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An introduction to EndNote for Mac and Windows and EndNote Online.

Storing Endnote libraries

Storing EndNote libraries


  • Storing EndNote libraries in cloud-syncing folders such as OneDrive, DropBox, iCloud, etc., or keeping read-write EndNote libraries on network drives or flash drives, can all corrupt EndNote libraries
  • EndNote libraries should be stored in a local folder on the hard drive of the device/computer unaffected by syncing

University of Melbourne staff migration to OneDrive

  • University of Melbourne staff working on university computers now have their home/personal drive stored on OneDrive
  • OneDrive is the Microsoft Office 365 encrypted cloud storage solution
  • EndNote libraries will need to be stored in a local folder/drive unaffected by cloud storage/syncing
  • Students logging onto university computers in the library, labs or other student spaces are not affected by this migration, but must remember to backup and copy their EndNote libraries to other local storage platforms such as a folder on their personal device, as student profiles on university machines are periodically refreshed and content may be lost

Staff solution

  • Windows
    • You can store the EndNote library in a folder under your local profile on the C Drive, except My Documents
    • Blurred region represents the individuals' username

Folder navigation

File path

  • ​​Mac
    • On a Mac, the user's Home folder is stored on the local hard drive, not synced with OneDrive and can be used
    • The OneDrive folder may appear in Finder, but this is completely separate to the Home folder
    • Blurred region represents the individuals' username

Home folder navigation

Home folder vs OneDrive folder

Essential tips for using EndNote

Essential tips for using EndNote

Use the style recommended by your supervisor/lecturer/tutor

  • Ask your Supervisor or Departmental staff which style is required for your work. Find the style within EndNote from the menu 'Edit > Output Styles > Open Style Manager'.

Only use one EndNote library per document: Best practice is to use ONE Endnote Library for everything.

  • Work with one library for each document (multi-chapter thesis, assignment, or paper). Multiple libraries are difficult to maintain. Keep all references in a main library and use the Groups function to organise  references by topics or themes.

Back up, or move, both the .enl file and .Data folder OR create a compressed library

  • If you want to move or back up your library you need to transfer both the .enl file and the .Data folder for the library (e.g. If your library is Essay101 transfer the Essay101.enl file and Essay101.Data folder).
  • You can simplify this by using 'File > Compressed Library' when the library is open in EndNote. This will create a single .enlx file which can be transferred to another computer or backed up on a USB stick or on cloud storage.
  • Give your backup files meaningful names that include, for example, a version number and a date., e.g. Thesis_Copy_v10_2015Jul23.enlx

Do not store your working EndNote library on cloud storage

  • If you store the EndNote library you are working with on cloud storage, such as Dropbox, it could become corrupted.
  • Only store you backup, compressed libraries in cloud storage. 

Turn off the Instant Formatting function in Word when working with a large document

  • If you use instant formatting on a large document, it can become very slow. 

Convert to unformatted citations before you cut and paste text, or merge documents

  • Convert to unformatted citations before you cut and paste text to avoid corrupting your document.
  • Citations in multi-chapter documents & master documents should be unformatted before merging to enable a single reference list to be compiled. [Caution: only unformat if your references have come from a single library].

Use the Edit Citation command make changes to citations

  • Use the edit citation command to make any changes to your citations, for example to add page numbers or exclude an author name.
  • Note you must format your citations first.

Customise the display fields:

  • Set your preferences to display reference fields that are useful for your purposes.
  • Use the menu 'Edit>Preferences> Display Field' to make this change.

EndNote tips

EndNote tips

  1. EndNote does not replace style manuals. It will make it easier to use a style, but you will still need the manual.
  2. Garbage in, garbage out. Check your import results, especially when working with sources such as Google Scholar that may have inconsistent data.
  3. If you are using footnote styles, your word processor controls the numbering and placement of the footnote and EndNote controls the formatting. So you will first need to insert the footnote using your word processor, then insert the EndNote citation into that footnote.
  4. You can set up a folder, save your PDFs in it, and set your "PDF Handling Preferences" to automatically import PDFs into your library.
  5. For collaboration, use the EndNote Online feature set in EndNote to store references online where your entire project team can access them.