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EndNote: EndNote Online/Web

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

EndNote Online is a web-based product which can be used to store references and use them in your work. 

There are four 'versions':

  • EndNote Online Classic - freely available but with lower capacity than when synchronised with Desktop EndNote.
  • EndNote Online Classic linked to the University - register for an account whilst on campus to access a customised list of styles and the catalogue connection file.
  • EndNote Online Classic synchronised with Desktop EndNote - this version offers unlimited reference and storage capacity and the fullest functionality, but has to be linked to a desktop installation of EndNote.
  • EndNote Web synchronised with Desktop EndNote Version 21 - this version is only available once you have synchronised your EndNote 21 library. It looks very similar to the Desktop version but does not include all the options available on EndNote Online Classic (e.g. sharing libraries).

Registering for an EndNote online account

We recommend registering for your account whilst on campus and connected to the Eduroam wifi or using a campus PC. This will give you access to an enhanced version of EndNote Online, which is linked to the University of Reading. If your account is not linked to the University you won’t be able to use the Online Search to add references from the Library catalogue or access the customised list of styles. 

  1. Follow the link below to EndNote Online.
  2. Click on ‘Register’ on the right of the screen.
  3. Enter your email address - we recommend using a personal email address instead of your University one so that you can continue to use EndNote online when you have left the University.
  4. Fill in all the details. 
  5. You will be sent an email containing an activation link. Click on this link to activate your account.
  6. You will then be taken to the Sign in screen to login with the email address and password you used when creating the account.

You will also need your login details when using the Word plugin to insert citations in your documents, so make sure you keep a record of them! 

Adding references to EndNote online

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

  • It allows you to save directly from the database into your EndNote library - just choose the EndNote online/web export option when saving your references
  • EndNote online will be automatically opened
  • The references will be added to your library

Only a few databases offer a EndNote online/web export option - currently only Web of Science and EBSCOhost databases (such as Business Source Complete).

See our EndNote online guide:

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

When you are searching your database look for a way of marking relevant items (usually a checkbox). 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. 

Once you have a file in the correct format, follow these steps to import it into EndNote Online.

  1. Select the Collect tab and Import References
  2. Browse to find your text file
  3. In the Import option list look for your database name e.g. CAB Abstracts (OvidSP) to import references from our CAB database.
  4. Select the group in your library where the imported references should go.
  5. Click on Import.

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

For more guidance on using the Import option see our guide.

If you are not sure which import option to use for your database contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for advice:

Within the 'Collect' option on EndNote Online is an 'Online Search' facility. 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.

Our EndNote Online guide has a section on using this feature with our Library catalogue (note that you will only see the 'U Reading' catalogue option if you registered for your account whilst on campus):

Adding citations into a Word document using EndNote

Installing the Cite While You Write plugin for Word

To add citations to your Word document you will need to install the EndNote Cite While You Write plug-in, available for both Windows and Macs. This allows you to insert and format citations automatically in Word documents. 

To do so, login to EndNote online and click the Downloads tab, then select either the Windows or Macintosh downloads from Cite While You Write section. Installation instructions, system requirements and download links are provided on the page displayed.  

Using Cite While You Write

Once the plugin is installed you can 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 short list of popular referencing styles, including the 'Cite Them Right-Harvard' style used by many departments in the University. It is not possible to edit or create your own styles in EndNote online.

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

Creating a stand-alone bibliography

If you are unable to install the Cite While Your Write plugin, or just need a reference list, it is possible to create one from EndNote Online.

  1. Open EndNote online
  2. Click the Format tab, then select Bibliography from the options beneath 
  3. In the first drop-down menu, select the relevant group of references (you may need to create a group in advance)
  4. Using the second menu, select your desired referencing style 
  5. Using the third menu, select a file format for the bibliography 
  6. Click the appropriate button to save, email or preview and print your bibliography.

Help using EndNote online

Our EndNote Online Classic guide covers various ways of collecting references and then using it with Word to insert citations in your work and automatically create a bibliography.

We are no longer offering EndNote Online workshops as we recommend using Desktop EndNote instead. Please use the step-by-step guide and online resources, or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for 1-1 help.

Academic Liaison TeamYour Academic Liaison Librarian can offer individual help on using EndNote online. 

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

For technical issues contact Clarivate Analytics directly:

EndNote online - FAQs

How long does my EndNote online account last?

If your account is linked to the University it will revert to a basic non-linked account 12 months after you leave the University. This means you will not have access to the same range of styles and online search options.

To keep your EndNote online account active whilst you are at the University, you must log into EndNote online from campus every 12 months.

Updated July 2023

Can I get a password reminder?

Yes - just follow the link below to the password reminder page.

Updated July 2023

Can I transfer references between EndNote online and Desktop Endnote?

Yes - by using the Sync option in Desktop EndNote. See our Desktop EndNote essentials guide for more information:

Updated July 2023

Can I add files such as PDFs to my references?

Yes, up to 2GB. Click on the paperclip icon under a reference to attach the PDF.

If your EndNote online account is synchronised with Desktop EndNote, then your storage is unlimited.

Updated July 2023

Can I share my references with other people?

Yes, you can allow other EndNote online users to view and edit the references saved in your EndNote online Groups. This will not give them access to any attached files.

To share a group: 

  1. Click the Organize tab, then select Manage My Groups from the options beneath. 
  2. In the Share column, tick the box next to the group you wish to share, then click on the Manage Sharing button.
  3. On the next screen, click Start sharing this group. 
  4. Add the email address into the box on the following screen of the person you wish to share this group with (it needs to be the email address they use to access their account). To add more people, press Enter, typing each email address on a new line. 
  5. Once all addresses have been added, choose whether or not references can be only read by those you’ve shared them with, then click Apply.

Your group will appear in the EndNote online accounts of those you’ve shared it with when next they login.

Updated July 2023

How do I transfer references from EndNote online to another referencing system?

Follow these steps, although successful transfer is dependent on the actual package you wish to move to.

  1. Open EndNote online.
  2. Click the Format tab and select the Export references link.
  3. In the first drop-down menu, select either All References in My Library or an individual group of references
  4. Using the second menu, select an export style relating to the import options of the package you are transferring to. If unsure, the RIS option is supported by most of the major bibliographic management packages.
  5. Check the help in the package you are transferring to for instructions on importing the references.

Updated July 2023

I've downloaded the Cite While You Write plugin but it isn't appearing in Word

Once Cite While You Write has been downloaded, an EndNote tab should appear next to the View tab on the Word toolbar. If it doesn't appear initially, try running the installer again.

If you're using a Mac, you may find that the EndNote tab doesn't appear. If this happens, check that you are running the latest version of Microsoft Word by opening Word, then going to Help > Check for Updates. Further instructions and help are available from the Microsoft support pages

Updated July 2023

Updated reference details are not appearing in my Word document

When you insert a reference into a Word document using the Cite While You Write EndNote toolbar its details are stored in a 'travellling library' associated with the Word document. When you update a reference in EndNote online this 'travelling library' is not automatically updated.

To update the reference:

  1. On the EndNote toolbar in Word select Convert Citations and Bibliography > Convert to Unformatted Citations
  2. Now click on Update Citations and Bibliography. EndNote online should then reconnect with Cite While You Write and the citations should be updated.

If you've changed the first author name, year or title of the record within EndNote, Cite While You Write may ask you to specify which reference you're looking for. Just search for the author, year or title to locate the reference and then click Insert. Your document should then be updated accordingly.

Updated July 2023

Can I create a bibliography on its own?

Yes, a standalone bibliography can be easily and quickly created using all or some of the references from your EndNote online account, without needing to insert and format them in a Word document individually. 

  1. Open EndNote online.
  2. Click the Format tab, then select Bibliography.
  3. In the first drop-down menu, select the relevant group of references (you may need to create a group in advance).
  4. Using the second menu, select your desired referencing style. 
  5. Using the third menu, select a file format for the bibliography. 
  6. Click the appropriate button to save, email or preview and print your bibliography.

Updated July 2023

How do I edit the citation to remove the author to leave just the year in brackets?

If you are using a (name, year) style such as Harvard and you want to include the author's name as part of the sentence - for example, 'as Chen (2021) states...' - follow these steps.

  1. Right-click the citation in the text.
  2. Select Edit Citation(s).
  3. Then select Exclude Author to remove it from the corresponding in-text citation. Manually type the author name into your sentence.

Updated July 2023

How do I include page numbers in my citation?
  1. Right-click within the citation in the text.
  2. Select Edit Citation(s) and More...
  3. In the Suffix box enter the page number, including any gaps or punctuation required to appear after the text reference, for example: to cite page 92 in a publication insert [comma] [space] p. [page number] - this will result in (… 2016, p.92). Make sure you follow the format stipulated by the style you are using.

Updated July 2023

How do I get a space between my references?

In the EndNote toolbar in Word is a "Bibliography" section. At the bottom right of this section is a small arrow. Click on it and a window will appear.

Click on the Layout tab. Change the Space after to 1.5 lines or double, as you require.

Updated July 2023

Can I customise the output styles in EndNote Online/can I make minor adjustments to references?

You cannot directly customise the output styles within EndNote Online, unlike in Desktop EndNote. However, you can make any necessary changes to the appearance of references in the actual text of your final Word document by converting your document to plain text. You should only do this once you have the final version of your text ready.

To do this:

  1. Go to the EndNote ribbon and select Convert Citations and Bibliography.
  2. Select Convert to Plain Text. This will create a duplicate file with no active links to EndNote online allowing you to make manual changes to the citations and references.

If you need to add more references to your document go back to the original file, make the changes, and then convert to plain text again.

Updated July 2023