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

Online Search from within EndNote (Mac/Win)

  1. Select a database from the "Online Search" section of the left-hand panel.
  2. Search the database using the boxes at the top of the main panel.
  3. Copy references you want to keep into your EndNote Library
    1. Select References
    2. Open the Groups menu --> Add references to --> select or create a group OR
    3. Right click --> Add references to --> select or create a groupThis image shows how to use the online search function in EN 21 Windows

Recommended method to add references to EndNote:

  • Search the native database and export all or selected results
  • Import results into EndNote

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 from PubMed using the  “Send to”  menu.
    • Select Citation Manager in the Send to drop‐down menu,
      • Optional:  select specific citations in search results as needed.
      • Choose Selection:
        • All results on this page   |   All results   |   Selection
      • Click Create File, which saves .nbib file
  3.  Import the PubMed .nbib file into EndNote
    • Select File > Import
      • Import Option:  select PubMed (NLM)
      • Citations are added to the temporary Imported References  in your EndNote Library.
      • Move the newly imported references to your selected Group


Export from CINAHL - Ebscohost

Add results to folder via "Share" for option to Export results  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
 - If your EndNote Library is open, imported citations populate that Library.
 - 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.
 -  Imported Citations are added to the temporary Imported References  in your EndNote Library
 - 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.

More information from Ebsco, How to Use the Export Manger 

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.
  • Cautionary note:  PDFs with no mark-up code will not be recognized by EndNote and will require manual editing.

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"

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