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EndNote: Add References

EndNote is a database program for managing bibliographic citations. It can automate much of the work of organizing and formatting citations and bibliographies in your writing.

Import PDFs

Import a PDF and EndNote will create a reference for it, and attach the PDF to the reference:


PDF auto-import. Set up a folder on your desktop. Save PDFs into that folder and EndNote can import them automatically:

Importing Database Search Results

You can import search results from most databases into EndNote. This is made possible by import filters that come with the EndNote program.

  • Search the database via the web interface as you normally would.
  • Select the references you want, then save or export them.
  • Many databases now export directly to Endnote. Some databases require that you save the results as a text file and then import them into your EndNote library.

Every database works a little differently, but the EndNote import filter for the particular database includes information on how to import the results. To see these filters, in EndNote select Edit/Import Filters/Open Filter Manager. Select the filter that matches the name of your database and you can see the download instructions within the filter information.

Watch the video below for an example of how this process works.

Using Online Search

On the EndNote menu, click Tools / Online Search ...

  • The "Choose a connection" box will open.
  • Choose the resource to search. This will open a search box in your Endnote Library.
  • Enter your search terms. You will get a message back with the number of results found. You can choose whether to load all or some of the references.
  • When you retrieve references from an online database in Online Search Mode, the references are downloaded into a temporary library. If you want to save the references you have downloaded, you must copy them to an existing EndNote library.
  • When you retrieve references from an online database in Integrated Library & Online Search Mode, the found references are downloaded directly into the currently open library.

See this procedure in the pdf below.

Entering References by Hand

The most basic way to enter a reference is by typing it in. 

  • Click References / New. Choose the reference type you want -- the default is Journal Article.
  • Enter all the information you have into the appropriate field.
  • If there are multiple author names, enter each one on a separate line.
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