This section discusses the process of creating an EndNote library and populating it with references. (For information about the basics of working with existing EndNote libraries, see the Getting Started section.)
Creating an EndNote library is similar to creating a file or document. Think of a name for your library and where you'd like to store it.
To create an EndNote library:
- Choose New from the EndNote File menu
- Enter a name for your new library.
- Choose a location for the library using the "Save in" list.
- Click Save.
EndNote library filenames are automatically given the extension .enl (for EndNote Library). Each library has an .enl file and a .Data folder associated with it. Figures, groups, and other files are stored in the .Data folder, which is associated with each library and stored in the same folder as the main library file. It is important to always move, copy, rename, and delete both the main .enl file and the corresponding .Data folder for each EndNote library.
The filename you enter appears in the top left hand corner of the window. At the bottom left corner of the window, the words "Showing 0 out of 0 references" indicate that your new EndNote library is empty.
One Library or Several?
There is no limit to the number of EndNote libraries you can create, but it is usually best to create only one library for each general topic or field.
It may be a good idea to keep separate libraries for very different fields of investigation. For example, if you are an astronomer but your hobby is entomology, you might choose to keep references for these two research interests in separate libraries.
EndNote displays all of your references in All References, but it also allows you to create up to 500 groups of saved references. These are called Smart groups and Custom groups. A Custom group is built by specifically adding individual references to the group, whereas a Smart group is compiled automatically and is based upon a search strategy. Custom groups are a helpful way for everyone to organize their references into different categories or groups.
- To create a custom group for a category that you would like to add references to, select Groups > Create Group. Or, you can right-click under Custom Groups in the Groups pane and then choose Create Group.
- Type in a name for the group and press Enter or click anywhere in the pane to save the new group name. The reference list will show up blank, since no references have been added yet to this group.
- If you ever want to delete a group, right click on the group name and then select Delete Group. Only the group name will be deleted; the references are still included in All References.
There are three ways to add references to an EndNote library:
- adding references manually
- using EndNote's Online Search command to search remote databases
- importing references from saved database searches
Although you may initially find the manual option more appealing, building your library electronically ensures efficiency and lessens the chance of error.
Adding References Manually
In some cases, you may want or need to enter a reference manually. Since this is the most basic way to enter a reference into your EndNote library, we are discussing it first.
- From the EndNote References Menu, choose New Reference.
- In the New Reference dialog box, choose the type of reference you are creating from the Reference Type drop down menu. It is important to choose the appropriate reference type for proper formatting of your references and bibliography
- Click to select a field (author, year, title, etc.) into which you want to enter information. In the above example, the Author field is selected. Type in the information, then go on to the next field. If you don't need information for a field, you can leave the field blank.
- Close the New Reference window. The reference will now appear in your EndNote library.
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Online Search of Remote Databases
EndNote's Online Search feature allows you to search remote databases over the internet from within EndNote. However, only PubMed and ISI Citation Databases (Web of Science) are searchable through UNC's Health Sciences Library when using EndNote's Online Search feature. The flexibility and advanced searching features are also limited. For these reasons, using EndNote's Online Search feature is not preferred over the method explained in the next section, importing citations from saved database searches. However, steps to use the Online Search are explained below.
To connect to and search a remote online database:
- From EndNote's Tools menu, choose Online Search. A submenu will appear
- A dialog box appears that shows a list of connection files (databases you can search). Currently, the only databases you can remotely search are PubMed and ISI Citation Databases (Web of Science). Click once on items in the list to see brief descriptions in the "Comments" area in the lower part of the dialog box.
(Note: Clicking on may help you find the database more quickly, or you can use the Quick Search box to search by name.)
- To connect to a database, click on its name and click "Choose" (or double-click the name).
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A dialog box appears that allows you to search the database. The name of the database appears in the title bar (In the following example, PubMed).
- Enter text in one or more search fields. Then click Search to search the database.
In the above example, "Title" was chosen using the drop down menu. The "And" button was clicked and a publication date (2009) was entered. The search will retrieve references with titles containing the keyword phrase "swine flu " that were published in 2009.
Note: To indicate a range of dates, separate the years by a colon (for example, 2006:2009).
- A "Confirm Online Search" dialog box appears. Click OK to retrieve references.
References retrieved through Online Search will automatically be placed in "All References" for further review.
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Importing Citations from Saved Database Searches
EndNote also allows you to import citations you have saved from previous database searches. To import references this way, you need to have saved your citations as a text file, in a format compatible with EndNote.
Although the previous section showed you how to use EndNote's Online Search feature, that feature limits the number of searchable databases and the flexibility of your searches. By importing citations from saved database searches, you can search a wider range of databases and do more targeted searches using the advanced features of a program such as PubMed. For these reasons, this method is often preferred over the Online Search option. In additon, the import feature can be useful if you are away from your office and do not have EndNote on the computer you are using. In this situation, you can save your searches as text files and import them later.
For Mac Users: Be sure that you are using Firefox as your primary web browser when importing saved database searches into EndNote. If you do not currently use Firefox, you can download the latest version.
Note: The steps required to save searches as text files vary, depending on which database searching program you are using. Check online help for the searching program to find out how to save your citations as a text file for importing into EndNote. For help with PubMed and other frequently used databases, including ISI Web of Science, CINAHL, PsychInfo, and GoogleScholar, visit the HSL Guide at the following link: http://guides.lib.unc.edu/downloadtoendnote
To import citations saved as a text file:
- Choose File menu > Import > File.
The Import dialog box appears:
- Click the "Choose.." button. This allows you to browse and choose the file you want to import. Then you will be returned to the Import dialog box and the file name will be displayed.
- Select the Import option (filter) by clicking on the drop down menu.
If the filter for the database you are currently using is not listed, choose Other Filters.
The Choose an Import Filter dialog box will appear. Choose the filter from the list. (Note: Clicking on
may help you find the filter more quickly.)
After you choose a filter, you will be returned to the Import dialog box.
- In the Import dialog box, Choose whether you want to import duplicates of citations already in your EndNote Library, and choose a text translation if necessary.
- Click "Import" to Import the contents of the file into your EndNote Library.