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EndNote and EndNote Web: Sharing EndNote References

Endnote:A Bibliographic Software Program; EndNote Web :Your Web-Based Research and Writing Tool

What is EndNote Web?

EndNote Web is a Web-based service designed to help students and researchers through the process of writing a research paper.

  • Undergraduate students can organize their references for citing in papers

  • Professional reseachers and graduate students can use EndNote Web as the perfect complement to EndNote and other desktop writing tools, as well as storing references between ISI Web of Knowledge search sessions

EndNote now includes your own EndNote Web account so you can collaborate with colleagues and students easily. Using EndNote and EndNote Web you can:

  • Transfer references between the Web and the desktop using the EndNote Web section in the Groups panel
  • Share EndNote Web groups—simplify collaboration
  • Cite references from both EndNote and EndNote Web in a single paper
  • Work on the desktop, the Web or both!

Sharing EndNote References

An EndNote library is not a single file. It is a set of files, many of them frequently updated as you work, and these files must be updated in a strict sequence by EndNote to avoid corruption of the library. This can cause difficulties when sharing libraries because only EndNote can properly control the sequence for updating and saving of data in the library, and outside synchronization or file management services can actually damage EndNote libraries. This module covers some of the methods to avoid, and then talks about safer methods of sharing references or complete libraries.


EndNote Libraries on “Cloud” Services
Never store an EndNote working library on any cloud service for sharing, or even just for your own use on multiple computers. This will eventually lead to library corruption because of the way the cloud services synchronize files over the Internet. Such unusable cloud services would include, but are not limited to—

  • Amazon Cloud
  • Box
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • SharePoint
  • OneDrive
  • SugarSync

Also, never store a working library on a flash drive.
The reason these methods are inadvisable is that when you are working in EndNote, it is saving data to multiple files, and the data must be saved in a set sequence, as described above. When cloud services transfer that data, they may change the sequence of file saves. This eventually leads to library corruption. The library may appear to be fine for days, weeks, or even months, but will eventually be corrupted.
EndNote Libraries on Network Servers
EndNote libraries with read-write access should not be stored on network drives. We have seen corruption problems with libraries on network drives as well as general performance issues. Ideally, the library should be kept on the owner’s computer. If you must keep a library with read-write access on a network drive, we suggest you make frequent backups of the library using the File--Compressed Library command for libraries smaller than 5G or the File--Save A Copy command for larger libraries.

Sending the .enl File for a Library When Sharing a Library
Every EndNote library is made up of two parts: the .enl file and the .data folder. It may be helpful to think of the .enl file as just the interface file for working with the contents of the .data folder, where all the real data is kept. When you open a .enl file, EndNote searches for the matching .data folder and refreshes the screen with the latest information in a sort of “snapshot.” If the .data folder is removed, EndNote will create a new one with data to match the last “snapshot” because it must have a .data folder to work. However, that new .data folder would not contain any of the attachments, group structure, or term lists from the original library; it would contain only the reference data. If you send somebody the .enl file only, they will receive only a portion of the library.


How to Share a Library

If you have not already synced your EndNote desktop and online libraries, click the Sync button to sync for the first time. (Note that you may be asked if you want to create a compressed library as a backup if it is the first time the library has been synced on that computer. We strongly suggest making a backup before the first sync. The following video will show you how to create an online EndNote account and sync your Web library with your desktop library.

This video goes over sharing an entire library, including file attachments and PDF annotations, with up to 14 other EndNote X7 users.