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Citing & Writing in the Health Sciences

EndNote Web, Endnote Desktop

Working with References - use the tabs below for different ways to get and work with references

Get References 5 Ways

1) Direct Export - send references directly from a database to EndNote.

*Each database/browser may have slightly different wording and steps.*

  • Select the references you need (in some databases save these to a Folder or List first).
  • Look for language like Send To, Export, Cite... (in some databases this is available from a Folder or List).
  • Choose Citation Manager, EndNote, or Direct Export in RIS Format and choose Open with EndNote.



2) Importing Text Files - a database creates a file. Save and import the file to Endnote

*Each database/browser may have slightly different wording or steps.*

  • Save database references as a text file.
  • Import into EndNote using the corresponding Import Filter.



3) Enter references manually - sometimes, you may have to add references by hand



4) Import PDF's

  • File > Import > File... or Folder...
  • Browse to your saved PDF of folder of PDFs using Import File: Choose...
  • Select PDF from the Import Option: dropdown menu and Import.

EndNote looks for a DOI in the first few pages to find the corresponding reference on In some cases your PDF may not have a DOI or it is not visible to EndNote (due to formatting or if it is an image PDF). In many cases it may be preferable to search for and export the reference from a database even if you already have a PDF copy.



5)  Create a Tab-Delimited Import

This abbreviated method works best with a simple list of DOIs and article titles. For full details and customization watch the Importing Tab-Delimited Files video below.

  • Identify the reference type by putting the text *Journal Article in the row above the data or table.
  • Make sure data or table headers use the appropriate EndNote field name. For example DOI and Title in this case.
  • In Excel Choose File > Save As > Save As Type: Text (Tab delimited) (*.txt)
  • Import into EndNote using the tab-delimited import filter.

EndNote can use a DOI to find reference updates and fill-in remaining fields. For this reason you may only want to create a tab-delimited file with a few key fields to save time. For details see the Find Reference Updates section of the EndNoteX8 Help file.

Need to bulk import large numbers of search results?

EndNote libraries can hold an unlimited number of records (exception: Sync library limit of 50000 or computer storage space).

However, databases may limit the number of records for specific export methods.

To get the maximum number of records out of CINAHL, MEDLINE, and PUBMED at one time use the steps below.

*Other databases may have different limits, wording, and steps.*

CINAHL - To export batches up to 25000:

  1. Select Share then Export Results: Email a link…
  2. Complete the e-mail form, choose RIS Format, and select Send.
  3. You will be e-mailed a link to a .zip file. Download and extract the file.
  4. Within EndNote select File > Import
  5. Browse to the saved file, choose Import Option: Reference Manager (RIS), and Import

MEDLINE - To export batches up to 1000:

  1. Select All or specify a range of results (e.g. 1-1000) in the Range window
  2. Choose EndNote from the Export To menu and select Complete Reference.
  3. Then, Export Citation(s).

PUBMED - To export ALL search results:

  1. Select Send To without marking any individual search results
  2. Select File, choose Format: MEDLINE, and select Create File.
  3. Select EndNote from the Open with menu if requested.

Get Organized

Use Groups to help keep your references organized.

Create groups manually or use Smart Groups and Combination Groups to automatically organize your references.

Watch the video or get details on Creating Smart and Combined groups from EndNote.

Find Duplicates

As you add to an EndNote Library routinely check for duplicates.

This can help prevent major headaches when using Cite While You Write with your writing.

Watch the video below for more details from EndNote.

Create a Tab Delimited File

Carriage returns, or line breaks, in EndNote create each row in Excel. Carriage returns in the Keywords and Abstract fields will break up your records in Excel into multiple rows and need to be removed before creating a tab delimited file.

Create a temporary library:

  1. Click on the File menu and select Save a Copy
  2. Save a new temporary copy of your library.

Remove carriage returns:

  1. Click the Edit menu.
  2. Choose Find and Replace. Older versions will have this listed as Change Text.
  3. Set the Select a Field option to Any Field
  4. Place the cursor into the Find: (Search for: in older versions) box.
  5. Click the Insert Special button.
  6. Insert a Carriage return
  7. Click in the Replace with: (Change the text to: in older versions) box and add slashes (//) or any other characters you'd like to replace the carriage returns for that field.
  8. Click Change.

Export a tab delimited file:

  1. In EndNote go to Edit > Output Styles > Open Style Manager
  2. Place a check next to "Tab Delimited" and close the Style Manager window
  3. Go to "File > Export" and save the file as a "Text File (*.txt)" making certain to set the output style to “Tab Delimited".
  4. Save this file.

Open Excel:

  1. Go to 'File > Open > Find the 'Text File (*.txt*). Under File Name > select 'All Files' from the drop down arrow
  2. From the 'Text Import Wizard' window > 'Delimited' should be selected > click Next
  3. Next window under Delimiters, 'Tab' should be selected > click Next
  4. Next window under Column Data Format, 'General' should be selected > click Finish
  5. See your data in an Excel format. Edit as you require

This is an abbreviation of instructions from EndNote and assumes that you are working with a temporary library which will NOT be used to create in-text citations. See for full details on how to reintroduce carriage returns into the Author field. As carriage returns were removed from ALL fields, in-text citations using this library will appear incorrectly.

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