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EndNote: Desktop EndNote

Information and guidance on using Desktop EndNote and EndNote online to manage bibliographic references.

Desktop EndNote is a reference management programme. It is installed on all University PCs managed by Information Technology. The software can be installed free of charge on University owned PCs, or purchased for your own computer.  It is also available on campus via the University's Apps Anywhere service. Recommended for research students and staff.

First steps to using Desktop EndNote

  1. Request EndNote Desktop via the IT Self-Service Portal and install it on your computer, or use it via AppsAnywhere on one of the campus PCs.
  2. Create a library.
  3. Populate your library by: typing in references; exporting from compatible databases; using the online search within EndNote; importing references from other databases or from other reference management software.
  4. Use the 'Find Full Text' feature to add PDFs to your references, or manually attach downloaded articles.
  5. Use the EndNote toolbar in Word to insert and format citations.

Obtaining / Buying Desktop EndNote

On the UK campus EndNote is available via the Apps Anywhere service.

To install it on your own computer or a University-owned computer, request it via the IT Self-Service Portal. Once logged in to the portal select 'Place a Request' and 'User Support', then 'Software - EndNote'. Note that if you leave the University you must remove EndNote from your own computer.

Staff in Malaysia should email to arrange installation on their work computer.

Adding references to Desktop EndNote

Direct export is the easiest way to get references from a database into your EndNote library.

  • Just search your favourite database and mark any relevant references.
  • Choose the EndNote export option when saving your references.
  • EndNote will be automatically opened, or a file of references downloaded in your browser which you just need to click on.
  • The references details will be added to your library.

Most databases offer an option to export to EndNote, or an 'RIS' format export option. Note: this will not download the full-text.

See our getting started guide for instructions on using direct export:

If a database does not provide a direct export feature it is usually possible to save the references in a suitable format that can be imported into EndNote. 

  1. Search your database and mark any relevant items (usually a checkbox).
  2. Once you have marked the items look for an 'Export' option. In many cases you can select the 'EndNote' or 'RIS' export option and save the file. 
  3. Open EndNote and import the references using the correct import option (also known as a filter) for the database you have used.

The import option will map the information in each downloaded reference to the corresponding fields in EndNote. Because the information in each database is organised in different ways, there is a different import option for each database. EndNote comes with a range of import options, others are available to download for Desktop EndNote from the EndNote Import Filters download site (see below).

Once your references are imported, open a couple to make sure the fields have been filled in correctly.

See the following guide for step-by-step instructions:

To find out which import option to use for your database:

Getting additional filters for importing references

If the filter you need is not included in the list provided with EndNote, check whether it is available to download using the link below.

  1. Search for the name of the database. There may be several different versions available for different hosts - make sure you select the correct one for the site you are using.
  2. Click Download
  3. Choose the Save option and save the file.

Saving your additional filters

If you download a filter you must save it into a location where EndNote can find it. There are three options depending on the computer you are using:

Option 1: for your own computer
Save it to the Filters folder in the EndNote program folder on your C: drive. If you do not have administrative rights on the computer you might not be able to do this. Try Option 2 instead.

Option 2: for a University-owned computer you don’t have admin rights on
Save the Filter to your personal folders on your computer. For Windows 10 users this is in Documents\EndNote\Filters (you might need to create the EndNote\Filters folders if they don't already exist). For earlier versions of Windows save to C:\Users\[Your user name]\Documents\EndNote. You will need to create a folder called 'Filters' in this location (if it doesn't already exist).

Option 3: for computers in the PC labs on campus
Save the style to the following location in your N drive: \\ndrive\[Your user name]\My Documents\EndNote. You will need to create a folder called 'Filters' in this location (if it doesn't already exist). 

On most databases you will see the 'Search for item at Reading' button next to references:

Search for item at Reading button

Clicking on this button searches for the item in our online subscriptions, and will link you directly to the full-text where available. 

In many cases, when opening the full-text, a side-bar appears on the right of the screen with the University logo. Click on this and the click on the 'Export' button (both highlighted in red on the images below). Select the option to Export 'Directly to EndNote, Procite or Reference Manager' and then 'Export'. This will take the reference details and add them to your EndNote library.

Sidebar option for exporting to the EndNote Web

The EndNote Online search uses connection files to allow you to connect directly to a database from within EndNote and download into your Library.

We do not recommend using the EndNote Online Search to find references because:

  • it offers very limited searching functionality making it hard to refine your search;
  • there can be technical difficulties with the z3950 technology it uses.

Searching a database directly and then using Direct export to get the references into your library is the best method, or downloading and importing references if the first option is not available.

However, the Online Search can work well when searching Library catalogues. It is possible to use it to download records from our own catalogue. For best results make sure that your search is specific and well constructed - too general a search might retrieve thousands of useless records and it not easy to refine your search once you have your results.

See our guide for instructions on using the Online Search to download references from our catalogue.

Downloading the connection file for our catalogue

If you don't already have the 'U Reading' in the list of Online Search connections you will need to download our connection file via the link below. You must save the connection file to a location where EndNote can find it. There are two options:

Option 1. Save it to the Connections folder in the EndNote program folder on your C: drive. If you do not have administrative rights on the computer you might not be able to do this. Try Option 2 instead.

Option 2: Save the style to your personal folders on your computer. For Windows 10 users this is in Documents\EndNote\Connections (you might need to create the EndNote\Connections folders if they don't already exist). For earlier versions of Windows save to C:\Users\[Your user name]\Documents\EndNote. You will need to create a folder called 'Connections' in this location (if it doesn't already exist). We also recommend renaming the file as you save it to 'U Reading' (removing the hyphen from the name) so that it files alphabetically with the other connection files.

Please note that this is connecting to the Unicorn catalogue (which just holds details of the University Library books and journals) and not the Enterprise catalogue.

Using EndNote with Word

References in a thesisWhen EndNote is installed on a computer an extra toolbar is added to the ribbon in Word. This allows you to search for specific references in your library and insert them into your Word document. The bibliography is automatically created at the end of the document. You can select from a large list of popular referencing styles. It is also possible to download more referencing styles and edit styles to create your own.

See the step-by-step instructions on using EndNote with Word in our guide:

When EndNote is installed it should automatically add the Cite While You Write toolbar in Word.

If the EndNote tools have never appeared in Word try the solutions given in the Working With Word Processors / CWYW FAQs on the EndNote website.

If you've had the tools and they have disappeared, try the following:

  1. Open Word
  2. Click on the File ribbon
  3. On the list on the left click Options
  4. Choose Add-Ins
  5. From the Manage drop down list at the bottom of the screen choose 'Disabled Items' and click on 'Go'
  6. If any Endnote files are on the Disabled Items list, select them and click on the 'Enable' button

Word plugins - conflict between EndNote and Mendeley

The EndNote and Mendeley plugins in Word don't play nicely together, so you might experience problems if you have both installed. The most common error message seen is 'Cannot edit range' when trying to insert a citation from EndNote into a Word document.

To stop this happening you have to disable the Mendeley plugin by following these steps:

  1. Open the File menu in Word.
  2. Select Options then Add-Ins.
  3. From the Manage list at the foot of the window select Word Add-ins and click Go.
  4. Unselect the Mendeley add-in.

You will need to do this every time you open a document in Word.

Referencing styles in EndNote

Desktop EndNote comes with a large number of styles to choose from. You can also download extra styles to add to EndNote, or edit existing styles to create your own.

Saving your downloaded styles

There are three options depending on the computer you are using:

Option 1: for your own computer
Save it to the Styles folder in the EndNote program folder on your C: drive. If you do not have administrative rights on the computer you might not be able to do this. Try Option 2 instead.

Option 2: for a University-owned computer you don’t have admin rights on
Save the style to your personal folders on your computer. For Windows 10 users this is in Documents\EndNote\Styles (you might need to create the EndNote\Styles folders if they don't already exist). For earlier versions of Windows save to C:\Users\[Your user name]\Documents\EndNote. You will need to create a folder called 'Styles' in this location (if it doesn't already exist).

Option 3: for computers in the PC labs on campus
Save the style to the following location in your N drive: \\ndrive\[Your user name]\My Documents\EndNote. You will need to create a folder called 'Style' in this location (if it doesn't already exist). 

Specific styles used at Reading

Harvard for Reading

The Harvard style provided with EndNote does not match the style required by the science departments in the University. We have created an amended version which you can download below.

Vancouver for Reading

This style has been amended for the Pharmacy Department to omit the URL in journal references. There's also a version to use with Footnotes.

OSCOLA for legal citations

EndNote does not come with OSCOLA aready installed. You can download the relevant style files from the OSCOLA website, along with guidance on their installation and use on Desktop EndNote.

APA 7th

This new version of the APA style does not automatically come with EndNote at the moment, but you can download it using the link below:

Editing styles

It is possible to edit existing styles within EndNote to create your own. This can be useful if you are submitting an article to a specific journal and their style is not available for EndNote. In this case choose a similar style and edit it. See our guide for detailed instructions.

Advanced features for researchers

Sharing your library with other researchers

It is possible to share a library with up to 100 people. All you need is Endnote X7.2 or higher and an Endnote online account. You can only share one library because you can only have one library associated with an online account. If you want multiple online accounts you will need to use a different email address to register for each one. As multiple people will be working on the library it is a good idea to take frequent back ups by going to File > Compressed Library.

Watch this short video to find out more.

Use Manuscript Matcher to suggest the ideal place for your work to be published

This feature uses the title, abstract and references from your library to suggest relevant journals for your paper. Find out more using the link below.

Introductory videos

Help using Desktop EndNote

Guides for PC users

We have created step-by-step guides for the most commonly used features of Desktop EndNote. These guides are worded so that they can be followed when working on Information Technology managed PCs on campus. They can also be followed when using your own computer, you will just need to save your library to another drive as the N: drive will not be available. All guides are in PDF format.

Introductory guides

Use these three guides first to get you started with the basics of populating your EndNote library and using it with Word. 

Further guides

The rest of our guides cover specific features which you might need as you become more experienced with EndNote.

Using Desktop EndNote for a systematic review

Follow the tips in this step-by-step guide for managing your systematic review search results using Desktop EndNote:

Guides for Mac users

We recommend the following external resources for getting started with using EndNote on a Mac.

We run regular workshops in term-time which cover all aspects of using Desktop EndNote.

If you are unable to attend a workshop, you can teach yourself using the step-by-step guides, or contact your subject liaison librarian for a 1-1 introduction.


Watch this video to find out how to get references from our Summon discovery service into EndNote.


A group photo of the Academic Liaison Librarians teamYour subject liaison librarian can offer individual help on using EndNote. 

They can offer a 1-1 tutorial, or advice on specific questions. Contact them to make an appointment. The link below gives a list of liaison librarians for each department.

For any technical problems with installing EndNote, or with the Cite While You Write toolbar in Word, please contact IT.

For technical issues contact Clarivate Analytics directly:

Top tips for managing your EndNote library

  1. Just have one library and use the groups feature to organise references within it.
  2. Store your library on the hard drive of your computer - there's a risk of corruption and performance issues if stored on network drives or cloud-syncing folders e.g. OneDrive, DropBox
  3. Take regular backups using the File > Save a copy or synchronise with EndNote online to provide a cloud back up.
  4. Use the 'Find duplicates' facility to keep your library tidy and avoid feature problems when inserting references in Word.
  5. Check references for inconsistencies in capitalisation, especially of titles. These might be replicated in your reference list.
  6. Use the term lists feature to enable you switch between full and abbreviated journal titles. See Desktop EndNote Guide 5.

Desktop EndNote FAQs

Converting an existing reference list into EndNote

Existing references held in another bibliographic management package

If you have an existing list of references held in another bibliographic management package (for instance, RefWorks), you can add them to EndNote. Import filters are provided for common formats used by other referencing software packages, including the “RefMan (RIS)” filter for references saved in the generic RIS format.

Existing references in a Word document created using Word's own referencing tab

If you have references in a Word document inserted using Word's own referencing tab you can transfer them to a Desktop EndNote library.

  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Click on the EndNote tab in Word.
  3. From the 'Export to EndNote list' select Export Word Citations.
  4. You will be prompted to choose an existing EndNote library or create a new one. Your references will be Exported to your EndNote library.
  5. They will be placed in a temporary group called 'Imported References' - check them and make any changes required.

Existing references manually entered into a Word document or in another unstructured way

If your references are held in a Word document, or in an arbitrary or inconsistent format, it may be very time consuming to import your references into EndNote. Check the internal help within EndNote, or the Manual, for guidance on Importing reference data. 

If you only have a small number of references to import (less than 50), you might find it faster and easier to do the following:

  1. Search for your references on a database such as Web of Science and import them directly into EndNote. Your liaison librarian can advise you on choosing relevant databases and search strategies to re-find your references.
  2. Copy and paste the (hopefully) few that are left in your Word document into EndNote. The quickest way is to copy the whole reference into the first field box ie author, then drag and drop the different elements to the appropriate field. This saves time switching from Word to EndNote.

Updated April 2018

Leaving the University? How to take your EndNote library with you

If you have been using EndNote on a University PC and do not have a personal copy of EndNote you can take all the information stored - including notes and abstracts - with you. There are three ways of doing this.

1. Transfer references into another package

There are a number of free reference management packages available (for example Mendeley, Zotero and CiteULike) which you may find useful if you no longer have access to EndNote. However you can export your EndNote references exported in the standard RIS format – named “RefMan (RIS) Export” – which can be read and imported by most other reference management packages:

  1. Open your EndNote library
  2. View All References
  3. In the menu bar go to Edit and Select all references
  4. Choose Select Another Style from the options in the Output style box
  5. From the list, select the RefMan RIS Export format  and click the Choose button
  6. In the menu bar, go to File and select Export
  7. In the window displayed, enter a name and destination for the file you are saving/exporting
  8. Ensure the File type is set to Text File (*txt)
  9. Make sure that the 'Export Selected References' box is ticked
  10. Save the file
  11. Import the file into your chosen reference management package

2. Transfer all your references to EndNote online

See 'Desktop EndNote guide 9: syncing desktop and online EndNote' and sharing libraries for guidance on this method. You will have access to an enhanced version of EndNote online for a year, after which your account will become an EndNote basic account. For more information on the differences between the versions see - EndNote versions compared.

3. Transfer into a Word document

  1. Open your EndNote library
  2. Choose Select Another Style from the pick list in the style box at the top right hand side of the screen
  3. Select the style Show All Fields
  4. Select all your references in your library
  5. Go to Edit
  6. Select Copy formatted
  7. Open Word
  8. Paste your references into Word

Updated March 2018

Exporting references from a Talis reading list
  1. Go to the reading list on the Talis system.
  2. From the View & Export menu at the top right of the list select 'Download RIS'
  3. This will will create a RIS file (.ris) which should then automatically open in EndNote.

Alternatively staff can select import references from the bookmarks they have created in Talis:

  1. Go to the Talis system and login.
  2. Go to My Bookmarks and select the references that you wish to export to EndNote using the tickboxes in the column on the left side.
  3. Click on the Action button and then Export citations.
  4. This will create a RIS file (.ris) which you need to save.
  5. Double click on this file to open it in Desktop EndNote and import the references.

Updated March 2018

Exporting references from EndNote to a Talis Aspire reading list
  1. Open your EndNote library.
  2. Choose Select Another Style from the options in the Output style box.
  3. From the list select RefMan (RIS) Export and click the Choose button.
  4. Select the references that you wish to export.
  5. Go to the File menu and then select Export.
  6. Choose a destination folder and enter a filename. Check that the file type is set to Text File (*.txt), the output style is set to RefMan (RIS) Export, then press Save.
  7. Go to the Talis Aspire system and login.
  8. Select the My Bookmarks menu, click on the Add bookmark button and select Import citations.
  9. Find the .ris file you exported from EndNote using the Browse button and then select Import. We recommend that you do not select the 'Add imported resources to a new list' box unless you are sure you want a brand new list. You will receive an email once your bookmarks have been imported.

Updated March 2018

Adding page numbers to citations
  1. In Word, highlight the citation to which you want to add page numbers.
  2. Click on the Edit & Manage Citation(s) button on the Endnote toolbar.
  3. This opens a dialogue box. In the box next to Suffix, type a space, followed by a comma, a space, and the required page numbers in the format required by your referencing style, then click OK. Your citation will appear with page numbers eg (Asimov, 1960, pp.7-8).

Updated March 2018

Corporate names - getting them to appear correctly in citations

How do I get EndNote to format a corporate author correctly? It is formatting World Bank as Bank, W.

Just put a comma after the name in the author field, for example:

World Bank,

If your corporate author is made up of initials and has a comma in the name, you will need to put two commas in place of the single one to fool EndNote into formatting the name correctly.

For example:

M & P, Inc. should be entered in EndNote as M & P,, Inc.

This makes EndNote treat M & P as a surname thus formatting the name correctly to display as M & P. Inc.

Updated March 2018

My citations look odd! They are in squiggly brackets. Why?

If your citations within your bibliography look like this example: {Cooper, 2007 #29} and your bibliography does not appear at the end of your document, you are displaying “Unformatted” or “Temporary citations”.

Select the style you want from the Style pick list on the EndNote ribbon in Word, and then select Update Citations and Bibliography. This will change the temporary citations in the text to the style you have chosen and create the bibliography at the end of your document. 

Updated March 2018

Formatting multiple citations

I want to be able to cite multiple references in the text with commas between them and "and" between the 2nd and last. As for example (Smith et al, 2002, Jones, 1999 and Bloggs, 1986). How can I do this?

There is a way to do this but it has to be done to each citation when they have been created in Word. It cannot be done through the output style on EndNote.

  1. In Word insert your required citations with no space between them.
  2. Make sure the cursor is in the required citation.
  3. From the toolbar choose 'Edit & manage citation(s)' (or right click with the mouse).
  4. An edit box will appear with all three citations displayed.
  5. Click on the last citation and then click in the prefix box.
  6. Type 'and' then a space.
  7. Click on OK. This will allow the word to appear before the last citation. Unfortunately the comma appears as well, but at least this does allow the 'and' to be added manually, as desired.

Updated June 2018

Dealing with variant forms of author names

My paper contains multiple references to the same author. In some references the author might be described as 'Benjamin', whereas in others as 'Ben'. EndNote regards Benjamin and Ben as two different authors and in the text qualifies them accordingly. How do I get EndNote to treat Benjamin and Ben as the same person?

  1. In the menu bar click on Edit and Output Styles 
  2. Edit your chosen output style
  3. Click on Citations > Author Name
  4. Remove the tick next to 'Use initials only for primary authors with the same name'  

Updated June 2018

Grouping references by type, for example Books, Articles, Websites

It is simply done by altering a setting in the output style you are using. See our guide to for an introduction to editing styles.

  1. When editing the style click on Sort Order under the heading bibliography.
  2. You are given a number of options - click next to Other.
  3. A new box will appear give you a number of sort options to choose. Select Reference Type from the pick-list. This will re-order the bibliography into alphabetic order of the different reference types in your library.
  4. Save the amended style and re-format the bibliography. You will then simply need to add relevant headings to each section in the bibliography.

This works well if your primary sources are all the same sort of reference type. If they are different you could add a customised field or you could use the field 'type of work' and add it as a first sort criterion. Once formatted, simply add the heading as appropriate in the bibliography.

Further information in the Endnote Help - look up 'Sort order: bibliographies and multiple citations'.

Updated March 2018

Merging references from multiple chapters to create a single bibliography

If you have written a section of a paper in collaboration with others, or separate chapters of a dissertation or book, you can merge the text and have one bibliography at the end.

The easiest way to do this is to convert your documents to Unformatted citations, then copy all your sections into one Word document and then select "Update citations and bibliography". It will then create one bibliography at the end of the document.

The EndNote recommended way of doing it is:

  1. Unformat your work using the Unformat Citations icon on the toolbar in Word and save as Rich Text Format.
  2. In EndNote go to Tools > Format paper and select the files you wish to merge in turn using the Scan next button.
  3. When you have finished select the style you wish and click on the Format button
  4. You will be prompted to save each document in this style. The merged bibliography will be at the end of the final document.

Further information can be found in the EndNote Help under "RTF Creating One Bibliography From Several Papers".

Updated March 2018

Working on a Word document on multiple computers

If you have EndNote on both your work and home computers and you want to work on one Word document in both places you need to follow these steps:

  1. Take backups of both your work EndNote library and your Word document.
  2. On your work computer use the sync function to copy all references into an EndNote online account.
  3. On your home computer create an empty library.
  4. Use the Sync function to download all the references from your EndNote online account. At this point, although the two libraries contain identical content, the unique number (#) for each record can differ between libraries.
  5. Open the Word document created on your work computer.
  6. In Word's Endnote toolbar, click Update citations and bibliography. This will align the record numbers with library on your home computer.
  7. When you open the same document on your work computer, click Update citations and bibliography to re-align the record numbers with the library on your work computer.

Get into the habit of syncing your EndNote library each time you start and finish working with it, at work and at home - or set the library to sync automatically. This will ensure all versions of your library have identical content. Also, update the citations and bibliography in Word before you start work.

Updated March 2019


Recovering a deleted EndNote library

If you accidently delete your EndNote library but still have its .data folder you can recover the Library by following these steps:

  1. Use Notepad to create an empty plain text file.
  2. Save it with the same name as the data folder and give it the .enl file extension. Make sure you change the Save As Type: to All Files.
  3. Open the .enl file you have created and it will be a copy of the original library.

Updated August 2019


I am about to leave the University but want to continue using Desktop EndNote

The University's EndNote licence requires you to remove Desktop EndNote when you leave the University. To continue using it after you leave purchase it at a discounted price by following the link below. Purchase it before you leave because you will need to use your University email address to make the purchase. 

Alternatively you could synchronise your desktop library with an EndNote online account and use that instead. Or export the references to use in another reference management system.

Updated December 2019