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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

EndNote: Searching Databases

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

Page Contents

This page contains step-by-step written instructions for searching and exporting from specific databases.

For general information about adding references to your EndNote library, see the previous tab, Building a Citation Library.

Look here for information about:


Importing one citation at a time:

  • Perform your search
  • Click on the title of an article of interest, to open the full citation
  • In Tools and Resouces box, click on EndNote. A window will pop open and click "download".  Click the save file and open in EndNote.


EBSCO databases support indirect importing into EndNote:

  • Perform your search and "add" the records of interest to your "folder".
  • Click on "Folder has items". You'll go to a page that lists all the records that you've selected.
  • Click on "Save to Disk".
  • Switch from the "Articles" folder to the folder labelled "Bibliographic Manager".
  • Choose "Direct Export to your bibliographic management software".
  • Then choose "Save".
  • EndNote will automatically open, and you'll be asked to select the EndNote library into which to export the records.
  • As soon as you choose a library, the selected EbscoHost citations will be exported!


ProQuest databases do not work with connection files and must be searched from the native interfaced and exported directly to EndNote:

From within the ProQuest database:

  • Perform your search and mark the article(s) of interest by clicking the check box.
  • Click on "Export/Save".
  • Click on "EndNote, Citavi, or Reference Manager".
  • EndNote will automatically open, and you'll be asked to select the EndNote library into which to export the records.
  • As soon as you choose a library, the selected records will be imported.


PubMed can be searched through EndNote, or the results can be exported either directly or indirectly.  These instructions are for direct exporting to EndNote:

  • Perform your search and mark articles of interest.
  • When you have marked your records, click "Send to" and select "Citation Manager" and create file.
  • Click on the downloaded file to import into EndNote.


  • Select the document(s) you want to export by clicking the check boxes.
  • Select Export.
  • Select an Export format: RIS format (Reference Manager, ProCite, EndNote):
  • Select the output format desired (usually Abstract format if you want to save article abstracts):
  • Click Export to begin your export.
  • A file download dialog box will appear allowing you to save or open your exported file.

In most cases you'll be asked if you want to open it with the Web Export Helper. If this happens, choose this option. The documents will go right into the EndNote library of your choosing.

If the web export helper doesn't pop up, you will need to filter the results into EndNote.

  • Save the downloaded file somewhere that you can find it..
  • From within EndNote: Click on File / Import. The Import option box will appear.
  • Import Data file: Choose the file you saved
  • Import Option: Choose Reference Manager (RIS)
  • Import.

Web of Science

The connection files that come with EndNote for Web of Science, CAB Abstracts, Biological Abstracts, FSTA, Medline, and Zoological Record seem to work fine as is, for searching on campus. Although no connection files are available for searching Web of Knowledge databases from off campus, you can search from off-campus if you have first logged in to Technology Services VPN; see above, Using Connection Files from Off-Campus.

However, for comprehensive searching, it's highly recommended that you forego using the connection files, and search using the native Web of Knowledge search engine, instead. This way you will be able to take advantage of the many related citation linkages available within WoS. Follow these easy steps:

  • As you locate citations of interest in WoS (or any of the other Web of Knowledge databases listed above), mark them by checking the box near the citation. As you progress onto each new page of 10 records, the selected citations will be added to the "Marked List".
    Note: Even if you're not progressing on through multiple pages, then it's a good idea to click on the "Add to Marked List" button, to make sure your selections are added to the Marked List.
  • When you're ready to export the records to Endnote, click on the "Marked Records" button, at the top. You will see a list of all the records you have marked during the current WoS session.
  • Select the output fields you need -- Author, Title and Source (citation) are automatically selected, but you'll also want to select the the Abstract, and possibly other fields.
  • From the drop-down menu, select Send to/EndNote. EndNote will automatically open, and you'll be asked to select the EndNote library into which to export the records.
  • As soon as you choose a library, the selected Web of Science citations will be exported!


  • MAC USERS NOTE: You may need to set your MIME type so that your computer will recognize the file that is downloaded from WoS as an EndNote file. (From
    • Description: EndNote-ISI Format
    • MIME Type: application/x-inst-for-Scientific-info
    • Suffixes: .cgi
    • Handled by: Application EndNote (use the "Choose button to choose the
      appropriate version of EndNote)
    • File info: File Type: Text
    • File Creator: ENDN (IE only)
    • Encoding: Plain text (IE only)
    • Download Destination (IE only): Temporary Items Folder
    • How to handle (IE only): Postprocess with application Application: EndNote