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This guide offers instruction and information about the latest version of this popular citation manager available to the Brown community.

Add References

There are three main ways to populate your EndNote library with references:

Add references manually

To enter references by hand: From the top menu bar, select the new reference icon, or click "References" from the top toolbar, then "New Reference."


Select the appropriate reference type, such as Journal Article, from the drop-down menu. (This is important because it determines the fields that will show in the citation.)

  • Remember to enter multiple author names on separate lines (with a hard return after each name).  
  • You can enter author names either last name first with a comma ("Smith, Jane") or first name first ("Jane Smith").
  • When entering a corporate or institutional author name like "Brown University" or "Centers for Disease Control," enter a comma after the name. This will prevent EndNote from inverting or abbreviating the name as it would for an individual author's.
  • When typing in the title of an item, do not use the hard return. Instead, let EndNote wrap the text for you.


Export References from a Database

Search the database via the web interface as you normally would. Select the references you want, then save or export them. Every database works a little differently. Some offer an obvious EndNote export, like Web of Science:


And some offer a more generic RIS export (like Ebsco databases):


Most databases can export to EndNote with these general steps:

  1. Select the citations you want to save with an "Add" button or check box.
  2. Look for a "Save" or "Export" button.
  3. Choose "Save to EndNote" or "Export to your bibliographic software" or a similar option. In many cases you want the RIS format. Some databases may also allow you to batch multiple citations for export. 
  4. Open the resulting downloaded file. Your computer will most likely associate the file type with EndNote and prompt you to select a library to house the references. 

Import PDFs

In many cases, EndNote can generate bibliographic information from PDFs that have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number. Most journal articles have this number embedded in the file. If the PDF does not have a DOI number or if the PDF does not have OCR encoded text (for example, if it was scanned from paper and not OCR'ed), this will not work.

To import a PDF, go to File → Import.


Then navigate to the PDF you'd like to upload. You can select one or several. To select several, CTRL-click on the file in Windows or Command-click for Mac. Make sure to click "Options" in the bottom left corner of the prompt window:


This opens a list of import option filters. Choosing the correct import option will tell EndNote which file type to expect. If you forget to configure this, nothing will happen after you try to import your file. Choose "PDF File or Folder," then click "Import":


Add references from Brown University Library (BruKnow)

Once you have found a book title using the library catalog, click "Export RIS" under "Send To," then click Download.

Click OK when the pop-up window appears and the citation will be added to your unfiled folder. Check the "Do this automatically" button if you want this to be your default preference in your browser.