menu select References and then Find Duplicates.
  3. A box will open to compare duplicates.  We are not going to use this method so click cancel.
  4. You should see in the left hand menu that a new group called "Duplicate References" has been created.  This group contains all of the duplicate references that EndNote identified.  The duplicate references will already be selected and highlighted in blue.
  5. Go through the duplicates manually to ensure that they are duplicates.  An effective method is to check the page numbers column; if the page numbers are different then that is an indicator that they may not actually be duplicates. If you find a reference that is not a duplicate de-select the reference by holding ctrl and clicking the reference.
  6. Once you have looked over all of the duplicates, click one of the highlighted duplicates and drag all of the duplicates into the "Z-Duplicates" group.
  7. You can now delete the duplicates group by right clicking on the "Duplicate References" library and select Delete Group.
    • The references will still be in your library even though you've deleted this group.

Step 2. Record internal duplicates in the excel workbook.

  1. In the database worksheet update the internal duplicate field

Example: Medline

Example: CINAHL

Step 3. Save duplicates to the Duplicates library.

  1. In the "Z-Duplicates" group select all of the references by clicking ctrl+A.
  2. Right click one of the selected references and select Copy References To and then select Choose Library.
  3. Find the duplicate library that you created and click Open.
  4. The duplicates library should open and you should see that all of the internal duplicates have been copied into the library.
  5. Select all of the references ctrl+A and move them into the internal duplicate group you created for that database.

Step 4. Remove duplicates.

  1. Select all of your duplicates ctrl+A and drag them into the "trash".
  2. You should see some numbers change in the library, you should check to ensure that your numbers match with what you have recorded in the excel workbook.
    • If some numbers do not match up you may need to redo steps 1-3 more carefully.
  3. If everything looks good, then empty your trash by right-clicking Trash and selecting Empty.
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How to Identify and Remove External Duplicates

This step should be completed every time you import a new set of search results into EndNote after you identify and remove any internal duplicates.

Step 1.

  1. In your systematic review library, select the All References group.
  2. In the top menu select References and then Find Duplicates.
  3. A box will open to compare duplicates.  We are not going to use this method so click cancel.
  4. You should see in the left hand menu that a new group called "Duplicate References" has been created.  This group contains all of the duplicate references that EndNote identified.  The duplicate references will already be selected and highlighted in blue.
  5. Go through the duplicates manually to ensure that they are duplicates.  An effective method is to check the page numbers column; if the page numbers are different then that is an indicator that they may not actually be duplicates. If you find a reference that is not a duplicate de-select the reference by holding ctrl and clicking the reference.
  6. Once you have looked over all of the duplicates, click one of the highlighted duplicates and drag all of the duplicates into the "Z-Duplicates" group.
  7. You can now delete the duplicates group by right clicking on the "Duplicate References" library and select Delete Group.
    • The references will still be in your library even though you've deleted this group.

Step 2. Record internal duplicates in the excel workbook.

  1. In the database worksheet update the external duplicates field for the data source that you last imported (all of the external duplicates should have the same name under the Name of Database field).

Example: CINAHL

Step 3. Save duplicates to the Duplicates library.

  1. In the "Z-Duplicates" group select all of the references by clicking ctrl+A.
  2. Right click one of the selected references and select Copy References To and then select Choose Library.
  3. Find the duplicate library that you created and click Open.
  4. The duplicates library should open and you should see that all of the internal duplicates have been copied into the library.
  5. Select all of the references ctrl+A and move them into the external duplicate group you created for that database.

Step 4. Remove duplicates.

  1. Select all of your duplicates ctrl+A and drag them into the "trash".
  2. You should see some numbers change in the library. You should check to ensure that your numbers match with what you have recorded in the excel workbook.
    • If some numbers do not match up you may need to redo steps 1-3 more carefully.
  3. If everything looks good, then empty your trash by right-clicking Trash and selecting Empty.
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How to Export References from EndNote Into Excel

Step 1: Determine reference types.​

Step 2: Create an output style.

Step 3: Remove carriage returns.

Step 4: Export file from EndNote.

Step 5: Import file into Excel

Step 1: Determine reference types.

  1. Scan your entire Endnote library noting all of the reference types included.  You can also sort your Endnote library by Reference Type so it is easier to scan all the reference types. Reference types include: generic, journal article, book, book section, conference proceeding, thesis, to name just a few.
    • This is very important because each one needs to be accounted for when developing the output style templates.

Step 2: Create an output style.

This step allows you to determine which fields, and in which order, you want to appear in your excel file.

  1. Select Edit, then Output Styles, then New Style.
  2. A new window should open.  Under “Bibliography” on the left-hand side select Templates.
    • This is where you add in what information that you want to be transferred over.
  3. Select Reference Types and select your reference type.  Eg. Journal Article.
    • You need to create a reference type for each reference type you included in your systematic review.  Eg. Journal articles, books, book section, generic, etc.
  4. Choose the fields that you want exported to you excel file.
    • To insert a field select Insert Field.
    • You can choose whatever fields you want to analyze in your excel file but we recommend these fields in this order:
      • Record Number → Reference Type → Name of Database → Author → Year → Title → Abstract 
      • The fields (Author, Year) that you should hide to prevent bias during the title/abstract screening are grouped together to make it easier to hide.
    • After you insert each field you need to insert a tab. Select Insert Field, then Tab.
      • Tabs show up as arrows.
      • Ensure that you insert a tab after your last field (abstract)
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for every reference type in your EndNote library.  Make sure you select the same fields in the same order for all reference types, otherwise your columns in excel will not line up properly between reference types.
  6. Set author name preference.
    • This step ensures that your author names show up in a consistent format. 
    • Under “Bibliography” on the left-hand side select Author Name.
    • Beside “Initials”, from the drop-down menu choose full name.
    • Beside “First author” select Smith, Jane.
    • Beside “Other authors” select Doe, Jane.
  7. Select File, then Save As and give your output style a name.
    • Recommended Name: Excel Style or name of your systematic review
  8. Select Save and close the window.

Step 3: Remove carriage returns.

You need to remove carriage returns so that your data shows up cleanly in Excel.

  1. Select all your references to be exported.
  2. Select Edit, then Find and Replace.
  3. Beside In select Any Field from the drop down menu.
  4. Click in the “Find” text box.  Select Insert Special, then Carriage return.
  5. In the “Replace with” text box type “; ” (a semicolon without the quotations, and make sure to put a space beside the semi-colon).
  6. A window will pop up informing you how many references contained carriage returns, and asking you to confirm that you want to replace them.  Select OK.
  7. A window will pop up telling you how many changes were made.  Select OK.

Step 4: Export file from EndNote.

  1. Select All References on the left-hand side.
  2. Select a reference, right click, and select Select All or select one reference and select ctrl+A.
  3. Select File, then Export.
  4. Beside Output style, select the excel style that you created. You may need to search for it if you do not see your style in the drop down menu.
  5. You can change the file name if you wish, and choose a location.  Leave the Save as type as Text File.
  6. Select Save.

Step 5: Import file into Excel.

  1. Open Excel.
  2. Select File, then Open, then Browse.
  3. Beside the “File name” select Text Files from the drop-down menu. Find the file you exported from EndNote and select Open.
  4. A Text Import Wizard will open.
  5. Make sure that under “Original data type” “Delimited” is selected.  Select Next.
  6. Make sure that under “Delimiters” “Tab” is the only thing checked off. Select Next.
  7. Make sure that under “Column data format” “General” is selected. Select Finish.
  8. All of you records should have imported into Excel.  Scroll down to the last line and ensure that the line number is the same as the number of All References that you exported.
  9. You may need to adjust the columns to see your data clearly. You need to wrap text so that you can read the abstracts and titles
  10. Add column names (Record Number, Reference Type, etc) by inserting a new row at the very top of the Excel worksheet. You can freeze this row for ease when screening (under View, select Freeze Top Row).
  11. Save the file as an Excel Worksheet. File, Save As, choose Excel Workbook from drop down File Format menu (otherwise file will be saved as txt and all formatting will be erased).

 
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