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Guide to using EndNote reference management software

Exporting from online resources

Essential information:

Additional instructions for selected online resources:

Exporting from online resources: instructions

Exporting references directly from online resources is generally the recommended way to get references into your library. Exporting creates a file which can then be opened in EndNote. In some cases you need to save the file before you can open it; in other cases you will be prompted to open the file. Whether the file will open automatically in EndNote or not depends on your browser configuration. 

If you are experiencing problems with saving the reference in EndNote, you can also import the file saved on your computer by doing the following:

  • From the File menu, select the option to Import and then select File.
  • In the pop-up window, select the Choose button and find the file.
  • Use the Import Option drop-down menu to select the correct import option. e.g. Reference Manager (RIS) for a RIS file or choose the correct filter (e.g. PubMed) from the Other Filters option.
  • Use the Import button to import the citations into EndNote.

If you need to open a saved file, navigate to the folder location, right-click on the file and choose open with. Select EndNote.

Note: If you are using a Mac, the EndNote/RIS files will save to your Downloads folder. Drag the file from Downloads to the EndNote icon on your Mac’s dock. If your EndNote Library is already open, the references will be imported. If your EndNote Library is not already open, you will be given the option to select it.

Default application

If you are using Desktop@UCL you may find that the default application set to open particular file types will cause files to open in other reference management packages, e.g. Zotero. There are a number of alternative ways to resolve this:

  • Change the default application in Windows. Search Windows for Default App Settings, click on Choose default applications by file type, change the default application for the appropriate file type, e.g. change the default application for .ris, to EndNote.
  • From Windows Explorer, locate the folder where the file has been downloaded. Right click and select open with… Then choose EndNote from the list. 
  • Use the Firefox web browser, which allows you to choose the application to open the file.

Imported References Group

Whenever you import references, a temporary group appears in your EndNote Library to show what you have just imported. This will disappear if you close the Library or import some new references. All of your imported references are added to the All References folder where they are stored permanently.

Cochrane Library

Exporting Multiple Citations

You can export multiple search results for the following Cochrane Library categories: Cochrane Reviews, Cochrane Protocols, Trials, and Clinical Answers. You will need to export references from one category at a time.

Please note: you will only be able to export references if you opt to Accept All data and cookie settings when you first access the Cochrane Library. (If you have selected 'Reject All', you can open a browser window in 'incognito mode' to re-access the Cochrane Library and select 'Accept All'.)

  • Use the checkboxes to select the references you would like to export or Select all.
  • Select Export Selected Citation(s) above the list of search results.
  • Select RIS (EndNote).
  • If abstracts are desired, select the Include abstract checkbox.
  • Select Download and save your file.

The maximum number of article citations that can be exported from a single search is 20,000. If your search has more results, limit your results by date to reduce the size of your search to sets containing less than 20,000 citations.

Exporting a single citation from a single record

A citation for the majority of records in the Cochrane Library can be exported by using the options in the right hand menu.

Select the record title to view the full record.

  • For Cochrane Reviews, Cochrane Protocols, Editorials, and Clinical Answers, use the Cite this... links.
  • For Trials use Export this CENTRAL record.

Then follow the instructions above for exporting multiple records (from the third step: Select RIS (EndNote)).

EBSCO databases

  • To export multiple results, add the results to your folder by clicking on the blue folder icon.
  • From a single result or from the Folder view (for multiple records) click Export.
  • Ensure Direct Export in RIS Format is selected and click Save.

EBSCO databases include CINAHL Plus and Business Source Complete.

Exporting large numbers of references from EBSCOhost databases

In EBSCOhost databases you can send only a page of references to your folder at one time, with a maximum of 50 references. Follow these steps if you are working with large numbers of references:

  • Click on Share above the results.
  • Click on the link E-mail a link to download exported results (up to 25000),  under the heading Export results.
  • Enter your e-mail address in the E-mail to box, fill in the Subject line and select RIS Format from the menu on the right.
  • Click on Send and a zipped file is sent to your e-mail.
  • The zipped file needs to be saved to your computer and unzipped (e.g. using 7-Zip).
  • Right click on the unzipped file, select Open with and choose EndNote. (If EndNote is not an option, click on More Apps on a Windows computer, or click on Other on a Mac and then select EndNote from the list of apps).
  • The references should be imported into your EndNote Library.

Explore, UCL's library catalogue

Explore, UCL's library catalogue, is a one-stop service solution for the discovery and delivery of our print and e-resources.

For an individual search result:

  • From the search results screen click on the citation button, which is a quotation mark symbol, or go to the full details screen by clicking on the title.
  • Click on RIS (ENDNOTE / ZOTERO).
  • From the Encoding menu, select UTF-8 and click on Download.
  • Sending the reference to EndNote Desktop creates a RIS file. Save the file if necessary, then open it. If prompted to select the application, select EndNote by selecting Other from the Open with drop-down menu.

To import multiple references:

  • Click on the pin icon to the right of all the references you want to send to EndNote.
  • Click on your name (if signed in) or Guest in the top right corner of the screen and then click on Saved Items.
  • Select all the items again by checking the box at the top of the results list.
  • Click on the Push to actions button (the icon displaying 3 dots at the top of the screen).
  • Click on RIS (ENDNOTE / ZOTERO).
  • From the Encoding menu, select UTF-8 and click on Download
  • Sending the references to EndNote Desktop creates a RIS file. Save the file if necessary, then open it. If prompted to select the application, select EndNote by selecting Other from the Open with drop-down menu.

Be sure to check your references carefully as sometimes data can be missing or misplaced.

Google Scholar

Before carrying out a search:

  • Click on the menu icon, with three horizontal lines at the top left of the screen.
  • Click on Settings.
  • Under Bibliography Manager, select Show links to import citations into EndNote.
  • Click on Save.

From your search results you can now click on the Import into EndNote link beneath any result.

To export multiple records, you need a Google account:

  • Click the Star icon under each record you wish to export.
  • Log into your Google account, then go to My Library.
  • Select the relevant results, or check the box for all results, click on the Export icon and select EndNote.

Check the imported reference carefully, as sometimes data can be missing or misplaced.

Ovid databases

  • Mark the references you wish to save.
  • At the top of the screen, click on Export.
  • Select EndNote from the ‘Export to’ drop-down menu.
  • Choose which fields you want to export then click on Export (we recommend Complete reference), and save or open the file.
  • Some Ovid databases may prompt you to choose an import filter. You can search for import filters in the quick search box. e.g. search for PsycINFO and make sure you select the OvidSP version. You can also download additional filters from the EndNote Import filters database

Ovid databases are listed below.


  • Mark the relevant records.
  • From the Send to menu, select Citation Manager and click Create file.
  • Open the file using the EndNote programme, saving it first if necessary.

ProQuest databases

  • Mark the relevant records.
  • Click on Selected items or the folder icon at the top of the screen.
  • Click on the icon with three dots, All save options.
  • Select RIS (EndNote, Citavi, etc).
  • At the bottom of the Export/save window, click on Continue.
  • If prompted, choose to open the file. Select EndNote if prompted.

ProQuest databases include Arts Premium Collection, Humanities Index, Library & Information Science Collection, ProQuest Central, ProQuest News and Newspapers, Social Science Premium Collection and many more.


  • From your reading list, click on the three dots next to the item you wish to export.
  • Select Download RIS.
  • Open the downloaded file with EndNote.
  • Check data has been imported into the correct fields.

Or to export the entire list:

  • Go to the View & export menu at the top and select RIS.
  • Open the downloaded file with EndNote.
  • Check data has been imported into the correct fields.

You can also collect items by bookmarking them and export them together in one group from My Bookmarks:

  • Click on the three dots next to the item you wish to bookmark and select Add to My Bookmarks.
  • Go to My Bookmarks (the link is in the menu at the top of the reading list).
  • From here you can choose the bookmarks you wish to export, select Action (top right) and then Export citations.This will generate a RIS file.
  • Open the downloaded file with EndNote.
  • Check data has been imported into the correct fields.


  • Mark the references you wish to export and click on Export.
  • Select RIS format as the export format.
  • Choose which fields to output then click on Export.

Exporting large numbers of references from Scopus

Scopus allows you to export up to 2000 in one go. If you need to export more than 2000 references you should do so in batches. The easiest way to do this is to limit your search to ranges of publication year in turn to create sets of references of up to 2000.

Web of Science

  • Check the boxes next to the articles you want to export.
  • Click on Export and select to EndNote Desktop.
  • Choose how much of the record content you wish to export and click on Export.

References may also be added to the marked list and then exported. This will give you further options regarding which fields to export