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Referencing & Plagiarism: EndNote


EndNote offers the same functionality as other reference management packages; with it you can:

  • Create a personal database of your references, along with associated files such as fulltext PDFs;
  • Insert references and in-text citations into a Word document and format them automatically in your chosen citation style;
  • De-duplicate references retrieved from multiple sources;
  • Share references with other students and staff.

EndNote comes in two forms; the desktop version which needs to be downloaded and EndNote Web, also called EndNote Online, which is as the name says cloud-based, and offers more limited functionality compared with the full desktop version. University of Suffolk currently provides EndNoteX9; an upgrade to the most recent version, EndNote 21 is planned for summer 2023. 

The desktop version of EndNote X9 is installed on all campus machines. If you are working on your own device, the desktop version, and the licence key you need to validate the installation, can be downloaded here. Note you will need your student or staff log-in details to proceed.

Brief overview

Clarivate, the company which currently owns EndNote, provides a wealth of support material including webinars, video tutorials, learning paths and downloadable guides. These can be found below. What follows is a very brief overview of basic features: Endnote displays in three panes; the central pane shows your collection of references; the right-hand pane has three tabs showing, left to right, the reference metadata, a view of what the reference will look like in a bibliography, and any attached PDF.

When you first open the EndNote software you have to create a new EndNote Library. This is the default location where data will be saved, and until you have done this EndNote will not know where to save any newly generated references. It is recommended that you have just one EndNote library, as multiple libraries may confuse the software.

It is also recommended that you regularly back up your collection to an external drive such as a USB drive or cloud storage. You can do this under the File button, using the option Compressed Library (.enlx). You should update back-ups on a regular (ideally scheduled) basis.

There are a variety of different ways of adding a reference to your collection; among them are:

  • Adding a reference from an online source (e.g. database, article, catalogue record), either through a direct export to EndNote or using and .RIS package. Options vary depending on provider;
  • Using a browser extension - the ‘capture’ tool - which can be downloaded from EndNote Web. Note Endnote Web needs to be running for this to function;
  • Adding a reference manually;
  • Importing pdfs. This will automatically generate associated record (or records if you are importing multiple PDFs)

The most straightforward way to insert references and citations into a document is using the Word add-in Cite While You Write (CCWYW) which is automatically added to Word when you install EndNote. This dynamically updates with any changes made to inserted references, and automatically adds a full reference list of all items cited. 

To share your EndNote X9 library with up to 100 other EndNote users, click on Share under the file menu, log in with the email address and password you used to set up EndNote Web. If you have not set up EndNote Web then you can sign up at this point. Then you invite others to share by inputting their email addresses. Note that in order to accept a sharing invitation the other person also needs to be a registered EndNote Web user. You can also set access privileges. Note that while multiple accounts can be shared with any one user, each user can only be the owner of one shared account, as the sharing option validates by one unique email address. 

  • Clarivate’s very extensive guides for EndNote can be found here.
  • A quick PDF guide is here.
  • “EndNote in 6 minutes” is here.