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EndNote & EndNote Online

Help using Endnote: A Bibliographic Software Program and EndNote Online: Your Web-Based Research and Writing Tool

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.

Library Sharing: This overview video outlines the library sharing process from EndNote X9.

Group sharing: This overview video outlines the group sharing process from EndNote X9 and EndNote online.

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!

Compressed Library


You also send a compressed library through e-mail, burn it to disk, or put it on a flash drive or on a shared cloud service. This method allows you to control exactly which groups of references are included, and whether or not attachments are included.
The disadvantage of this method is that users are not working with the same copy of the library. Each person would have their own copy of the library and changes to references could be made in each copy differently.

With the EndNote library you want to compress open in EndNote, select Compressed Library from the File menu. You should then see the screen below, which you saw earlier in this chapter, but because you are not making a complete backup copy this time you can limit the references to only those you want to send.

send compressed library screenshot

Select the Create option to create a compressed library you can save on your computer and then attach to an email. The Create & E-mail option will work with most MAPI-compliant email programs, but may not work with all email programs. It will not work with web email programs such as Gmail.

  • Select the With File Attachments option to include all attachments for the references you are sending, not just the PDFs. Select Without File Attachments to make the file smaller and to remove PDFs and other attachments.
  • The bottom part of the window gives you options on which references will be included in the compressed file.
    • All References in Library would include all of the references in your library. This option is also an excellent way to create backup copies of your libraries. Please note that you maybe unable to attach very large libraries with attachments to emails or even put them on disks because of operating system limitations on the size of zipped/compressed files.
    • Selected Reference(s) will include only the references you have highlighted (selected) in the library.
    • All References in Group/Group Set will allow you to include only the references in a specific group or group set.
  • Click the Next button to see the screen below, where you can choose where the compressed library
    will be saved and rename it, if desired.

save compressed library screenshot

  • Click the Save button to save your compressed library. Please note that a large library with many attachments may take a long time to compress. The compressed library will have a .enlx extension.
  • The compressed library can now be attached to an email, burned to disk, or put on a network or cloud drive for distribution.
  • When the recipient wants to use the library, they will need to place it on their computer in its working location, then select Open--Open Library from the File menu in EndNote and select the compressed library file as the file they wish to open. When the file uncompresses it will become a .enl file and .data folder just as it was on the original user’s computer.

Travelling Library

Using the Traveling Library to Create Bibliographies in Shared Documents

  • If you need only to create a Word document with references from multiple libraries, and do not need to share the actual data in the library or attachments, you can use the traveling library. This feature is only available in Microsoft Word.
  • Whenever you insert an EndNote citation in a Word document, you are inserting a copy of the bibliographic data for that citation in the field code for the citation. That data becomes part of the paper, and when an EndNote-using colleague works on that paper, they don’t need a copy of your library because all of your citation data is embedded in the paper’s traveling library.

  • However, that citation came from EndNote, so it has the data “traveling” in the citation and able to be used by any EndNote user editing the paper. This data is usually invisible to the reader, but accessible to EndNote.
  • This means you can send a copy of your paper to a colleague using EndNote, and they do not need a copy of your library. They can add citations from their own EndNote library, and EndNote will merge your citations and theirs together to create a single bibliography.

Exporting the Traveling Library
Data in a traveling library can be extracted and put in your own EndNote library.
On the Cite While You Write tab in Word for Windows, click Export to EndNote in the Tools group, then select Export Traveling Library from the drop-down list. On Macintosh with Word 2008 or 2011, select Export Traveling Library from the Tools drop-down list on the floating EndNote toolbar. On Macintosh with Word 2016, select Export Traveling Library from the Tools dropdown.

export screenshotexport traveling library screenshot

Select the EndNote library to import the references to, or create a new library. EndNote will filter out duplicate references that came from the library you select.

export traveling library Windows screenshot  Windows

export traveling library MAC screenshot  Macintosh 2016

For large documents with many references, it may take some time for all the references to be exported, so be patient. EndNote will show a confirmation message when the export is complete.

In the Word document, use the Update Citations and Bibliography command to update the citations in the paper from the new records in the open EndNote library.