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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.

Adding full-text PDF articles to your existing references

You can add full-text PDFs to existing references in your EndNote Desktop library using either one of the two options below.

 

METHOD A: Manually attach a PDF to an existing reference

 
Purpose

This method is useful when you already have the PDF of a reference saved on your computer or USB, or for references that do not have a DOI (please see METHOD B below for more details). This method is carried out for one reference at a time, not multiple reference simultaneously.

 

Instructions

1. In your EndNote Desktop library, select (click) the reference you would like to attach the PDF to, then:

  • press the Attach File button within the Summary tab on the right panel, then select file and press the Open button.

OR

  • File Attachments > Attach File > select file > press the Open button.

2. Click on any other reference to bring up a "Do you want to save the changes you made to the reference?" pop-up box. Click Yes.

3. Repeat steps 1-2 for each other reference you want to attach a PDF to.

 

METHOD B: Automatically attach multiple PDFs simultaneously to existing references using 'Find Full Text'

 
Purpose

This method is useful when you do not already have the PDFs of your references. EndNote Desktop will search for the full-text PDFs within RMIT Library's subscription databases. If we have those PDFs, EndNote will then automatically attach them to their corresponding references in your EndNote Desktop library. This method can be carried out either for one reference at a time or for multiple reference simultaneously. You will need to be connected to the Internet.

IMPORTANT -- PLEASE READ: This method only works for journal articles and conference papers with a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). You do not need to know which ones have a DOI -- EndNote will work that out. Older journal articles and conference papers, government reports, annual reports, company or industry reports, unpublished materials such as manuscripts, newspaper articles and book chapters do not have a DOI. In this case, EndNote will not automatically find and attach any PDFs -- you will need to manually do this yourself. First find and download the PDFs yourself, then follow METHOD A above.

 

Instructions

1. Configure your EndNote Desktop settings:

a) Go to your Find Full Text options:

  • On Windows: Edit > Preferences > Find Full Text

  • On a Mac: EndNote 20 > Preferences > Find Full Text

b) Within your Find Full Text options:

  • OFF CAMPUS (e.g. from home):

    1. Ensure that the OpenURL option is ticked.

    2. In the OpenURL Path, copy and paste this link: https://rmit.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/openurl?institution=61RMIT_INST&vid=61RMIT_INST:RMITU&

    3. In the Authenticate with URL, copy and paste this link: https://login.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/login?url=http://scholar.google.com/

    4. Press OK.

  • ON CAMPUS (at RMIT):

    1. Ensure that the OpenURL option is ticked.

    2. In the OpenURL Path, copy and paste this link: https://rmit.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/openurl?institution=61RMIT_INST&vid=61RMIT_INST:RMITU&

    3. Check that the Authenticate with URL is empty -- do not type anything within.

    4. Press OK.

2. Automatically find and attach full-text PDFs:

a) Select one or more references in your EndNote Desktop library

b) Get EndNote to find and attach the full-text PDFs using one of these options:

  • References > Find Full Text > Find Full Text, OR

  • Click on the Find Full Text button on the right of the toolbar towards the top, OR

  • Right-click on selected reference(s) and click on Find Full Text

3. The PDFs have now been attached to relevant references in your EndNote Desktop library, as evident by the paperclip icon  next to each one. They will also appear within the Found PDF icon  under the Find Full Text section.

4. If any number of references appear within the Found URL icon  it means that, although EndNote found the full-text PDFs for those references, it could only provide the URL links that lead to those PDFs. It could NOT attach the PDFs to your references. You will need to individually open each affected reference, scroll down to the URL field and click on the link to download the PDF. Then manually attach the PDF to its corresponding reference in your EndNote Desktop library using METHOD A above.

5. PDFs that were not found nor attached due to having no DOI, will appear within the Not found icon  . You will need to first find and manually download those PDFs yourself, then follow METHOD A above.

 

Video: In action: EndNote 20 (Windows) Find Full Text Preferences

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) Find Full Text

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.

Adding full-text PDF articles to create new references (PDF Import option)

You can get EndNote to automatically create new references in your EndNote Desktop library by importing a group of full-text PDFs. This method will only work for PDFs with a DOI. You do not need to know which ones have a DOI -- EndNote will work that out. 

Instructions

1. In your EndNote Desktop library: File > Import > Folder. Select Choose, then find the folder that contains your PDFs. Click OK, then click Import.

2. The references (and all of their details such as title, authors, year, etc.) have been created, and their corresponding PDFs have been attached to them. Please check the accuracy of each reference and that no content is missing. You will need to be familiar with the requirements of your referencing style to know what potential errors to look for (e.g. missing volume number, title fully capitalised, etc.).

Note: If your imported PDFs do not have a DOI, only the PDFs will be inserted NOT the reference details (title, author, year, etc.). You will need to manually insert these details yourself.

PDF management

You can set up your EndNote Desktop library to enable automatic importing of PDFs from a designated folder on your computer. This allows for any new PDFs added to the folder to be automatically imported into your EndNote Desktop library, and for the PDF to be automatically renamed using the naming convention you selected in Step 1 (for example: Author + Year).

Note: The automatic renaming process works in the background when you open your EndNote Desktop library and while you are working in it.

Instructions

1. In your EndNote Desktop library:

  • On Windows: Edit > Preferences > PDF Handling
  • On a Mac: EndNote > Preferences > PDF Handling

2. Select a PDF Auto Renaming Option, e.g. Author + Year. EndNote will automatically rename your PDFs when importing them into your EndNote Desktop library. This renaming does not affect the name of the PDF in the original folder on your computer.

3. Place a tick in the Enable automatic importing option, and select the designated folder from your computer (click Select Folder). EndNote will automatically import into your EndNote Desktop library any new PDFs added to this folder. If the reference is already in your EndNote Desktop library, the PDF will automatically be attached to it. If the reference is not already in your EndNote Desktop library, a new reference will automatically be created and the PDF attached.