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How Do I Use EndNote and EndNote Online

Information and tips to getting the most out of EndNote and EndNote Web.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use EndNote Online vs. the desktop version? 

‚ÄčThe web version is FREE from Penn State and you can work with your EndNote library on any computer that has Internet access. Also, 

  • it allows you to easily share references with others, so it's good for co-authoring projects.
  • on campus, you will see the blue "Get It @ Penn State" button on each reference in your library, allowing you to connect to the full text article if Penn State University Libraries has the article. 

On the other hand, the desktop version allows you to write in an offline environment and also allows you to edit an output style so that changes can be made globally to the output style and every reference or in-text citation in the document. This is good when you need to work with an output style that is almost, but not quite, like a named style (i.e. almost but not quite JAMA style). 

Should I use one library for all my references, or separate libraries for different projects?

It's entirely up to you; there's no right or wrong way to organize your files. However, it is usually recommended to have one library to make it easier to create bibliographies in Word. Just remember to back up your files regularly. In EndNote Online, this is a moot question because you will only have one library, with the ability to divide it into groups. 

Should I submit my manuscript with EndNote formatting?

No. Most editors do not want to receive the version of the document that contains the EndNote coding. After you finish writing, create a new, "plain text" file. This new document will look exactly like the original, with your desired output style and correct citations, but removes the EndNote codes which makes it easier to edit. Here's how:

  • Make sure your original document is saved. 
  • In the EndNote ribbon, click "convert citations and bibliography">"convert to plain text."
  • A pop-up box will inform you that you are about to create a new copy without EndNote markers. Click OK.
  • Now you have created a new document with no EndNote codes that looks exactly like your original. Save it with a new name that is different from your original document. 

If you save the original document, you can use this to make any additional edits to your writing in the future. 

 I already have a long bibliography that I typed in Word. Can I convert it to an EndNote library?

Unfortunately there's no way to do this automatically.  The best way is to search for your references using PubMed and import the citations into a new library.

How do I download search results from my favorite database into EndNote?

Every database works a little differently. In general, you'll need to either use the database's direct export function, or save your search results to a text file and import it using the import filter for that database. In the native interface of the database, look for a feature such as "download citation" or "export." These actions will be similar to those for importing from PubMed

I used EndNote to write my paper and format my references, but the second author's name (or third author, or 4th, etc) in all my references is inverted.  Why?

The most likely reason for formatting mistakes in your references is that the references were input manually, instead of imported from a database or using the online search feature, and were input incorrectly.  The instructions for inputting authors manually is NOT intuitive, so you should follow the instructions shown in their brief training tutorial.

How do I add page numbers to an in-text citation?

Right-click the formatted citation and choose "Edit Citation" from the menu. Fill in the page numbers (including spaces and punctuation) in the "Pages" field, click OK, then reformat your bibliography.

How do I make changes to a citation style and save it so that Endnote doesn't overwrite my changes?

You will need to modify the output style for that particular citation style (you can only do this in desktop version, not web):

  • From EndNote, choose Edit – Output Styles – Open Style Manager.
  • Highlight the style you want to edit and click the Edit button.
  • Click on any of the choices in the menu on the left (edit options will appear on the right) and make your changes.
  • Click File – Save As and name your file.

Note: Be careful not to save the file as the original file name or you will overwrite the output style.