EndNote Desktop

This tutorial will walk you through using the latest desktop version of EndNote.


You can add references to your library by various methods:

  • Use EndNote's Online Search mode to find and select citations. (Not recommended for comprehensive searching.)
  • Search a database (such as PubMed, CINAHL, Embase or Scopus) and export citations into EndNote.
  • Drag and drop, or import publisher's PDFs into EndNote.
  • Manual entry
  • Merge libraries

Search Databases from within EndNote


Consider searching the native database and exporting results to EndNote for more comprehensive and reliable search results.

Export from PubMed

Export provides the benefit of using the search interface of the host database and the ease of transferring the citations directly into EndNote.

  1. Perform search in PubMed
  2. Export citations to EndNote using PubMed’s “Send to” drop-down menu.
    1. Select Citation Manager in the Send to drop‐down menu, if less than 200 citations.
      1. After selecting citations in search results
      2. Click Send to drop‐down menu located directly above search results,
        1. select Citation manager
        2. Click Create File, then either:
          1. Save file from PubMed, then import into EndNote (see Import the PubMed file below) 
          2. or Select Open with ResearchSoft Direct Export Helper (default)
            1. From Choose Destination window– select EndNote > OK
      3. Citations are added to your EndNote Library and listed in the Imported References temporary group
      4. Move the newly imported references to your selected Group
      5. Direct Export from PubMed (YouTube video)
    2. If greater than 200 citations need to exported, use the Create File in the Send to drop‐down menu
      1. From the Send to dop‐down menu located directly above search results, select File
        1. Change Format to MEDLINE
        2. Click Create File
      2. In EndNote, Import the PubMed file:
        1. Select File > Import
          1. Import Option:  select PubMed (NLM)
          2. Citations are added to the temporary Imported References  in your EndNote Library.
          3. Move the newly imported references to your selected Group
      3. Importing Text Files (YouTube video)


Export from CINAHL

Choose Direct Export or Email download link for Ebscohost Databases.

Perform search in CINAHL (or other Ebscohost Database.)

1.    If results less than  200 : add results to folder > use Direct Export
a.    Add records (50 at  a time)l to Share, then folder
b.    Open Folder - located in the top blue bar
c.    Check the Select/deselect all box to flag all citations; or select individual citations
d.    Click Export icon located to the right
e.    In the Export Manager
i.    click radio button for  Direct Export to EndNote
ii.    click Save
iii.    Browser considerations:
1.    For Internet Explorer: From the Choose Destination dialog box select EndNote and click OK.
2.    For Firefox: select Open with > ResearchSoft Direct Export Helper > Choose Destination – select EndNote
f.    If your EndNote Library is open, imported citations populate that Library.
i.    If your Library is not open, EndNote looks for the Library. From the Select a Reference Library dialog box navigate to and highlight the Library where the citations should reside. Click Open button.
g.    Imported Citations are added to the temporary Imported References  in your EndNote Library
i.    Move the newly imported references to your selected Group

2.    If results are greater than 200: Email a link to download exported results.
a.    Click Share
b.    Select "E-mail a link to download exported results" listed under "Export Results" as RIS Format.
c.    After downloading results from your email, import into EndNote as Refman RIS import option.

Import PDF files

  1. In EndNote:  FileImport → Folder
  2. Choose the folder that contains your PDFs
  3. Check the relevant boxes and dropdowns
  4. When you hit the Import button, EndNote will automatically look for matching metadata and download the records for the ones it can find.

For PDFs that did not pull up any citation records:

EndNote will create a record that has the title of the PDF in < > and the PDF attached. Use "Find Reference Updates" to populate EndNote citation fields:

  1. Find the PMID of the article in PubMed and paste it into the Accession Number field in the EndNote record.
  2. ... or find the DOI  in PubMed or on PDF of article
  3. Click off the record to initiate a save.
  4. Right click on the record and choose "Find Reference Updates..."
  5. A box to review available updates will pop up. Choose "Update All Fields" and hit "Save Updates"

Manual entry

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