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EndNote 20

Guide to using EndNote reference management software

Creating a new EndNote library

  • Open EndNote Desktop software by searching or browsing for the software. You may see dialogue boxes advertising related products or updates. You may just close these. 
  • When the software opens, you will be prompted to Open an existing library, or to Create a new library. If you do not see these prompts, go to the File menu and select New.
  • Choose a name for your library and save it in a file location of your choice, such as your N drive if working on a UCL-networked computer. Please note that EndNote libraries saved on a network drive, and particularly if saved on a cloud drive (e.g. OneDrive,) may cause performance issues with EndNote or may become corrupted. You are advised to back up your library if it is saved on your N drive, and to save your library to the C drive if possible rather than use OneDrive.

You are advised to create only one EndNote library, which will contain all the references for your multiple assignments or pieces of work. If you create separate libraries for each piece of work it may cause problems when using EndNote with Word as it will not know in which library your references are stored and can result in duplicate references in your reference list.  

You can organise your library effectively for different pieces of academic work by using groups.

Saving your EndNote library

Your EndNote library is automatically saved so you can just close the library or the application. If you edit a reference you will be prompted to save it before closing.

Backing up your library

It is good practice to back up your EndNote library, particularly if you save your EndNote library on a network drive, such as your UCL N drive, as EndNote files on network drives often become corrupted. You are therefore advised to back up your library to a USB flash drive or external hard drive. Do not save your library in cloud storage such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, SugarSync, etc. as this can easily cause them to become corrupted.

Synchronising your library with EndNote Online also provides a backup, but it is still advisable to make regular back-ups of your library in case your online storage is insufficient to store associated full text files or EndNote Sync fails to work successfully. 

An EndNote library is made up of a library file (.enl) and a data folder (.dat). Your library will not work unless both are saved together in the same place with the same name. To ensure you back up correctly it is therefore advisable to use the save options available within EndNote.

  • In EndNote, go to the File menu and select Save a copy or Compress Library (.enlx). 
  • Navigate to the location where you wish to back up your files. 
  • EndNote will automatically append ‘Copy’ to the file name, but you can re-name the file if you wish. 
  • Click on Save.

Compressed libraries (.enlx) are unlikely to corrupt so can be saved to network drives, cloud storage, as well as sent by email (assuming they are not overly large).