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EndNote Basics: Adding References

Last Updated: May 3, 2022 2:59 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, click Save.
  • You can close the window and you will see the new reference in the center of the page.


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 20.
  • 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 or compatible. In order to do this, find Online Search on the left hand side of your screen under your groups.

  • Choose a database to connect to from the list. Some are displayed on the left under Online Search. You can find more options by clicking more...
  • Enter search term(s) making sure to search in the proper field(s). Add additional terms with AND, OR, NOT.
  • Click Search.
  • The first 25 results will display. You can click 50, 100, or the total number to load more.
  • Select the references you want to add and click the plus sign.
  • The references you selected will be added to your all references folder.


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.