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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

EndNote: Getting Started

An overview of EndNote bibliographic management software with detailed information on getting started and customizing your software.

Getting Started

EndNote is powerful software, but you'll want to make a few minor adjustments before you're ready to start building a library. Making these changes will ensure that your version of EndNote will work properly with our library system, the databases you want to search, and the citation styles you need.

First, open EndNote, and choose "Create a New Library." Or click on the "File" tab in the top left hand corner, select "New...", and name your new library. By default, the library is saved in My Documents/EndNote.  You can name the file what you want, though the default is My EndNote Library.enl

Set up proper links to the library's proxy servers

  1. If you're running Windows, click on the "Edit" tab and Select "Preferences..." from the dropdown menu. If you're running Mac OS, select Preferences from the EndNote X9 menu.
  2. Select "URLs & Links" from the list of Preferences. ISI Base URL should say:
  3. OpenURL Arguments should say: ?sid=ISI:WoS&aufirst=AUFIRST&aulast=AULAST&issn=ISSN&isbn=ISBN&atitle=ATITLE&title=TITLE
  4. The location of your Connection Log is particular to each computer, so your information will look different from this illustration.

Edit URLs & Links Preferences


Set up access to full text

  1. Select "Find Full Text" from the list of preferences
  2. Make sure all "full text search options" boxes are checked
  3. OpenURL path should say:
  4. Authenticate with URL should say:
  5. When you're finished, click OK



Edit Import Filters

  1. Click on the Edit tab, hover over Import Filters, and click on Open Filter Manager..." Open Filter Manager
  2. Select the article databases (such as PsycInfo, PubMed, or JSTOR) from which you know you will want to be able to import citations.
  3. In some cases, such as with ERIC, you will need to know the name of the vendor/interace that you'll be searching as well. If you don't, find the database through the library website and check to see whether it is EBSCO, Proquest, etc.
  4. If you don't see the databases you need, click on "Get More on the Web." You may have to do this for even commonly used databases such as Academic Search Complete by EBSCOHost.


Edit Options for Duplicate Records

  1. Select "Duplicates" from the list of preferences
  2. Make sure the boxes for author, year, and title are checked (this is the default)
  3. This dictates the fields that EndNote compares when searching for duplicates
  4. When you're finished, click OK

Editing Display Fields

  1. Select "Display Fields" from the list of preferences
  2. This setting governs which fields will be displayed in a library
  3. Suggested fields: 1. File Attachments; 2. Author; 3. Year; 4. Title; 5. Journal/Secondary Title; 6. Reference Type; 7. DOI; 8. Record Number
  4. When you're finished, click OK

Editing Change Case Options

  1. Select "Change Case" from the list of preferences
  2. Add these words;  USA, DNA, RNA, siRNA, etc.
  3. When you're finished, click OK

Load Journal Abbreviations List

  1. Go to Tools/Define Terms List.  Click on the Lists tab, and select Journals/Import List
  2. Open the folder "Terms Lists" (usually in c:\Program Files\EndNote\)
  3. Choose the subjects that most closely matches your area of interest.  Repeat this process for additional subjects.  Each journal term list is a text file of the full and abbreviated title of journals
  4. Later you an edit the txt list, additing additional journals as needed
  5. They keyword and author lists are built dynamically as you add references to the library

Other Customizations

  1. Set EndNote to open automatically with a particular library or to open the most recently used library
  2. Change the font shown on the screen
  3. Turn off spelling auto correction or add terms to the dictionary
  4. Modify spell check settings
  5. Automatically discard duplicate citations when importing records

Choosing Output Styles

Edit Output Styles

  1. On a Windows machine, click on the Edit tab, hover over Output Styles, and select Open Style ManagerOpen Style Manager

  2. Check the citation styles (like APA or Chicago) or names of journals (like Nature or J[ournal of] Child Psychology) that you'll need.
  3. If you don't see a style or journal name that you want, click on "Get More on the Web" for a more extensive list of styles available for download.  When you find a style you would like, follow the directions on the download page to install it.
  4. You can also download all output styles.  For more information, see the link "Get More on the Web".

Connection Files

In order to search a database from within EndNote, you will have to set up connection files for each database that you plan to search. Your version of EndNote may have come with Connection Files, but unless you have specifically adapted them to the library servers, they won't work.

The library has adapted some connection files for use with specific databases and vendors. You can browse a list of University of Illinois adapted connection files in the box below.

Please note: The library no longer provides support for connection files, so if a connection file does not exist for the database you want, or if you successfully added the connection file but it doesn't work, then you must search from within a database and export the records to EndNote. For information on how to do this, see the next tab, Building a Citation Library.

If you find a database connection file that you'd like to add to EndNote, right click on the connection file, select Save as..., and save it to the Connections folder associated with EndNote, or you can save it to the desktop and then move it. Once you've saved it, you will need to open it with EndNote if this doesn't happen automatically. This will then add the connection file to your Connection Manager.

You can check which connection files you have by going to the Connections Manager: click on the Edit tab, select Connection Files, then click on Open Connection Manager. Then scroll down to see which connection files are selected.  You can select additional files, and you need to select the files you just added to your Connections folder.  Files that are selected will appear in the left column of the main EndNote screen, under online search.

Set up Connection Files for U Illinois-Urbana

NB: If you want to use EndNote connection files to search databases from off campus, you must connect using the Technology Services VPN Protocol.

University of Illinois Connection Files

Following the directions above, download these University of Illinois specific connection files (where available) in order to search databases and catalogs that U of I subscribes to from within the EndNote program.

While these connection files can be useful, they come with a couple of caveats.

  1. The library no long provides support for these connection files, so if any of them stop working, we won't be able to replace them.
  2. These connection files only work if you are on campus. If you are off campus, then you must connect via a Virtual Private Networking (VPN) protocol. For more information, see the guide on the Technology Services website
  3. If you do not see a connection file for a database you'd like to search, then you must search the database's native interface, then export to EndNote.
  4. Even if you do see a connection file, it may actually be easier to search the database's native interface.

Journal article databases

Connection files
ArtBibliographies Modern, via ProQuest


Environmental Science and Pollution Management, via ProQuest


ERIC, via ProQuest


LISTA - Library and Information Science Abstracts, via ProQuest


LLBA - Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, via ProQuest


PsycInfo, via ProQuest


Social Services Abstracts, via ProQuest


Sociological Abstracts, via ProQuest


Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, via ProQuest


Library Catalogs

Download Connection File

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Online Catalog

Already within EndNote

I-Share Catalog 


WorldCat, via OCLC