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EndNote Desktop: Build a Reference Library

Features and functions of EndNote Desktop citation management software for managing and organizing references, and creating citations in Word.

Adding References


There are several methods for adding reference information (e.g., authors, title, publisher) to your reference library in EndNote Desktop:

  • Start your search in a library article database (e.g., Web of Science, Academic Search Premier, ProQuest Central) and export selected citations to EndNote (Recommended)
  • Search Google Scholar and import selected citations to EndNote
  • Search a library catalog or article database from within EndNote Desktop and add references that match search criteria
  • Add citations manually by typing information into the reference editor
  • Upload from your computer file manager a PDF article (or folder of PDF files) that has a doi (Digital Object Identifier) number within the first two pages

These methods are described in more detail below. Additional help is available from the EndNote training website:

Always double-check the accuracy of your references and citations.  Edit those that imported with errors.

Library Databases - Direct Export To EndNote Desktop

For many library databases, such as Web of Science or Academic Search Premier (EBSCO), selected (i.e., check-marked) references from search results can be directly exported from the database to EndNote. This document file provides specific instructions for direct export from some popular library article databases.

Google Scholar - Import to EndNote Desktop

Google Scholar Setup

Upload PDF Files to Create References in EndNote Desktop

Manual Entry & Editing in EndNote Desktop

Look for Common Error Types:

Missing Authors and/or Titles

Author names in Title fields

Formatting: italics, bold, sub/superscripts


Names of journals

Reference Type (resulting in missing & incorrect fields)

Abbreviations, truncations

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EndNote Desktop Training

The EndNote Training website provides training materials on EndNote Desktop, including training videos, getting started guides, quick reference and user guides, and a training calendar.