Skip to Main Content

EndNote Desktop: X9 & 20: Adding References

Created by Health Science Librarians

Importing References into Endnote Online

To import a saved database reference file into Endnote Online:

  1. Open your Endnote Online account in your browser. Under the Collect option, click Import References.
  2. Click the Browse button on this screen to import the file.

  3. Next to Import Option:, select the correct format from the  dropdown menu. If you do not select the correct file format from the dropdown list, your references will not be imported. The correct file formats for common health sciences databases at UNC are as follows:
    • Embase: Embase-STN
    • PubMed: PubMed (NLM)
    • Google Scholar: RefMan (RIS)
  4. From the To: dropdown menu, select the group where you would like to place the imported references (or select [unfiled] if you don't want to put them in a group). Then click Import.

Online Search

The Online Search function will allow you to connect to and search online databases without leaving Endnote. To get to Online Search, first click Collect from the top menu, then click Online Search.

  1. To search a specific database, select it from the dropdown menu and click Connect. Two of the databases included are PubMed and the UNC library catalog,
  2. Because the list of possible databases is long, and most of them will not be relevant (many of them are the library catalogs of other schools), you may want to click the Select Favorites link and select one or two databases that you will use most frequently. Once you select favorites, your dropdown menu will be limited to the ones you have selected.To select a database, click on it and then click the Copy to Favorites button.
  3. Note that this feature does not allow you to search many of the databases to which UNC has access. It is not wise to rely on the Endnote Online interface as your only way of searching for articles.

New Reference (Manual)

To add a new reference by hand (manually), click Collect in the top menu and then click New Reference. You will be taken to a blank bibliographic record which you can fill out for your source. Note the Reference Type dropdown menu at the top of the record--selecting different reference types from this list will cause different types of fields to appear in the rest of the form. If you are not sure what type of reference you have or do not wish to specify a type, you can choose the "Generic" option from the dropdown menu. When you are finished entering information about your source, click Save either at the top or the bottom of the page.

Note: The Save button does not appear until you have typed in at least one of the fields on the form, so do not worry if you don't see it at first.


Exporting Citations from PubMed

There are two ways of importing citations into EndNote from PubMed. Both methods follow the first three steps. Method #1 tends to be faster but it does not work on some computers. If you try Method #1 and no citations appear in your EndNote library, move on to Method #2.  

Beginning Steps

1. Conduct a search in PubMed

2. Check the boxes next to articles for the citations you wish to download. If you wish to download all of the citations   If you're conducting multiple searches, save items to your Clipboard, a temporary storage space in PubMed.  You can do this by selecting Clipboard from the Send to menu. If you do this, a Clipboard icon and the number of items on it will be displayed at the upper right of the page. To view the items on your Clipboard, click on the items link next to the icon.

3. Once you are ready to export your results, click the Send to menu at the upper right corner of your results page or Clipboard. Select Citation manager.  You can download up to 10,000 citations at a time in the new PubMed. Click Create File. Your computer will download a .nbib file.

From here, move onto either Method #1 or Method #2. 


Method #1

1. Locate the .ris file in your downloads and right click. Hover over Open With and select EndNote. If you do not see EndNote on the dropdown shortlist, select Other and choose EndNote from the options provided. 

2.Your citations will automatically appear in your EndNote library.  If you do not already have EndNote open, your computer will open your EndNote library.


Method #2

If you have a Mac, please see alternate instructions here.

1. Follow steps 1-3 listed under Beginning Steps (above). 

2. In EndNote, locate the Import option and select File.

3. Select the .ris file downloaded from PubMed. Set Import Option to Reference Manager (RIS)If you do not see Reference Manager (RIS) in the dropdown, select Other Filters and search for Reference Manager (RIS) in the list. 

4. Select Import. Your citations should now load into EndNote. 

Exporting References from Embase

  1. Select the references you want to export by clicking the boxes on the left side of the screen.

  2. Click Export. A new dialog box will open.
  3. Leave the Export Format in the default, which is RIS (Mendeley, Endnote). Click Export.
  4. When you see the Ready for Download box, click Download
  5. A new dialog box will ask you to open or save the file--select the Save option.
  6. Follow the steps in the box below to import the saved reference file into your Endnote Online account.

Exporting References from EBSCO databases

  1. Select the references you want to download by clicking the folder icons on the right-hand side of the references.
  2. Click the Folder View link on the right side of the screen.

    Go to Folder View

  3. On the right side of the screen, select Direct Export to Endnote Web. Then click the Save button.

    Direct Export to EndNote Web

  4. You will be prompted to log into your Endnote Online account if you are not already logged in. Your references will then be exported into your account.

Exporting References from Google Scholar

  1. Perform your search at Google Scholar.
  2. After receiving your results, click on the triangular dropdown menu next to the bell on the upper right of the screen. Select Settings.


  3. Scroll to the bottom of the Settings page to the Bibliography Manager section.

    Bibliography manager

  4. Select the option that says "Show links to import citations into.." Then select RefMan from the dropdown menu and click the Save button.
  5. You will return to your results list. Below each result, you will see a link that says Import into RefMan. When you click on this link, a new dialog box will open, asking you to open or save the file. Select Save.


  6. Follow the steps in the box below to import the file into Endnote Online.