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EndNote Library Management

Working with Libraries in EndNote

 EndnOte icon

In this Guide:

Creating a new library

From the File menu, select New…. Give the new library a name, making sure to retain the .enl extension. Click on Save.See the Term List LibGuide for information on working with term lists.

An EndNote library (where references are stored) has an associated directory called (where images and other necessary files are stored). When a new library is created, supporting directories are also created. Reference information is stored in the library file; the supporting directories are:

  • is created in the same directory as the library; images, PDF files, information about what references are in what groups, etc. are stored here.
  • Personal is created when you have new or customized filters, styles, etc.
  • Shared can be used to share information with people who are using the same computer.

Specific directory locations depend upon the operating system. Search for the file name on your computer to find the location of these files.

Opening an existing library

From the File menu, select Open… then Open library…. Note that recently used libraries are listed below Open library… for easy access.


Working in the library window

In the Library window, each reference is displayed on a line using several pieces of information: author, year, title, rating, journal, (these can be customized; see below).

A paperclip icon beside a reference indicates that there is an attached file, like a PDF; fig+ indicates that there is an attached graphic or file in the figure field.

Sorting: References can be sorted by one of these fields by clicking on the field label near the top of the window. Click once for an ascending sort; click a second time for a descending sort. By default, references are sorted ascending by author.

The icons in the upper right corner signify as follows (in order):

  • Quotation mark: Insert selected citations into a Word document
  • Clipboard: Add a new reference
  • Figure with plus sign: Share this group
  • Arrow: Export References
  • Page with looking glass: Search for full text for selected references
  • Globe: Create a Web of Science citation report for selected references

 Preview: Clicking on any citation will open a window with tabs for viewing a selected citation formatted in the current output style, along with record fields for editing and any attached PDFs.

Customizing the library window

The Library window can be customized using the Preferences feature found in the Edit menu.

  • Auto Open: To have EndNote automatically open one or more libraries when the application is launched, click on Libraries and add desired libraries
  • Font: Click on Display Fonts to change the font used in the Library window
  • Fields: Click on Display Fields to change the fields displayed in the Library window. To display multiple author names in your library window, after clicking Display Fields, select the box next to Display all Authors in the Author Field

Click on OK when the desired modifications have been made.

Hints for working with libraries

Though multiple libraries can be open at one time, maintaining a single library for all references is recommended. References may be placed in groups for easy access and control (see Organizning References in EndNote). If you will be merging libraries, please see EndNote Support online for options. Back up library regularly using the Save a copy… option in the File menu.