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EndNote Basics for Information Science Students: Adding References

Last Updated: Jan 12, 2021 4:17 PM


There are 4 ways to add references into your library

  1. Manual entry
  2. Direct export from a database
  3. EndNote's Online Search
  4. Importing PDFs

Note: Delete references by dragging them into your Trash or by selecting them, right clicking, and choosing Move References to Trash.

1. Manual Entry

Every reference you plan on citing should be in EndNote. Some references will need to be manually added to your library.

  • In the menu at the top of the page, click References and select New Reference. There is also a corresponding icon to create a new reference.
  • The new reference is displayed. The default is journal article, but there is a dropdown where you can select a different reference type.
  • Enter text into the fields. Move from field to field by using the tab key or click in the field to enter information.
  • Once you have finished entering information, close the reference pane.
  • You will be asked if you want to save the reference. Make sure to save it.

2. Direct Export from a Database

EndNote allows you to search databases and to download citation data from your results. This is a lot faster than manual entry.

  • Begin to search databases using the UB Libraries Databases by Title page. Note: not all databases will create output in the same format; some databases do not provide export features.

  • Conduct a search in your database of choice.

  • You can typically make selections by saving items to a folder or clicking a checkbox, or send a batch or range of results to EndNote.

  • Look for the words download, export, or send to.

  • A file will be created, and you want to open that file using EndNote X9. Mac users, go to your downloads folder to access the file.

  • Any new references you add will appear in a temporary folder called Imported References, which appears on the left. All references will be viewable if you select All References.

  • You can now open any of these references and edit, annotate, and use just as any other reference.

3. EndNote's Online Search

You can run a database search from within EndNote. Note that not all databases will be available. In order to do this, you need to be in either the Online Search Mode or Integrated Mode. These are icons in the menu. Online Search Mode is represented by a globe. Integrated Mode is represented by a globe in a folder.

These work similarly, however, if you run a search in Online Search Mode, you will need to select the references you want to keep and copy them to your Local Library where your references are stored. You will not see any of your references in this mode. You only have the ability to search. If you run a search in Integrated Mode, any references you retrieve will automatically be added to your Local Library.

  • Select either Online Search Mode or Integrated Mode.

  • Choose a database to connect to from the list. Some are displayed on the left under Online Search. You can find more options by going to Tools and then clicking Online Search.

  • Enter search term(s) making sure to search in the proper field(s). Add additional terms with AND, OR, NOT.

  • Click Search.

  • You will be given a dialog box telling you how many references were found. Then either hit OK to import all records, or enter a starting and ending number to select a smaller range of references (e.g., 1-20).

  • The results will appear on the screen. In Online Search Mode, select the references you want to add and click the Copy to Local Library icon. In Integrated Mode, they will automatically be added.

4. Importing PDFs

If you have a PDF file or folder of PDF files, you can import them into your library. When the PDF has a digital object identifier, it will generate a reference and bring that PDF into your library. When it does not have a DOI (often the case with older scanned articles), it will only bring the PDF into your library.

  • Go to File and then hover over Import.

  • Choose File or Folder.

  • Click Choose... to locate that file or folder.

  • Make sure the Import Option is PDF.

  • Then click Import.