Skip to Main Content
University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Citation Managers for Research Organization

Adding Items

Adding Items to your EndNote Database

The three main ways (and one more) to add citations:

  • Manually - Typing in the information yourself.
    • You select the matching template and fill in the record fields.
  • Importing records from library databases or Google Scholar.
    • You use the features of the database to find references of interest and then bring the records into EndNote
  • Online Search uses an EndNote built-in feature to connect to databases and then import records.
    • Usually not the best way to bring in records from library databases, but recommended with library catalogs.

AlsoImporting PDFs with their embedded citation information. Note that the availability and the quality of the embedded metadata will vary.

Manual: When You Need to Type in the Information

Follow these steps:
  • Select References.
  • Then select, New References or use the + sign icon. endnote add button
  • Select the appropriate reference type to display field labels that correspond to the details required for this type of material.  For example, if it's a conference paper, be sure to select Conference Paper so that the fields match the information you have to fill in.
  • Fill in as many fields as you can.  You will want to fill in all the fields required for a complete citation.
    • We recommend putting author and editor names in Last name, First name format. Be sure to enter one name per line.
      • For a corporate author (such as a government office or an association), put a comma at the end of the name.  For example: OECD Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate. Regulatory Policy Committee,
      • Don't put a period (.) at the end of a title. 
    • Some fields check against previous entries.  New terms will display in red to let you know it’s the first time this term appears within the field.
  • Save to add the reference.
  • EndNote offers a Mac guide and a Windows guide, both with some visual help.  
  • Or, watch the following how-to video from (there is no sound): EndNote 20 (Windows): Create a New Reference

Importing Records from Databases

We recommend starting with the Library Databases, especially the Indexes.

  • Identify items of interest and select them for processing.  Most library databases have an option to check off items and/or to place them in a folder.
  • Follow database instructions to export or download the records to EndNote.  If EndNote is not specified, select the RIS option.

endnote ris


  • The library catalog has one-by-one processing unless you use the EndNote feature, ONLINE SEARCH.
  • For Google Scholar, log in to your Google account for better options.
  • When you have a choice as to what information to send from the database to EndNote, choose the more detailed record.
  • This varies: The citation(s) may go directly to EndNote, or you may need to save the RIS file and then use the IMPORT function in EndNote to bring the citation(s) into your library.
  • Check the citations to see that they have come in as expected.

Available how-to videos from (there is no sound):

Online Search

Online Search uses Connection Files to connect through EndNote to library catalogs and other library databases.  It is a good method to use with library catalogs but for other library databases, we recommend going directly to the databases, taking advantages of the more sophisticated interfaces, and then exporting the records to EndNote.

Endnote online search

For more Connection Files, go to to choose from among the 4,000 Connection Files offered plus instructions.

Watch the following how-to video from (there is no sound): EndNote 20 (Windows): Online Search

Importing PDFs With Their Citation Information

If you have collected PDFs and want to have them (and their bibliographic data) added to your EndNote library, you may:

  • Import the PDFs 
  • Expect (in many cases) to have the citation data come with the PDF, but don't be surprised if some older PDFs do not have embedded citation data.

To import a PDF file:

1.     Open the EndNote library into which you want to import the references.

2.     From the File menu, select Import.

EndNote pdf import

3.     Locate and select the PDF file [or folder of PDFs] you want to import from your hard drive (Image from an Apple computer - this function will look different on a PC).

EndNote pdf import

EndNote pdf save options

4.     Select an option from the Duplicates list:

Import All: Imports all references, including duplicates.

Discard Duplicates: Imports all references except duplicates.

Import into Duplicates Library: Duplicate references are imported into a library called File-Dupl.enl, where ”File" is the name of the library into which you are importing.

By default, a reference is considered a duplicate when the Author, Year, Title, and Reference Type match a reference already in the library.

6.     Click Import to import the file(s) to your library.

When the import is complete, the new record(s) is(are) stored in the Imported References group and will include bibliographic information given for the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) taken --- if available --- from the PDF file such as title, author, volume, issue, page, year, and DOI.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.