Getting started with EndNote desktop

  • EndNote desktop is a software package installed on all university networked PCs and also available to buy for home use.

    For more help read our guide to EndNote desktop - PDF

    Brookes staff and students can use either EndNote desktop or EndNote Web. To see which version best meets your needs, go to the Thomson Reuters web site to view an in-depth comparison of the two.
    You can use both versions of EndNote. EndNote allows you to synchronize the references (including file and figure attachments) in your EndNote desktop library with the references in your EndNote online library. You must have an active EndNote online account to initiate the Sync process.

    If you're thinking of buying the software, you can check compatibility and system requirements for Mac and Windows machines on the Thomson Reuters web site.

  • On University networked PCs
    EndNote desktop has been installed on the University network.

    For staff and researchers on Brookes computers
    The library's EndNote licence allows for installation of the software on any University owned equipment, so staff and researchers can have it added to their office PCs.

    If you want EndNote installed on your office computer, put in a request via the online IT Service Desk:

    1. Go to the IT Service Desk and sign in with your Brookes ID and password in the login box
    2. Once logged in, click on the blue box on the left "Browse our service catalogue and make a request"
    3. At the next screen, click on the "IT Services Requests" link on the right.
    4. Click on "Software ordering" from the bottom of the list on the right
    5. You should then see a list of options. Choose the top one 'IT Services Software Request
    6. You'll get an online form to fill in which allows you to request EndNote (X8 is the latest version).

    System requirements for different versions of EndNote are available from the Thomson Reuters support pages for EndNote.

    EndNote X9 is the latest version available at Brookes. EndNote X9.2 is the latest version to be released and is available to buy for home use. If you want to upgrade at home from an earlier version you will need to purchase the latest version of EndNote via Bilaney Consultants at A discounted rate is available to students.

    If you are using an earlier version of EndNote and do not want to upgrade, you can download updated patches, connection files, filters and styles from the EndNote Support web site.

    Compatibility of EndNote versions

    • Recent versions of EndNote can easily open and use libraries created with earlier EndNote versions back as far as EndNote 8. No conversion is necessary. They can also can automatically convert libraries created with earlier versions of EndNote (versions X5  to X8) - see the Help pages on EndNote for instructions
    • Versions from EndNote X onwards are fully compatible so you can share your libraries between these versions and collaborate with other researchers if they use these versions.

    If you decide to upgrade...

    • Keep back up copies of your EndNote libraries and any connection files, filters and styles which you have edited or copied from elsewhere.
    • It is probably advisable to unformat any documents which you plan to work on after upgrading. Do this by opening the document in Word, and click on Unformat Citations in the EndNote menu.
    • It is recommended that you uninstall the earlier version of EndNote before installing a new one.
    • If you have upgraded from an earlier version, EndNote will offer to create converted versions of any libraries. The original library will remain as before and you can keep that in case you want to revert to using an earlier version of EndNote. The references in the converted libraries will have the same record numbers as before.

    When you first go into EndNote you will see a choice of options. Select Create a New Library (click on the folder icon to the left of the text). Name and save your library. We would recommend that you have just one EndNote desktop Library, certainly for each major research interest or for your dissertation. Some people like to maintain two libraries; one for references recently downloaded (a 'temporary' library) and the other for references they have read and would like to use in their work (a 'permanent' library). You can copy and paste references from your temporary library to your permanent library as necessary.

    Merging EndNote libraries If you are currently using several EndNote libraries and wish to merge them into one:

    • In EndNote, open the library you wish to make your single library.
    • Click on File and Import.
    • In the Import dialog box, use the 'Choose File' button to browse for the other library you wish to merge with the open library.
    • Choose 'EndNote Library' as the Import Option and pick the appropriate Duplicates option.
    • Click on Import.
    • Repeat the process for any other libraries you wish to merge with the open library.

    Note that each reference you add to an EndNote library will be assigned a unique record number. If you merge 2 or more EndNote libraries as described above, the references from the imported libraries will be assigned new record numbers in the order they are added, so a reference that was #15 in one library could become #225 in the merged library.

    If you try to combine several Word documents and EndNote libraries, the codes in the Word document will be pointing at the old EndNote reference number (e.g. #15) not the new reference number (e.g. #225), so all the in-text citations and consequently the bibliography will be inaccurate. If you have started doing this the situation is retrievable but will take time to sort out, depending on the size of the manuscript.

    • Firstly, if you have been formatting references as you go, you will need to unformat all the citations.
    • Next format the bibliography. EndNote will go through the entire document stopping at each in-text citation and asking you to re-select the correct reference.
    • When this process is completed you can format the bibliography again.

    The Sync feature allows you to synchronize the references (including file and figure attachments) in your EndNote desktop library with the references in your EndNote online library. You must have an active EndNote online account to initiate the Sync process. This online account is also known as EndNote Web or EndNote Basic. You can set up an online account for free as a member of Oxford Brookes University. Consult our EndNote webpages (and the section on EndNote Web) for further details.

    Using the Sync feature

    • Click the Sync button in the toolbar (blue circle with 2 arrows) to go to the EndNote login. Enter your EndNote e-mail address and password. Click OK.
    • The Sync process should automatically begin synchronizing your desktop references with your EndNote online references so that an exact match exists in both libraries.

    Note: The library that you want to sync must be open and currently active to perform the Sync process. You cannot initiate the Sync process in Online Mode.