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EndNote: a beginner's guide

An introduction to EndNote Desktop for new users. Learn how to create a Library, add and modify references, use EndNote with Microsoft Word, add groups, add full-text PDFs, and back-up your EndNote Desktop library. Also includes EndNote Online.

Mac users: use the Mozilla Firefox browser

As there can be issues with exporting references into EndNote on a Mac via the Safari or Chrome browsers, Mozilla Firefox is the recommended browser.

Note

Each time you export references from a search tool (e.g. library database, LibrarySearch, Google Scholar), the newly imported references will appear in the Recently Added folder within your EndNote Desktop library.

The references will also appear in the All References (master) folder.

Each time you export new references to your EndNote library, they will replace the previous references within Recently Added. All references will still permanently stay within All References unless you manually delete them.

Mac: Populating your EndNote library: Exporting references from a database

Exporting from library databases is best for references typically found in databases, such as journal articles and conference papers. Apart from Google Scholar & LibrarySearch, many of the major databases allow this exporting feature, for example: ScienceDirect, PubMed, ERIC, ProQuest, Informit, EBSCOhost, Scopus, JSTOR, IEEE, Web of Science and Emerald.

To export references from a library database into your EndNote Desktop library:

1. Ensure your EndNote Desktop library is open.

2. Go to a library database of your choice, and do a search on a topic. For example, "polymer composites".

3. Mark or select the references from your search results that you would like to export into your EndNote Desktop library.

4. Use the database's Export function to export your selected references into your EndNote Desktop library. Different databases have different names for this exporting function, e.g. Send to; Export citation(s); Export; Export/Save; Save; Save to; EndNote [button].

5. A box appears asking you if you want to Open With or Save File. If you wish to save the .ris file, select Save File and press OK. This saves the file to your Downloads folder. Go to this folder and click on your downloaded .ris file to export your references. Alternatively, if you wish to open the .ris file directly rather than save it, select Open With > Choose > EndNote > EndNote 20 > Open and press OK (if 'EndNote 20' has been previously selected, you do not need to choose it again - just select Open With and press OK). Your EndNote Desktop library must be open for this step.

6. Your database references have now been exported to your EndNote Desktop library.

Tip: Always check each exported reference to ensure that no information is incorrect or missing. Also, when you open the .ris file, if you are asked what program to open it with, select EndNote (you may need to browse the list of programs) and tick the option to always use this program to open these files.

Video: Exporting from ScienceDirect to EndNote

Video produced and kindly shared by UTS Library (University of Technology Sydney)

Mac: Populating your EndNote library: Exporting references from LibrarySearch

Exporting from LibrarySearch is best for references not usually found in library databases such as books, DVDs, etc.

To export references from LibrarySearch into your EndNote Desktop library:

1. Ensure your EndNote Desktop library is open.

2. Do a search on a topic. For example, “polymer composites”.

3. Mark the records you want to export from LibrarySearch by pressing the  on the right of each record.

Note: To export a single or individual LibrarySearch reference, skip step 3 and instead select the EndNote icon to the right of the reference’s title. Then go to step 7.

4. Go to My Favourites by pressing the Pin  on the top right corner of the screen.

5. Tick the records  you want to import into your EndNote Desktop library.

6. Click the Ellipses ... icon to right of the My Favourites just below the search box.

    ​

7. Click EndNote (RIS) Export .

8. Click the Encoding drop-down menu. Select the UTF-8 option. Press Download .

9. A box appears asking you if you want to Open With or Save File. If you wish to save the .ris file, select Save File and press OK. This saves the file to your Downloads folder. Go to this folder and click on your downloaded .ris file to export your references. Alternatively, if you wish to open the .ris file directly rather than save it, select Open With > Choose > EndNote > EndNote 20 > Open and press OK (if 'EndNote 20' has been previously selected, you do not need to choose it again - just select Open With and press OK). Your EndNote Desktop library must be open for this step.

10. Your LibrarySearch references have now been exported to your EndNote Desktop library.

Tip: Always check each exported reference to ensure that no information is incorrect or missing.​ Also, when you open the .ris file, if you are asked what program to open it with, select EndNote (you may need to browse the list of programs) and tick the option to always use this program to open these files.

Mac: Populating your EndNote library: Exporting references from Google Scholar

Google Scholar is best for searching academic or scholarly material on the internet. References from Google Scholar searches can be exported into an Endnote Desktop library.

To export references from Google Scholar into your EndNote Desktop library:

1. Ensure your EndNote Desktop library is open.

​2. Navigate to Google Scholar from the library homepage (Find Resources > Other Sources > Search Google Scholar). If prompted, log in with your RMIT student / staff number and password. Logging on in this step will authenticate you as an RMIT student / staff member, so you can access the full-text of our online resources.

3. At the top right corner, click on Sign in  and log in with your RMIT student / staff e-mail and password. You're now signed into your Google Scholar account -- you can Sign Out when finished. Logging on in this step will enable you to export multiple references simultaneously into your EndNote Desktop library.

Note: If you have entered your RMIT e-mail address, clicked on Next and nothing happens, or if you receive the following message at this step -- 'Something went wrong, Sorry, something went wrong there' -- go directly to Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com.au/) and log in via the above Sign in button again using the same e-mail address.
 

4. Do a search on a topic. For example, “polymer composites”.

5. Click on the white star  to select the references you want to export into your EndNote Desktop library. This will save the reference to My Library.

6. When a reference has been saved to My Library, the white star changes colour to blue   . Clicking on the blue star removes the reference from My Library.

7. Click on My Library on top right corner.

 
In here, you'll see a list of all the references you've saved in Step 5. Tick the references you want to export into your EndNote library.

8. Press Export and select EndNote. A box appears asking you if you want to Open With or Save File. If you wish to save the .enw file, select Save File and press OK. This saves the file to your Downloads folder. Go to this folder and click on your downloaded .enw file to export your references. Alternatively, if you wish to open the .enw file directly rather than save it, select Open With > Choose > EndNote > EndNote 20 > Open and press OK (if 'EndNote 20' has been previously selected, you do not need to choose it again - just select Open With and press OK). Your EndNote Desktop library must be open for this step.

 

9. Your Google Scholar references have now been exported to your EndNote Desktop library.

Tip: Always check each exported reference to ensure that no information is incorrect or missing.​ Also, when you open the .enw file, if you are asked what program to open it with, select EndNote (you may need to browse the list of programs) and tick the option to always use this program to open these files.

Mac: Populating your EndNote library: Manually creating references

References can be manually created in an EndNote Desktop library. Manual creation is needed if the resource you are using is not in LibrarySearch, library databases or Google Scholar, and thus does not have the option to be exported into EndNote Desktop. Examples of a reference requiring manual creation would be a report from a government department's website, information or images from other websites, artwork from a gallery or museum, podcasts, YouTube videos, social media posts, company or industry reports, and unpublished works such as lecture slides, students' own work or manuscripts.

To manually create a reference in your EndNote Desktop library:

1. Create a new reference: References > New Reference OR click on the right of the toolbar towards the top.

The default setting for new references is Journal Article . If you are using something else, you can change the reference type within the Reference Type drop-down list, e.g. Book, Book Section [for book chapters in edited books], Conference Paper, Web Page.

2. Fill in the content for the fields you need. Then, File > Save. Click the red dot  to close the reference.

3. The reference has now been manually created.

4. Now double-click the new reference to see its two tabs and various options: Summary, Edit:

You can:

  • Preview what your reference looks like in your chosen referencing style within the SUMMARY tab, e.g. APA 7th -- located beneath the Copy citation button.
  • Manually attach a file (e.g. a full-text PDF) by pressing on the Attach File button within the SUMMARY tab. Once attached, you can attach more files or click on the attached file to open or rename it.
  • Make quick corrections to the reference within the EDIT tab, then press Save.
Tips:
- List author last name (family/surname) first and follow with a comma – e.g., Benton, Tim                
- Organisation names should be entered in full and follow with a comma – e.g., “RMIT University,”
- Enter each author name on a separate line.
- Space between author initials.
- Full stop after each author initial – e.g., Smith, J. O.
- Sentence case for journal article titles.

 

NOTE:

For manual creation of a reference, the Minimum Fields handout specifies the minimum type of fields that need to be completed for different types of references. Your referencing style may require more fields, so you will need to be familiar with its requirements. You can learn how to reference in your style using the Library’s resources on Referencing.

 

Video: Create a new reference

Video produced and kindly shared by EndNote Training. Although this video is currently only available in the context of Windows, the principles are the same for Mac computers and can easily be applied to MacOS.
 
Video: In action: EndNote 20 (Windows) file attachments

Video produced and kindly shared by EndNote Training. Although this video is currently only available in the context of Windows, the principles are the same for Mac computers and can easily be applied to MacOS.