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EndNote: Citation Management

How to install and get started using the various EndNote versions

Can I use the EndNote Plugin for Word 365?

Our institution blocks ad-ins for Office 365. However, if you're using a personal office 365 account it should work.  Alternatively, if you have access to the desktop version of Word you can download the Cite While You Write add-in. Go here to find out more about CWYW

Does EndNote go away when I graduate/leave SDSU?

Yes. Your access to EndNote 20 will end when you are no longer affiliated with the university. HOWEVER, this does not mean you will automatically lose your citations.

EndNote desktop allows you to save your library of references separate from the program itself, so you can save your references on your computer, in Google Drive, on a flash drive, etc. and keep it until you can get a new version of EndNote. You can also export your library and import it into a different citation management program before you leave.

You also maintain access to your EndNote online account for up to 2 years (and can maintain it longer if you log in within 2 years from the SDSU IP address), or until SDSU no longer subscribes to Web of Science.

Can I install EndNote on multiple personal computers?

Due to our license agreement, this is probably not possible. It is best to contact ITUS for clarification. 

It is possible to access your library from any computer as long as you have your EndNote Online account and an active connection to the internet. You can install the Cite-While-You-Write plugin and reference capture bookmarklet to any computer and browser from your online EndNote account. This makes it easy to collect citations and write and format papers even if you are not at your computer with the desktop version installed.

Can I search library databases from within EndNote?

Yes, it is possible to search databases from within EndNote Desktop. However, it is almost impossible to do this well. It is highly recommended that if you are doing a topic search, you go directly to the database through the library and take full advantage of the features of the database to narrow down to your preferred citations. You can then transfer these citations into EndNote through various methods.

In order to search databases from within EndNote, you must download and install "Connection Files." 

Known item or highly specific searches are more suitable for running from within EndNote.

How do I add Connection Files to search databases in EndNote?

Downloading and Installing Individual Connection Files

  • Search and download the selected connection file from the table on this website.

  • Double-click the connection file to open in EndNote.

  • In EndNote, click “File Menu” and choose “Save as”.  Remove the word “copy” and click “Save”.

  • Click on “File Menu” and choose “Close Connection”.

  • Installing All Connection Files or Connection Files by Category

Installing All Connection Files or Connection Files by Category

Mac OS:

  • In EndNote, go to “Menu” and choose “Customizer”.

  • Place a check next to all of the “Connections” you’d like.

  • Click “Next” twice and “Done” to close the window.


  • Go to “Control Panel” and choose “Add or Remove Programs” in Windows XP or “Programs and Features” in Windows Vista/7.  Select EndNote and choose “Change”.  Select the “Modify Option” and choose “Next”.

  • Place a check next to “Additional Connections” and choose “Will be installed on local hard drive.”  Click the plus sign to select only specific connections.  Click “Next”.


WARNINGDue to the type of connection SDSU has to library databases, you MUST BE ON CAMPUS to search the library databases from within EndNote

Individual Connection File installation requires you to know the name of the specific database(s) you wish to install (e.g. Sustainability Science Abstracts, Web of Science, Business Source Premier)

How do I search databases from within EndNote?

First, it is recommended that you are in Online Search Mode within EndNote. Click on the globe/world icon at the top of your Endnote Library to enter this mode.

Known Item Searching

This is when you are searching for a single, specific citation. Typically, this is when you have a physical copy of a book or paper, or a brief list of citations in a word document, in front of you and want to put the citation information in your EndNote library. To do this:

1. Change the search fields at the top of the screen to input the information you know. Title, Author, Journal, etc.

2. Choose the database you wish to search.

3. Run the search and import the returned reference(s).

4. Choose the reference you want to add to your library by clicking it and highlighting. Then, from the References menu, choose "send to my library."

Highly Specific Searches

The best example of this type of search would be if you want to find all works by a specific author within a specific time or while they were at a particular lab, university, etc. The steps are the same as above, but be sure to include highly specific details like address or publication date, as author names alone are not specific enough to narrow down your results to a manageable number.

If you do a topic search, or a basic author search, you will end up having hundreds of citations on your screen that you will have to click on, read the abstract in the panel viewer, and decide to import into your personal library one by one. There is no way to narrow down the results once they are in your Online Search Mode's reference list. It is more advisable to run topic searches by going to the library and finding the database you wish to run a search in and use their features for narrowing results.

How does the Find Full Text search work?


To set up Find Full Text to it's maximum usefulness you should:

1. Go to the Edit menu and then Preferences.

2. Select Find Full Text in the menu pane.

3. Select Web of Science, DOI and PubMed Linkout from the list.

4. In the "Authenticate with" box, enter:

5. Check "Automatically invoke Find Full Text on newly imported references" if you want EndNote to automatically try to find and attach a pdf for every newly imported reference*

6. Save and close.


*If you have references without attachments, you can click the Find Full Text icon (magnifying glass with pdf symbol) in Integrated Library mode (folder with world icon) to try and search for and attach pdfs. Common reasons not all pdfs for your references can be found and attached are discussed below.

Why doesn't Find Full Text work on all of my references?

There are many reasons the full text feature may not be able to find and attach a pdf to every reference in your library. Some of these reasons include:

  • An article is too old to have a PDF available
  • An article is too new and the PDF link is not yet available
  • SDSU does not have access to the most current articles in a journal so EndNote cannot get to it
  • SDSU does not have a subscription to the journal and there is no free access
  • Too many users are already in a journal with limited access  
  • The publisher’s website does not support or allow this capability  
  • An article is buried in a large full-text database that does not allow individual articles to be found
  • The journal handles letters, editorials, correspondence and other publication types differently, making it difficult to find a citation

What are term lists in EndNote?

EndNote stores your journal titles into a journal term list as they are entered into a reference in your library.