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EndNote 20

Guide to using EndNote reference management software

Managing full text documents

Finding full text

EndNote can search for full text documents for records in your library and add them to the relevant record as an attachment. 

To search for free full text online for references in your library:

  • Highlight reference(s).
  • Go to the References menu, select Find full text and then Find full text, or click on the Find Full Text icon on the toolbar.
  • The Find full text Group in the left pane indicates whether the full text has been found. If the PDF is found it will be attached.
  • If EndNote has found the URL associated with the record, e.g. the publisher’s website, this is inserted in the URL field.

Finding full text for UCL subscribed journals

If you are working off campus and are not connected to the university network then it is possible to connect to UCL's VPN to increase the number of full text PDFs retrieved. This helps to retrieve full text PDFs from UCL's subscription e-journal content.

Follow ISD's UCL Virtual Private Network connection guide for information on how to connect. Once you are connected, follow the steps above to search for fulltext articles. 

You can set your EndNote preferences to search for the full text of items to which you have access via UCL subscriptions:

  • Go to the Edit menu, and then select Preferences.
  • Select Find Full Text.
  • Ensure the OpenURL checkbox is checked.
  • Set the OpenURL path to 
  • Set the Authenticate with URL to
  • When you execute Find Full Text on a set of records in your EndNote library, EndNote will ask you to log in with your UCL username and password and then try to connect to the publisher of the article and bring back a PDF, or a link to the full text. The mechanism for this differs from publisher to publisher, so it may not retrieve the full text even where UCL subscribes to the content.

Note: If you are accessing EndNote on the UCL network or VPN, you will not need to enter your UCL userid and password when you click on 'Authenticate' but instead will be presented with a list of databases.

Why hasn't EndNote found the full text?

Not all full text articles will be found using the Find full text function. It is not yet working for every publisher and can be inconsistent, so it may not retrieve the full text even where UCL subscribes to the content.

Some people have experienced temporary variations in the number of full text documents found. It can be worth repeating the Find full text search again for unfound articles as this can sometimes increase the number retrieved. 

If EndNote does not find the full text document then you can find other ways to retrieve the full text such as through EndNote Click or by searching Explore. You can then attach the file to the EndNote record.

If the Find Full text tool doesn't seem to be working at all, make sure that when you first open the EndNote programme, you allow internet access if any pop-up window appears, e.g. from your internet security software.

Attaching a file to a record

To attach a file, such as a PDF, to a record:

  • Double click on the reference to open the details panel and make sure the Summary section is selected.
  • Click on the Attach File button, or go to the References menu and select File attachments and then Attach File.
  • Browse to locate the file on your computer. Ensure that the box Copy this file to the default file attachment folder and create a relative link is ticked. This means that the file will be available when looking at EndNote Online.
  • Click on Open.

Where a reference has a file attached, a paperclip icon appears next to the record in the central pane.

Viewing and annotating PDF files

Where a reference has a PDF file attached, you can view and annotate it from within EndNote.

  • Select a reference that has a file attached.
  • In the right hand pane you will see a PDF tab . Click on this tab for a preview of the PDF.
  • There will be a toolbar at the top. The final icon is the Open this PDF in a separate window icon. Click on this icon to open the new window and work with the PDF.
  • Icons across the top allow you to search, mark up, navigate, zoom  and rotate the file.
  • Click on the markup/annotation  icon for further options. You may add a Sticky Note, to annotate the document, Highlight Text and Underline Text. To remove sticky notes, right click on the sticky note icon in the PDF, and select Delete annotation. Sticky Note comments are searchable using the Any Field + PDF with notes and PDF Notes options from the Field list when you search your EndNote library.
  • If you have shared your EndNote Desktop Library with colleagues, they will be able to see attachments along with annotations.

You can also open attached files in their default programme, such as Adobe Acrobat for PDFs:

  • Right click anywhere on the preview of your PDF and select Open with Adobe Acrobat Reader.