EndNote X5

Welcome! This tutorial presents an overview of important concepts and techniques for using EndNote, a bibliographic software program.

EndNote is a leading bibliographic software program on the market today. It can be used to search for literature, develop a personal library of references, and create and format citations for papers and publications.

This tutorial describes EndNote version X5. Most of the features work the same way as in other EndNote versions, so you do not necessarily have to be using version X5 for this tutorial to be useful.

EndNote is available for both Windows and Macintosh computers, and works essentially the same way on both platforms. Examples (screen shots and video clips)were created on a Windows computer.

This tutorial assumes that you have EndNote installed on your computer, and that you have some familiarity with either the Windows or Macintosh operating system. It does not assume that you have any experience with EndNote.


By the time you complete this tutorial, you should be able to:

  • Find your way around the EndNote program and learn where to find answers to questions about EndNote
  • Create EndNote libraries and enter references in them
  • Search for and add references by connecting to remote databases through the Internet
  • Import references from downloaded files into EndNote
  • Use EndNote with Microsoft Word to create and format citations

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How to Use this Tutorial

Navigation and Printing

To move from one section to another, click on a section name in the navigation bar that appears on the left side of every page of this tutorial.  Each section includes links to the topics included in that section.

You may find it helpful to print this tutorial. We suggest that you print pages in landscape orientation, so that lines of text are not truncated. To switch to landscape orientation for printing in Mozilla, choose File menu > Print, and in the Print dialog box click on Properties. In the Properties dialog box, for Orientation choose Landscape.

Video Clips

This tutorial includes short video clips that illustrate how to do a procedure. To view a video clip, click
Watch the Video
where it appears under the screen shot. The video will appear in a new browser window. You can drag the window around your screen if you wish.

You can play, pause and stop the video using the controls at the bottom of the video window.

video controls

To return to the tutorial page, close the browser window in which the video appeared.

The video clips are optional. You do not have to view the video clips in order to successfully complete this tutorial.

Note: The video clips are in Flash (.swf) format, which requires the widely-distributed free Flash Player. Most browsers are shipped with the Flash player preinstalled. The Flash Player can be downloaded from http://www.adobe.com/downloads.html.

Links to Websites

This tutorial includes links to external Web sites, which will open in new browser windows. To return to this tutorial, close the window of the external Web site. The window containing this tutorial should still be on your screen.

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About Endnote

Why EndNote?

EndNote is a leading bibliographic software product on the market. But will it be valuable for me?  Is it worth the time required to learn how to use it?  Perhaps a good way to evaluate these questions for yourself is to consider a few examples of how people can use EndNote.

Using EndNote to import citations from saved literature searches

Joan is a medical researcher who works for a state hospital. Her responsibilities include tracking the latest findings in medical literature and consulting with physicians. Joan searches PubMed and other databases for the latest information on the topics she is tracking and then saves her citations. She easily downloads references into her EndNote library, with hyperlinks that allow her to go directly from a reference to its location on the Web. Joan has designed her library so that she can easily sort her reference list by special criteria unique to her needs.

Developing a personal library of references

Donna is doing an historical research project about communities surrounding textile mills. Her resources include books, newspaper articles, photographs, correspondence, personal interviews, and government documents. She uses EndNote as a tool for cataloging and tracking the diverse information she collects. As she adds references to her EndNote library, she adds notes for each entry. This helps her remember what she wanted to use from each source when she writes her book.

Creating and formatting citations for papers and publications

Bill is a Public Health graduate student writing his PhD dissertation.  He uses EndNote to keep track of his ever-expanding group of source materials. As he writes, he inserts citations into his paper. They are automatically formatted according to the format style required by his university. He will also use EndNote to generate a properly formatted bibliography. Bill is writing some shorter papers that he wants to submit to several different journals. He uses the same EndNote library for these papers, and he will use Endnote to reformat the citations into whatever styles are required by the publishers.

These are a few examples of ways you can use EndNote. Endnote is flexible, so you can customize it to suit your needs. You may find that as you continue to add references to your library, EndNote becomes more and more essential to your work.

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Learning EndNote

The purpose of this tutorial is to help you learn enough about Endnote so that you are comfortable using it. But there are some additional learning resources that you should know about.

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Credits and Feedback

This tutorial was created by Health Sciences Library Education Services staff. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please send feedback to Lara Handler at lhandler@email.unc.edu. We look forward to hearing from you.


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Last modified: 04/05/17
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