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This guide covers everything you need to know about getting started with EndNote.

Adding References

There are a few different ways to add references to your EndNote Library:

  • Direct imports: You can download citations directly from a database, Google Scholar, or from Library Search. This is great for collecting scholarly resources such as e-books and journal articles. All the bibliographic information is imported directly into your EndNote Library.
  • Manual entries: You can create a manual reference by typing the bibliographic details directly into your EndNote Library. You will need to do this for non-scholarly materials such as websites and grey literature, or for physical resources like hard copy books.
  • PDF imports: You can directly import PDFs into your EndNote library. EndNote will attempt to create a reference based on the metadata, however, this does not always work (in this case, you can manually edit the reference). 

See the video below for a demonstration of how to create references, or scroll down for step by step instructions.

Adding References

Most citation records for journal articles and other scholarly resources will be available for download from an online source. For websites and some print sources, such as books, government documents, and other literature, you may still need to create a manual reference. 

To manually create a new reference:

  1. Select New Reference from the References menu.
  2. Select the Reference Type from the drop-down list (Tip: New references will default to Journal Article - if you don't select the correct source type your reference list will appear incorrectly).
  3. Enter publication details in the appropriate fields.
  4. Close the reference by clicking on the Save button. 

Entering author information

To enter multiple authors, place each author's name on a new line by pressing Enter after each addition.

  • If an author is entered without a comma between names, EndNote 20 will interpret the last word to be the surname. For example, if you enter  "John Smith" EndNote will display it as Smith, J. in your reference list. But "Smith John" will appear as John, S. in your reference list.
  • When a comma is used to separate names, EndNote 20 will interpret everything prior to the comma to be a surname. For example, "Smith, John" will appear as Smith, J. in your reference list.


Tip: Some references may have a company, government department, or group as an author, such as the World Health Organization

EndNote will treat it as a name: Organization, W. H. 

Avoid this by adding a comma at the end of corporate authors: World Health Organization, 

When creating manual references:

  • You do not have to enter information into every field. Include who, when, what, and where.
  • The Research Notes field will always be left empty by EndNote. You can use this field to make your own notes or include keywords. 

Google Scholar

To import citation records directly from Google Scholar:

  1. Click the quotation mark " beneath the record you wish to import.
  2. Select the option to import into EndNote.
  3. If prompted by a Save As scholar.enw dialog, select OK, then open the saved file from its location. Other browsers may display an Open with option. If prompted, select EndNote and then OK.
  4. If asked, select your EndNote library and select Open.

Note - Only one reference can be exported at a time from Google Scholar, unlike the Library's other databases, some of which enable multiple references to be exported at a time.

Tip - If the file does not open in EndNote, this means the file association has not been set up correctly. To fix this, see Troubleshooting & FAQs



SuperSearch is the ANU library's search interface, which searches materials in the ANU Library's collection. You can access thousands of journals, newspapers, magazines, books, book chapters, reviews, dissertations, and electronic resources. 

You can import references directly from SuperSearch into EndNote. 

Tip: Use the SuperSearch help options on the ANU Library website for support. 

To import a single reference from SuperSearch: 

  1. Click on the ellipsis (...) menu at the top right of the record.
  2. Select the "Export RIS" option (Note: Clicking the "EndNote" option will take you to EndNote Online, rather than the desktop application) 
  3. From the dropdown that says "Encoding", select UTF-8
  4. Click Download.
  5. Open the downloaded file from your download folder. This will open the file in EndNote, saving the reference to your library.

To download multiple references at a time: 

  1. Click the checkbox beside the references you wish to download.
  2. Scroll to the top of the page and click on the ellipses menu next to the pin icon (Not the one next to a specific reference)
  3. Follow steps 2-5 above.


Scholarly Databases

You can download EndNote citations from most scholarly databases, though they will all differ in how exactly you download the citation. In most databases, you will select the references you want to download by ticking the boxes or radio buttons beside them. Then, look for an option that says download, export, or save.

The most important thing is to always select the option that says Export RIS.

As long as you have selected the RIS option you should get a file that will open in EndNote.

EndNote can extract bibliographic information from PDF documents and use this information to create a citation record in your library.

To do this:

  1. Open the EndNote library that you wish to use.
  2. From the File menu, select Import and then File (if there is a single PDF you wish to import) or folder (if there are multiple PDFs). 
    • On a Mac, you don't need to specify whether you are importing a File or a Folder. Just click "Import" and select the folder or file you wish to import.
  3. Select Choose and locate the PDF file or the folder of PDFs that you wish to import.
  4. From the Import Option drop-down of the Import File dialog box, select PDF.
  5. Select Import.

The reference associated with the imported PDF file should now be displayed in EndNote, with the imported PDF file attached to it. If there is no bibliographic data embedded in the PDF, a reference (with the PDF attached) will be created using the name of the PDF file in the title field. You will need to manually populate the fields of data to complete the reference.

Tip: Your EndNote library can be set to automatically import new PDFs saved to a particular folder on your network or the cloud. Set the PDF Auto Import Folder from Edit > Preferences > PDF Handling.

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