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Manage your references and create in-text citations and bibliographies.

Create library

To create an EndNote Library:

  1. From the File menu, select New. EndNote will present a dialog box prompting you to name and save the new library.
  2. Give your EndNote library a unique name (e.g. Marsha_Chan_research.enl).
  3. Save the library to your computer hard drive. See Where to save your library for more information.

It is recommended that you only create and use the one EndNote library (use groups to divide your library into further areas of research).

Where to save your library

EndNote needs a stable file path to function properly.

It is important to store your EndNote library on your computer’s hard drive. Do NOT save your library to network drives or cloud syncing folders such as DropBox, iCloud, or Google Drive as this can corrupt your library over time. 


Move or copy an EndNote library

Your EndNote library consists of two elements:

  • a file with the extension .enl (the library file)
  • a folder with a .Data extension (containing various files connected with the library).

If you move or copy an EndNote Library, make sure that both the .enl library and the .Data folder are located in the same folder. More information on moving libraries can be found at Clarivate.

Customise your EndNote Library display

There are a few ways that you can customise EndNote to best suit your needs. For instance, you can:

  • Add or remove the fields you want to display by going to Edit > Preferences Display Fields.
  • Sort the order of your references by clicking on the relevant column (field) header.
  • Search for a reference using the Quick search box or the Advanced search box at the top of the All References column.

Adding references from databases

Most databases will provide you with the option to export/download selected references to EndNote. As every database uses a different process to export EndNote references, look for:

  • terms such as: "export", "citation" or "reference"
  • mentions of the term "RIS" - the .ris file contains bibliographic information (title, author, etc,) that EndNote can usually transform into a reference
  • icons that imply a citation or a reference is available - sometimes represented as a set of quotation marks (").


Tips for exporting references for Mac users

  • Mac users should use Firefox rather than Safari or Chrome as your browser.
  • Mac users may need to configure their system to open downloaded files with the EndNote application. See Exporting records to EndNote on Mac OS for more information.

Adding references from Library Search

Follow the steps below to export references from Library Search and import into your EndNote library.

  1. Go to Library Search.
  2. Run your search.
  3. Save individual results by selecting the Add this item pin icon (to the right of the title). Alternatively, you can select up to 50 items at a time by ticking the Select all box and setting Results Per Page to 50 (at bottom of result list). 
  4. After selecting items, click the Show actions options (three dots icon) at the top of the list.
  5. Choose EndNote/RIS to export to the desktop version of EndNote.
  6. Select the default UTF-8 Encoding then Download

Adding references from Google Scholar

Follow the steps below to export references from Google Scholar and import them into your EndNote library.

  1. Go to Google Scholar at
  2. Select Settings in the upper left-hand corner (the icon that looks like three horizontal lines).
  3. Under Bibliography Manager, select the dropdown box under Show links to import citations into and choose EndNote.
  4. Select the Save button.
  5. Once you have searched Google Scholar, you will now see the Import into EndNote link. Select this option.
  6. An .enw file will download. 
  7. Open the .enw file and EndNote should automatically import the reference.

Creating references by importing PDF files

When you import a PDF file, EndNote can often automatically generate a reference for that file (if the PDF has metadata embedded within it). To import a PDF file (or multiple PDF files from a folder):

  1. Go to File > Import > File (for a single PDF), or File > Import > Folder (for multiple PDF files).
  2. Select Choose and navigate to the file or folder you wish to import.
  3. Select PDF from the Import Option drop-down menu.
  4. Choose an option that best suits you from the Duplicates drop-down menu.
  5. Select a Text Translation option (if available). The default value is No Translation.
  6. Select Import.

EndNote will automatically create a new reference with the PDF attached to it.

If the PDF did not contain any metadata, EndNote will create a blank reference. You might still be able to automatically generate metadata by entering the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) into the DOI field and then select Find Reference Updates by right-clicking the reference, or via the References menu.

Adding references manually

Follow these steps to manually create a reference.

  1. Select the Add a new reference to the selected group icon at the top of the All References pane (or use the Ctr+N shortcut).
  2. Choose the appropriate reference type from the Reference Type drop-down box.
  3. Fill in the relevant fields only. The data you enter will depend on the fields required for your reference type and what your style requires.
  4. Select Save to add the reference to your library. You can then close the reference window and return to your library.


Tips for manually creating references

Author and editor fields:

  • Be consistent with how author names are entered.
  • Enter each author/editor on a separate line.
  • Enter full names (if possible) in format: Surname, Forename, Middle name (e.g. Smith, Alice Ann).
  • Place a comma at the end of a corporate author (e.g. Australian Bureau of Statistics,).

Volume, issue and pages fields:

  • Only enter numbers (EndNote will add anything else needed for your chosen style).
  • Do not use commas for numbers in the thousands.

Edition field:

  • Omit edition (e.g. enter 2nd, rather than 2nd ed.).