This is the "Getting References Into Endnote" page of the "Endnote: Getting Started" guide.
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Endnote: Getting Started  

Last Updated: Oct 12, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Getting References Into Endnote Print Page

Endnote Help

Help Getting References into Endnote:

Endnote Getting Started, Chap 7:  Importing Reference Data into Endnote



Direct Export from Web of Science
(3 minutes)

Importing PDFs
(3 minutes)


General Endnote Help:

Endnote Online User Guides
(for both Windows & Mac)
      Endnote X6
      Endnote X7

Endnote Videos
short (2-7 minute) how to videos


    Endnote: Database Instructions

    See below for the specific instructions needed to export citation data from the various article databases. 

    Windows Instructions 
         (aka Filters & Connection Files)

    Macintosh Instructions
         (aka Filters & Connection Files)


      Getting References Into Endnote

      Options for Getting References into Endnote:  

      Exact steps for vary for each article database.  

      Database specific instructions are given here:

      For additional help see:  Getting Started Guide, Chapter 7, "Importing Reference Data Into Endnote"

      Examples of for the various methods are given below.

      1. Direct Export from an Article Database

      For databases that allow Direct Export (most major article databases do)

      Steps vary, specific instructions for each article database are here, for: Windows  Macintosh 

         Direct Export:  using Web of Science as an example   
      For help, see video:   Direct Export from Web of Science 

      • Conduct your search in Web of Science (or another database that allows Direct Export)
        • Select citations to export (use checkboxes or Marked List)
          • click on Save to Endnote down arrow        
          • choose SAVE TO ENDNOTE DESKTOP                      
        • select record content to send (i.e., which fields to export, your best option is: Author, Title, Source, and Abstract)
        • click SEND
      • Export will happen automatically, you may be asked which program to use, choose Endnote.


      2. Import Citation Data from PDFs   
      For help, see video:  Importing [Citation Data from] PDFs


      NOTE: This only works for "recent" PDFs which provide the metadata Endnote need to derive the citation information. 
      If the procedure does not work, your only option is to chose another method to import the citation.

      References imported this way are not as data rich, as those obtained from a database.  You typically only get these fields: article title, journal or series title, author, volume, issue, page, year.

      • In Endnote:  Select FILE --> IMPORT
        • Choose:  FILE         to import a single PDF

        • Choose:  FOLDER   to import all PDFs in a folder
          • IMPORT FOLDER:       Enter folder location or CHOOSE button to navigate to it
          • IMPORT OPTION          PDF
          • Click IMPORT button
        • If the PDF's contain the required info, Endnote will import the citation information (required info: DOI with metadata available thru CrossRef)
        • If not, the import will fail and you need to use another method

      3. Create An Auto-Import Folder
      For help, see video:  Create an Auto-Import Folder


      Create a folder on your computer for PDFs, and enable the PDF Auto Import feature.

      When you do this: Endnote will attempt to automatically import citation data and PDFs to your Endnote library. 

      Again, this only works if the DOI is embedded in the PDF metadata.  If you already have a citation for a PDF you add, Endnote tries to recognize that and attach the PDF to the existing citation.

      • On Your Compter:
        • Create a folder for PDFs, save it in convenient place (i.e., desktop). 
        • Name of folder does not matter.

      • In Endnote:           
        • Select EDIT -->   PREFERENCES  -->  PDF Handling
          • Under PDF Auto Import Folder:
          • SELECT the folder you created
        • If the PDF's contain the required info, Endnote will import the citation information (required info: DOI with metadata available thru CrossRef)
        • If not, the import will fail and you need to use another method

      4. Add Directly From Publisher Website


      Many publishers allow you to add citations to Endnote directly from their websites
      ACS JournalsRSC JournalsElsevier (aka ScienceDirect), ScienceNature,  etc.)

      Look for links that say: Download Citations, Export Citations, etc.

      Usually you will need to select Endnote and specify whether you want the citation only, or citation and abstract


      5. Save as Text File in Article Database and Import to Endnote  (Two Step Process)

      Most databases (including PubMed) now allow direct export (see #1).  To illustrate how this process works, instructions for importing a text file from PubMed are given below.
      Database specific instructions are given here for: Windows  Macintosh

         Save as Text File and Import:  using PubMed as an example

          Step 1: Conduct your search in Pubmed (or another database)  

      1. Select citations to export (usually by checking a box)
      2. Click SEND TO link  (upper right of results list) 
      3. Choose FILE
      4. Then for FORMAT, choose: MEDLINE
      5. The SORT BY field, you can ignore
      6. Click CREATE FILE 

          Step 2: Import Citations Into Endnote

      • Open Endnote
      • Open the Endnote library where you want the citations imported
      • Select FILE -> IMPORT -> FILE, and enter:
        • Import File:  Enter name of file
        • Import Option:  PubMed  (NLM)   [Enter correct option for the database you are using]
      • Click IMPORT


      6. Google Scholar:  How to Add References to Endnote   
           (Probably not your best option: citation records will be minimal)

      Step 1: First configure Google Scholar as shown below:

      1. Go to the Google Scholar home page at
      2. Click on the SETTINGS link.
      3. Click on SEARCH RESULTS (left side of screen).
      4. Under Bibliography Manager, select: “Show Links To Import Citations Into ENDNOTE”
      5. Click SAVE

      Step 2: To import citations from Google Scholar into Endnote:

      1. Search on Google Scholar
      2. Click on the IMPORT INTO ENDNOTE link under the reference you want to import 
      3. In the next window that appears, select:  OPEN WITH  and select ENDNOTE  (navigate to it if necessary)
      4. Click OK.


      7. Add Manually

      To cut and paste, or enter citations manually:

      Open Endnote


      Enter info


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